In 2015, countries adopted the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, setting out a vision of a low-carbon, climate-resilient and sustainable future for all. The goals of these groundbreaking instruments need to be urgently pursued. 2016 was the hottest year on record, with the average global temperature now almost 1 °C above pre-industrial levels. Climate change effects of growing intensity are being observed with rising frequency in all corners of the world, threatening prospects for sustainable development. Under the Paris Agreement, countries have developed nationally determined contributions (NDCs), national adaptation plans and mid-century strategies. Now, countries and the international community are focused on implementing them. Technological innovation is a critical accelerator and
enhancer of the efforts to implement national climate actions and achieve the above-mentioned global objectives. The Paris Agreement explicitly refers to innovation in its Article 10, paragraph 5. In the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, technological innovation is referred to in connection with various sustainable development goals, particularly goals 7 (affordable clean energy), 8 (decent work and economic
growth), 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure) and 17 (partnerships for the goals).
The UNFCCC Technology Executive Committee has prepared this policy brief in recognition of the important role that technological innovation plays in achieving a low-emission, climate-resilient and prosperous future. It outlines the key elements of successful technological innovation and sheds light on the power of technological innovation to accelerate and scale up national climate action.