8.3 Technological Resources

 

As with the other inputs described in this section, an efficient and effective climate change response will require many changes in the technologies we use today. South Africa’s 2007 Climate Change Technology Needs Assessment indicated what South Africa’s priorities are in terms of technologies to address climate change. It was hoped that this initial submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change would facilitate the next, critical step, which is the development of specific implementation plans for the prioritised technologies. It was envisaged that this process would open up access to funds, create an enabling environment for the transfer and uptake of technologies, and highlight opportunities for research and development cooperation in this area.

The next step is the development of technology implementation plans. However, the plans for mitigation and adaptation may vary significantly. Whereas mitigation technologies mostly concern hard technologies that are more easily transferred once the major stumbling block of funding has been resolved, it is much more difficult to draw implementation plans for the soft technologies required for adaptation. This stems from the fact that mitigation technologies are usually related to the services sector, which is relatively well regulated. Moreover, very often the end users of adaptation technologies are the general public and the poorest communities, who possess lower and less reliable repayment capacities, which are strong deterrents to financiers. The organisations most likely to be to be involved in the acquisition, development and implementation of adaptation technologies would be local government agencies and community-based organisations, which would also pose a risk to financiers in terms of repayment. Additionally, recipients of adaptation technologies frequently have limited absorption capacity. Due consideration will have to be given to this issue when dealing with implementation plans for adaptation.

As there is no single recipe for transferring different technologies, it is important to draw up implementation plans that will accommodate all technologies prioritised while paying due attention to the specific nature of the various options. Such an action will lead to the identification of more precise steps, barriers and capacity-building needs, as well as other activities that may be required, such as awareness raising and information communication. Research and development partnerships are likely to be a key vehicle by which technologies will be transferred.

With this, South Africa will –

  1. By 2012, translate the results of the Climate Change Technology Needs Assessment into well defined implementation plans for the successful transfer of the technology (hard or soft). In so doing, an effective stakeholder engagement process will be employed, the availability of financial and human resources for acquiring the technology will be assessed, and an environment conducive to the smooth flow of technology to the final recipients and users will be described. While elaborating the different steps of the implementation plan for the transfer of a technology, it will be important to identify capacity building needs and other barriers that will have to be overcome. The eventual outcome of this being the preparation of project documents for funding purposes for technologies requiring significant investments.

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