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  • TERI with GCN launches two reports to support global cooperation for promoting low-carbon and renewable energy technologies to combat climate change via a network that links Technology-Finance-Jobs

    7 April 2010

    Technology, Finance and Employment - these are the three key issues that a climate change challenged world faces today. As the 15 Conference of Parties (COP) at Copenhagen clearly showed, the complexities are many and each country has its own set of priorities. Considering the central position of technology and finance in formulating climate strategies at national and international levels -- along with the crucial developmental concern of providing adequate incomes to citizen for a better life -- the challenge is to find a common denominator that works for different country contexts, particularly between the North and the South.

    To address this, a consortium of independent, influential and progressive research and policy organizations in countries key to tackling climate change came together and launched the The Global Climate Network (GCN) where two reports released "Breaking Through Technology" and "Low Carbon Jobs in an Interconnected World" in India. TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) is a founding member of this network. These reports are based on the case studies carried out by network members and these studies build a strong case in support of global cooperation for boldly promoting low-carbon and renewable energy technologies. The combined benefits can really put the world on a sustainable and prosperous economic trajectory. Present on the occasion were Mr. Andrew Pendleton, IPPR, UK, Mr. Andrew Gilder, Director, IMBEWU -Sustainability Legal Specialists (Pty) Ltd, South Africa, Dr. Arabinda Mishra, Director, Climate Change Division, TERI and presided over by Mr. Ajay Shankar, Former Secretary, DIPP, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.

    Welcoming the guests, Dr. Arabinda Mishra, said, "There are three pillars: technology, jobs or economic growth and finances or resources are going to be important to help us in solving the conundrum in the negotiations at the international level. When we try to look forward for a concrete solution, technology is a key. Clean technology is a part of sustainable technology that takes into account impacts beyond environment. Technology is multi-dimensional that is making a transition to low-carbon path. Technology is also a key driver in the economic growth, but at present it is not promoting sustainable growth path. Hence, policy mechanisms need to be signaling devices and governments have an important role to play."

    Giving an outline of the network, Mr. Andrew Pendleton, said, "The concept of the network is that it is a network of equals and not an international organisation with a lead partner. At present we have nine partners from reputed and influential research institutions in their respective nations and bring their national views to the fore. The network works on research projects for a collective advocacy for a shift towards low-carbon economy irrespective of the agreement."

    The two reports are based on case studies carried out by GCN members in Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, India, Nigeria, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
    The interim findings of Finance studies in South Africa and India were also shared at the launch. Eminent researchers, policy-makers and civil society representatives discussed the implementation issues relating to development, deployment and transfer of technology; job creation potential of various technologies; financial needs; sources and mechanisms for mobilizing finance in the context of climate change and development.

    The GCN member institutes are:

    • Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), London: The UK's leading progressive think-tank with a strong track record on research and policy is also the Secretariat for the Network.
    • Center for American Progress, USA: Founded by John Podesta, former Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton.
    • IMBEWU Sustainability Legal Specialists Pty Ltd, South Africa: An influential Johannesburg based legal consultancy specializing in sustainability law with a strong climate change focus.
    • Research Centre for Sustainable Development, China: An institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Dr Jiahua Pan, its director, is one of 12 members of the Chinese Experts Committee for Climate Change.
    • The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), India: The country's leading climate and energy research institute whose Director General, Dr Rajendra K Pachauri, chairs the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and is a close adviser to the Indian government.
    • Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Germany: The institute's ground-breaking climate change work is led by Dr Hermann Ott.
    • Vitae Civilis, Brazil: The institute's director, Dr Rubens Born, has had significant input into the Brazil government's recent climate change plan.
    • International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development (ICEED), Nigeria: This premier institute of Africa has considerable expertise in climate change and energy policy.
    • The Climate Institute, Australia: Set up in 2005, the Institute is a leading Australian voice in climate research and advocacy, pioneering clean technology and investment solutions with government and business.

    Dr Pachauri (DG-TERI) and Lord Chris Patten of Barnes (former European Commissioner for External Affairs) are the Network's first patrons. The Network is working to:

    • Address the political (economic, social and cultural) constraints barring the way to action by bridging the divide between domestic and international policy;
    • Promote equitable solutions that take into account the huge development, financial and energy challenges countries face; &
    • Champion ideas and innovations to help construct a new political narrative that links action on climate change with enhanced economic and social well-being.

    Alone, each Global Climate Network member has significant credibility and influence. By producing joint research, staging events together and seeking to influence policy, the Network can help bridge the dangerous divide that exists and is currently widening between international negotiations and national politics.

    By interlinking the three key issues - technology, finance and employment - the Network aims to help governments establish an effective international cooperation founded on mutually beneficial national interests of combating dangerous climate change. Using GCN data and analysis, localized concerns would be addressed by the twin process of proposing bold low-carbon policies - which, in turn, would persuade policymakers to acknowledge that low-carbon strategy is the only way forward.

    While the details of the solutions, and the problems, may well differ from country to country, GCN's recommendations are based on the common threads running through all country case studies, with adequate flexibility to accommodate the particulars of different country contexts.

    The key focus was on the policy options at national as well as international level which, if implemented in concert, can deliver developmental as well as climate policy objectives. The consensus of the speakers was that the Network and its reports build a strong case in support of global cooperation for boldly promoting low-carbon and renewable energy technologies. The combined benefits can really put the world on a sustainable and prosperous economic trajectory.

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