Innovation of climate-friendly technology in developing countries requires policy and equity considerations; scaling-up existing technology and promoting new technologies. Adaptation of agriculture to climate change will be vital.
Innovation of climate friendly technology in developing countries
“Promoting innovation and development of climate-friendly technologies in developing countries: Case Study of Agricultural Adaptation” H. Wright, September 2010, MSc ThesisCentre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College, London
Aims and Objectives Original Rationale: Research the possibility for ‘innovation prizes’ for climate technology and aim to scope out possible technologies that could benefit from innovation funding. Broadened the scope to the full range of mechanisms that could be used promote technology transfer; such as public-private partnerships and barrier removal. Focused on adaptation of agriculture to climate change; of particular importance to developing countries and the rural poor. Establish a list of criteria that could be used to identify and select adaptation technologies for public funding, which could then potentially be used in a multi-criteria analysis (MCA) of technologies.
Background History of the ‘technology transfer’ debate in the UNFCCC; the need to develop local capacity for innovation. Cannady (2009) argues innovation is not a ‘one-way flow’. Climate Technology Program and plans for 30 CICs (Climate Innovation Centres) to encourage R&D collaboration. CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) could arguably offer a useful example of effective international R&D collaboration (Correa, 2009).
Stakeholder InterviewsNGOs/Civil Society Policy-Makers, Industry/ Developing Country Scientists and Experts Companies NGOs/ Community LeadersGVEP (Global Village DFID AdapCC Manager, CEO, Green Enviro-Energy Partnership) CafeDirect, UK Watch, ZambiaTomorrows Company Author of GEO, UNEP M-PESA Product Beyond Boundaries,(UK) (DEWA) Manager, Vodafone NepalHead of Climate Change, Dr Saleemal Huq (IIED) Director, Imperial Indian Youth ClimateConservation International Innovations, UK Network(US)IFOAM (International Sir Gordon Conway Founder, Onergy,Federation of Organic (Imperial College) Sunderbans region ofAgriculture Movements) IndiaPractical Action, UK Crop Scientist, AustraliaChief Executive, IDE-UK Dr Thomas Downing,(International Stockholm EnvironmentDevelopment Enterprises) Institute (Oxford)
The Innovation ChainGrubb (2004) identifies three main categories of international mechanisms to promote innovation and development:-• Funded international RD&D Programmes• International public-private partnerships for incubation and acceleration• International agreements on strategic deployment and barrier removal.
Climate Adaptation – E.g. use of mobile phone technologies MPESA, mobile banking project with Vodafone, increased resilience because...“Kenya had massive drought last year... it enabled a support network” (Vodafone, Pers. Comm, 2010). Increased access to microfinance. Piloting ‘microinsurance’ in Kenya, allowing farmers in insure seeds and fertilisers. Enables emergency response and access to weather forecasts.
Agricultural Adaptation Seed varieties, irrigation, improved farming techniques (agricultural development). Avoid ‘maladaptation’ e.g. over-irrigation Participatory process; “ownership” is key (CafeDirect, Pers. Comm, 2010). Conservation farming techniques have synergies with mitigation; SOC. Organic farming? Peak oil and peak phosphate in the next 50 years. Food security and equity issues: access to food
Potential Conflicts and Synergies of Adaptation and Mitigation:Strategies in Positive for Adaptation (+) Negative for Adaptation (-)Agriculture:Positive for -Mitigation that sequesters carbon and prepares for drought -Mitigation in usage of biomass orMitigation (+) (IPCC, 2007), e.g. low tillage. biofuel, or hydro power, that is sensitive to climate extremes (IPCC, -Mitigation e.g. multi-purpose trees, or mangrove planting, that 2007). increase resilience to flooding and provide income. -Mitigation in biofuel production (or -Adaptation that returns residue to fields to improve “water- holding capacity that also sequesters carbon” (IPCC, 2007) e.g. biochar) that may compete with food composting, biogas digesters. production (or displace indigenous -Adaptation with irrigation or fertilisation that increases biomass cover may increase carbon-sequestration. populations). -Water efficiency or harvesting; also reduces impact of -Mitigation in large-scale agroforestry flooding/drought. to generate C-credits, that may compete with food production (or -Small-scale energy generation from local biomass/solar; frees displace indigenous populations). people from dependence on kerosine fuel/grid electricity which -Use of alternative buildings materials instead of cement that are not resistant “exhibit volatile prices and can be cut off by extreme weather to flooding. events” (IIED, 2009).Negative for -Adaptation that increases use of N-fertiliser but increases N20 -Increased dependence on fossil-fuelMitigation (-) emissions (IPCC, 2007). intensive inputs that are unsustainable over the long term/vulnerable to price -Adaptation with increased animal husbandry may increase fluctuations. emissions (except where dung used for inorganic farming). -Building of energy-intensive cement infrastructure to protect against flooding.Other potential -GM crops increase yields but monoculture may increase use of -Irrigation that is poorly managednegative herbicide, promote ‘rogue’ weeds, and kill soil bacteria leading to falling water tables or (Guardian 2004). salinisation (DFID, 2004).externalities (-) -Agroforestry/biofuel plantation that destroys a wildlife sanctuary (Pers. Comm., TC)
Case Study: Treadle vs Diesel PumpsAdvantages of treadle pumps: - Possible to claim carbon credits(displacing diesel); - Not dependent on fluctuating fuel prices; - Lesschance of over-irrigation of groundwater;Disadvantages of treadle pumps: - Requires 4 hours of manual labour perday (usually women), so farmer cannot apply their labour elsewhere; -Goes to a depth of 7-9 metres compared to 20+ metres for diesel pump(groundwater may be below this depth); - Farmers can rent the dieselmotorised pump to neighbours. •IDE-UK explained this is why “people are jumping to diesel” (Pers. Comm, 2010). •The Chief Executive of IDE-UK believed an innovation prize for a low- cost SOLAR pump would be an excellent idea; “put a rocket up some of our engineers” (Pers. Comm, 2010).
Prioritisation of Criteria by Stakeholders “From the following list; which priorities/criteria do you think should guide the identification of technologies for adaptation to target with funding?”Order of Prioritisation for Criteria:-Social impact, i.e. pro-poor;Environmental impact (general sustainability);General applicability of the technology (scalabilityand replicability);Number of people or countries affected by theclimate impact;Financial self-sustainability and implementationstrategy/business plan;Economic efficiency; or cost-effectiveness;Likelihood of climate impact;Economic development (livelihood) impact; i.e.job creation;Level of capacity/experience of the applicant;Secondary benefits other than climate changeadaptation; no regret measures;Genuine ‘innovative’ element/degree ofinnovation;Carbon neutrality;
Stakeholder comments on potential conflicts of adaptation and mitigation “...it is difficult to finance adaptation projects with the credits for mitigation” (GVEP, Pers. Comm, 2010).“For poor communities adaptation is a greater priority... Making everythingcarbon-neutral is unjustifiable” (Practical Action, Pers. Comm) “Where adaptation is for poor vulnerable communities the emissions are so small they are not worth worrying about” (Saleemal Huq, Pers. Comm,’10).“...if you’re talking about a developing country that is really vulnerable andadaptation involves some emissions – it’s very hypocritical to ask for noemissions” (Conservation International, Pers. Comm)“If there is a synergy between adaptation/mitigation we should exploit it buttheres an equity issue” (O’Sullivan). “In Africa... you need to help people adapt, whereas in China they are going up that growth curve... so you need a different focus... it depends which geographical area you are looking at” (Bahns, Pers. Comm, ‘10)
R&D and Global SubsidiesGlobal R&D expenditure for renewable energy amounted to $1,755m in2008, while $1,658m was spent on R&D related to fossil fuels (of which CCSmade up $218m) (IEA, 2010)Fossil fuel consumption subsidies worldwide were $342Bn USD in2007 and $557Bn in 2008... In addition, subsidies provided to producerswere in the order of $100Bn per year; total fossil fuel subsidies werealmost $700Bn per year, or 1% of global GDP (IEA, 2010).That far exceeds the level of subsidies that go towards renewable energyinternationally, which are about $27Bn per year (GSI, 2010).Agricultural subsidies in OECD countries were about $400Bn in2008 (IEA, 2010)... this subsidy amounts to 1.3% of GDP in OECDcountries which is roughly six times the value of all officialdevelopment aid (WRI, 2006).“Treadle pumps cost $100 in Africa but $25 in India... due to huge tariffs onsteel imports...it is a historic policy issue” (IDE, Pers Comm).
AMCs and Innovation PrizesAlmost all respondents agreed the private sector needs to play agreater role in developing climate-friendly technology; but manyrespondents recognised the crucial need for government to push theprivate sector with “regulations and subsidies” (IDE, Pers. Comm ‘10) Stakeholder response to AMCs: “right up our street... a private sector model that would fit us well” (IDE, Pers. Comm, 2010) ... But “requires capacity already there at market-defining scale” (Downing, Pers. Comm, 2010)• 63% of respondents felt an ‘innovation prize’ would “definitely” or“probably” be an effective way to support innovation in climate-friendlytechnology. Yet all 3 industry respondents felt an innovation prize was“probably not” an effective way to support innovation. • “it is not so much about inventing them but deploying them at scale – scaling up existing technologies” (Pers. Comm, 2010).
Additional issues – Adaptation financeLoans for Adaptation:“the farmer gets inputs on loan – then the rainy season causes floodsand crops to get submerged; there is nothing the farmer can create –how does he pay back the loan?” (Musumali, Pers. Comm, 2010). “outrageous... there is no justification for even concessional loans for countries that are extremely vulnerable” (NGO, Pers. Comm, 2010)“there is a difference between micro-finance (recycling money toexpand the activity) compared to loans where the activity is expectedto generate money to pay back – which by definition takes away fromthe core activity” (Pers. Comm, 2010).Additionality to ODA (overseas development assistance):“historical responsibility is not being fulfilled” (NGO, Pers. Comm, 2010). “difficulty about where the line is because theres a gradation from development to adaptation” (Conway, Pers. Comm, 2010)
Recommendations and Wider Implications • A developing-country orientated Climate Change Technology Innovation Strategy should be introduced, building upon pilot CICs, including addressing IP rights. CGIAR could provide a useful model for international collaboration on R&D for climate-friendly technology. • Public-private partnerships (PPPs) could be utilised for incubation and commercialisation of technology, including with AMCs (Advanced Market Commitments) such as prizes. PPPs could be introduced where there are mutual interests, such as building resilience of companies’ supply chains. • There is urgent need for progress in the WTO Doha Development Round to include consideration of climate issues and the potential effect of agricultural subsidies and tariff imports upon developing countries adaptive capacities. • DFID may need to further consider the potential conflicts of adaptation and mitigation in some areas, where adaptation for the poorest should be prioritised, as well as enabling potential synergies.