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The Paris Agreement’s Technology Framework and the Need for ‘Transformational Change’

Stephen Minas


Enhanced technology development and transfer have important roles to play in the achievement of the goals of the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement addresses the need for enhanced technology outcomes, both substantively and procedurally. Substantively, the Agreement endorses a holistic approach to the technology cycle, with a new emphasis on innovation and early-stage deployment. Procedurally, the Agreement channels technology cooperation through transnational institutions by adopting and strengthening the roles of the existing UNFCCC technology bodies – the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) (the two components of the UNFCCC Technology Mechanism). The key instrument for implementing these substantive and procedural outcomes is the Technology Framework established in the Paris Agreement, negotiated over three years and adopted by Parties at the 2018 Katowice conference. This article will examine how the Paris Agreement has changed UNFCCC technology governance. It will highlight the significance of the Paris technology provisions, identify the main political and legal considerations in the negotiation of the Technology Framework, and comment on the framework’s legal status, substance and implementation, with a focus on the roles of the TEC and CTCN. The article will explore the potential for the Technology Framework to contribute to transnational cooperation and action on climate technology.

Associate Professor, School of Transnational Law, Peking University and Vice-Chair, UNFCCC Technology Executive Committee. This article is written in a personal capacity. The views expressed in this article are personal to the author and do not necessarily represent the position of any institution. The author is grateful to the anonymous reviewer for the helpful feedback. For Correspondence: <>


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