The nexus between nationally determined contributions and technology needs assessments: a global analysis

Lindy Charlery*, Sara Lærke Meltofte Trærup

*Corresponding author for this work

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The role of technology in combatting climate change through mitigation and adaptation to its inevitable impacts has been acknowledged and highlighted by the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In the developing world, this has received particular attention through the technology needs assessment (TNA) process. As Parties put forward their national pledges to combat climate change, the scarcity of resources makes it important to assess (i) whether national processes designed to tackle climate change are working together and (ii) whether existing national processes should be terminated with the initiation of new ones. This study presents an assessment of the existing TNA process and its linkages to the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. The conclusions stem from an assessment of the TNAs completed to date, as well as 71 NDCs from developing countries at various stages of the TNA process. The analyses show that further developing the TNAs could play a vital role in filling gaps in the existing NDCs, specifically those relating to identifying appropriate technologies, their required enabling framework conditions and preparing implementation plans for their transfer and diffusion. Key policy insightsThe full potential of the TNAs has still to be rolled out in many countries. Developing countries can maximize the potential of their TNAs by further developing them to explicitly analyse what is needed to implement existing NDCs, including by better aligning their focus, scope and up-to-dateness with the priority sectors included in the NDCs. Requests of developing countries for international assistance, through technology transfer, will be better guided by the completion of the TNA process. Policies for strengthening the NDCs will benefit from the results of completed, ongoing and future TNA processes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalClimate Policy
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)189-205
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Nationally determined contributions
  • Technology transfer

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