The Asia-Pacific Regional Technical Expert Meeting (TEM) was convened on the theme of Decentralized Solutions for Smart Energy and Water Use in the Agri-Food Chain organized by UNFCCC secretariat in collaboration with Technology Executive Committee and the Climate Technology Centre and Network. To set the scene, Mr. Ovais Sarmand, Deputy Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, reminded participants of the ‘climate emergency and the criticality of climate action…to raise ambition and mobilize stakeholders to build momentum for concrete action’.
The TEM noted that the agri-food chain accounts for almost 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions while water insecurity is projected to increase under changing climate conditions. As such, technological solutions for energy and water use in agriculture are important to meet and raise ambitions on both mitigation and adaptation. The TEM provided an opportunity to learn about some such solutions that can be replicated and scaled-up across the region.
The first solution, the Barsha Pump, developed by aQysta is a water pump powered by water with zero emissions, no electrical components, and low maintenance costs. The pump can be placed in rivers, streams and irrigation canals and is used for both crop and livestock production.
The second solution, Claro’s solar irrigation via mobile trolley and mini grids, reduces reliance on diesel pumps and provides secondary benefits for rural electrification. The mobile trolley solution is based on a pay for use model paired with FINtech to deliver cost savings and open new areas to irrigation.
The third solution, the Kingdom of Tonga’s approach to the circular economy in the agriculture sector aims to bridge the gap between renewable energy commitments (50% penetration by 2020) and what is achievable through wind and solar PV. Making use of agricultural waste to supply energy and fertilizer to farms decrease reliance on imported fuel and increasing agricultural production.
Challenges to scaling technologies discussed during the TEM include high up-front costs, and the range of location-specific circumstances. Presenters also recalled difficulties in jumping from innovation to proof of concept and in finding the lowest cost option to meet NDC ambitions.
Innovative financing mechanisms, pay for use models, and government subsidies can promote the uptake of technologies, while supportive government policies build enabling environments for innovation.
Mr. Sarmand encouraged participants, ‘We need climate action from all sectors of society and from all around the world…we have the tools, mechanisms, and ambitions - we just need to translate that into action.’
The CTCN and TEC have a role to play in achieving this vision, supporting countries to leverage existing technologies and explore new innovations in climate change. As promised by Ms. Jaime Webbe, Regional Manager for Asia-Pacific, ‘The CTCN has over 500 members around the world who stand ready to support climate technology development and transfer on the frontlines of the climate crisis.’.