[Dateline: New York | Author: DESA]
The High-level Conference on Climate Change: Technology Development and Technology Transfer in Beijing from 7 to 8 November was attended by Ministers for environment, experts on climate change from governments, business sector and civil society, over 300 international participants from more than 70 countries, and more than 400 participants from China.
The Conference, jointly organized by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the Chinese Government, was opened by the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. The Premier underlined in his speech that climate change must be tackled through international cooperation. He stressed that climate change is ultimately a development issue, and that "it is not in the common interest of mankind to address climate change at the cost of development or to blindly pursue economic growth in disregard of the threats of climate change."
In his keynote address, Mr. Zhang Ping, Chairman of the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission, highlighted the importance of achieving breakthroughs in technology transfer in the climate change negotiations launched through the Bali Roadmap and outlined proposals on the institutional structure, financing mechanisms and review and evaluation mechanisms to ensure effective and long-term implementation of the work on technology development and transfer.
The Secretary-General's message to the Conference expressed his appreciation to the Government of China for hosting the event, and reminded participants that "climate change is the defining challenge of our time." The Secretary-General stated that "our actions in the weeks and months ahead will go a long way toward determining whether we will truly rise to the challenge, or bequeath to succeeding generations a problem growing ever more dire." Noting the timeliness of the Conference "being held just one month before the next round of climate negotiations at Poznan, Poland", he encouraged participants "to make a strong, substantive contribution to Poznan, and strengthen the multilateralism that is needed to reach a climate agreement in Copenhagen in 2009."
The Conference, which builds on the momentum from the recent United Nations meetings on climate change, provided an opportunity for Member States and other stakeholders to openly discuss issues of climate change, with a view to promoting decisive action and global solidarity.
The UN climate change negotiations, under the aegis of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), have identified international cooperation in technology and technology transfer as key elements for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the adverse impacts of climate change. In this context, the Conference addressed the current status and development potential of energy and other climate related technologies, technology transfer, policy options and possible new mechanisms to enhance international cooperation and technology transfer to developing countries, and potential collaboration between the public and private sectors on technology transfer.
Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Mr. Sha Zukang in his keynote address underscored the theme of the Conference by observing that "technology is one area that unites the interests of developed and developing countries. All countries have an interest in the rapid development, deployment and diffusion of climate-friendly technologies – enhancing country capacities to take effective mitigation actions and pursue adaptation strategies."