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UNDP’s ‘Handbook for Conducting Technology Needs Assessments for Climate Change’ is designed to support developing countries in defining their technology needs to combat or adapt to climate change. Used in combination with the accompanying TNAssess tool, the handbook guides country stakeholders through the identification and prioritisation of technologies. In the process, the selected technologies are aligned with the countries’ long-term development vision and their related economic, environmental and social priorities. To-date, 70 countries have carried out a Technology Needs Assessment.
In 2011, supported by funding and technical assistance from the Dutch government, Montenegro implemented its first TNA assessment. As Montenegro was just beginning to develop a climate policy, a TNA was regarded as an important step towards understanding (sub)-national climate issues and priorities. It supported the development of the country’s long-term low carbon development plan and its reporting requirements under the UNFCCC. As part of the TNA process, a number of workshops with participation of a broad set of societal stakeholders were held. Within these workshops, participants jointly identified and prioritised technologies together with a set of actions needed for deployment and acceleration of priority technologies.
The detailed consideration and prioritisation of technologies together with the extensive involvement of stakeholders helped make for balanced decisions, and laid the ground work for further dialogue. According to Marina Markovic, who acted as the key national coordinator in Montenegro, “TNAssess helped steer stakeholder discussions and provided a good structure to assess various available technologies in terms of their potential contribution to fulfilment of economic, environmental and social goals.” The strong stakeholder involvement laid ground for broadly accepted decision making. Marina Markovic highlights that the process enabled participative and well-informed decision making on the key building block of the national strategy for low carbon and climate resilient development.
One key to success was the strong role played by the Joint Implementation Network (JIN), who have supported the development of the tool, which provided the training to key participants and strongly supported the workshop facilitators. This training allowed participants to fully engage and contribute during the workshops and ensured all participants understood the assumptions made and the outputs generated during the process. This level of understanding allows for a more informed prioritisation of technologies, providing a clearer picture of options available, and lays the ground work for on-going dialogue.
A major challenge moving forward will be to maintain the momentum that was gained by the TNA process and to enable a sustained dialogue. The tool plays a strong role in the early stages of climate policy development, but does not yet sufficiently support the implementation stage.