Climate change is one of the greatest challenges we face. The impacts of which are very clear. From extreme weather events to biodiversity loss and rising sea levels, these are just some of the extreme phenomena we have experienced in the past few years in this article we look at innovations in such areas as green technology.
These occurrences are only becoming more likely to occur as the planet continues to warm. However, Innovation allows us to find ways and opportunities to cope with changes like these. It can be a tool to address the climate crisis and design transformative solutions.
Green technologies will be crucial in the race to become net zero. Continue reading to learn more about the Global Innovation Hub and how technology innovation can help mobilize SMEs in implementing the Paris Agreement.
What is green technology?
Green tech or green technology looks to eliminate and reduce the harmful environmental effects of human activity on the planet. It includes various innovations from eco-friendly materials, agriculture, and chemistry to renewable energy. Many of these technologies involve reducing emissions and greenhouse gases.
One of the most successful green technology innovations to date has been solar power. Both private sectors and governments are investing in the development of green tech in different ways to address climate change. Some of the biggest sectors in green technology investment include energy solutions and electric vehicles.
Pushing green technology to fight climate change
The COP27 conferencing Egypt facilitated many discussions around the importance of climate tech in tackling climate change. In particular, the final day of COP27, November 17th, was themed ‘Solutions Day’. This day looked at possible solutions for the many challenges that arise from a warming climate.
These include cross-cutting solutions like sustainable cities and transport as well as sectoral solutions like alternatives to plastic and green building. This day also focused on more specific solutions that are coming from start-ups and the private sector, bringing innovation and creativity to the fore to cope with the climate crisis.
This day brought together businesses, innovators, and government representatives to share their ideas and experiences to spread awareness and share best practices. This included businesses on the small and medium scale to create future alliances.
Along with this, COP27 also featured the Global Innovation Hub to promote transformative climate solutions. The hub organizers were present to share examples of innovation and encourage more innovation among the attendees at the COP27.
While tech alone will not help us achieve net zero, it is an important part of the puzzle, which was recognized by the Conference. If executed widely and strategically, advanced technologies could deliver around 60 percent of the emissions abatement needed to stabilize the planet by 2050.
What is the Global Innovation Hub?
The Global Innovation Hub was launched in November 2021 and works to promote transformative innovations to secure a climate-resilient and low-emission future. The Hub facilitates solutions that support the achievement of the climate-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and, therefore, greatly expands the worldwide innovation space.
The Goals it addresses, in particular, are human needs for shelter, mobility, food, and access through alternative value chains that align with the SDGs. Put simply; the Innovation Hub complements the current strategy for innovation for climate solutions. The Innovation Hub is an approach that is problem-orientated, sector-based, and incremental, as well as transformative and needs-based.
It is hosted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and leverages the climate leadership and convening power of the UN with the dynamism of the private sector. It also offers a worldwide cross-disciplinary community of practice with space to collaborate and share ideas and create climate solutions.
Some of the key participating actors in the Hub include urban planners, digital businesses, changemakers, enablers, incubators, scientists, researchers, accelerators, and governments at national, regional, and local levels. All participants in the Hub are committed to creating solutions that are aligned with the targets of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Examples of innovation highlighted by the Global Innovation Hub at COP27
As mentioned above, the organizers of the Global Innovation Hub highlighted a number of innovations at the Conference to encourage the development of more. Some of these included the potential of bamboo as a material for creating more eco-friendly buildings to support circular economic development.
They also brought the potential of green hydrogen to the fore to drive the transition to green energy. Additionally, the potential of beans to tackle global food security, one of the SDGs’ focus areas. Beans are incredibly accessible and affordable.
The Hub at COP27 created a space for transformative innovation driven by the demands of sustainability and climate solutions. These solutions are underpinned by human needs and designed for radical collaboration in nutrition and health, energy, housing, mobility, access, and much more.
How can technology innovation mobilize SMEs in implementing the Paris Agreement?
The Global Innovation Hub is expanding the space for innovation with a strong focus on the sectoral level. They are going back to the core human needs that are met with services and products and exploring how innovation can satisfy these needs. Technology innovation is a crucial enhancer of the efforts to implement national climate actions and achieve global goals.
Therefore, businesses that become participants of the Global Innovation Hub are key players in implementing the goals set out in the Paris Agreement. The Global Innovation Hub seeks organizations looking for climate solutions to deploy them to achieve their climate objectives. This includes start-ups and established trading companies.
In order to implement the Paris Agreement, there is a need to strengthen and accelerate technological innovation. This is so that cost-effective, better-performing, and environmentally and socially sound technologies can be delivered on a more widespread and larger scale. Technological change is inseparable from social and economic development.
Harnessing technological innovation for countries to meet their contributions is a prerequisite. Technology innovation greatly helps SMEs implement the Paris Agreement. This is because it is central to climate-resilient and low-emission development. In addition, low-emission technology is vital to achieving the Paris Agreement objectives.
Every country has different environmental, social, political, and economic conditions. For that reason, unique technological innovations are needed so we can adapt and mitigate climate change. Technology will also help SMEs adopt a systematic approach, and it is reflective of the world we are currently living in.
It’s very difficult to think about innovation in today’s world without technology. This is a key part of the climate solution. If we do not speed up climate technology innovation, it will be challenging or even impossible to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement objectives. Making efforts to create climate technology will help us achieve the vision of a more prosperous world.
What does the future of green technology look like for SMEs?
The future of green tech is best understood by looking at the green tech trends. Low-carbon construction is one big trend expected to continue. This means sustainable and smart buildings. According to Climate Colab, construction and traditional buildings make up around 38 percent of greenhouse gas emissions globally. By contrast, low-carbon structures produce very little to no carbon.
The demand for construction is increasingly high, and low-carbon establishments are predicted to meet this demand. This goes for business offices, commercial properties, and homes. It is predicted that SMEs working in the construction sector will begin to source more environmentally-friendly materials and establishments that emit less carbon.
Additionally, carbon offsetting is predicted to continue to reverse global warming. More and more businesses are tracking and offsetting their emissions to become carbon neutral. Therefore, it is expected that there will be more carbon capture and storage technologies designed and implemented to make this process more efficient. The importance of transitioning to a circular economy is known widely.
For this reason, more innovative circular waste management technologies are expected to be created. These technologies will help us transform waste into new, usable products or materials. This will help us reduce emissions and waste but also save businesses money too.
The green technology industry is continuously growing, and the market size is valued at $10.32 billion and is expected to reach $74.64 by 2030. SMEs all over the world are creating and designing green technology solutions to help us adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.
Naturally, though, the future of green tech will depend largely on how organizations and businesses learn to create, design, invent, and apply different processes to materials and products. This will have a huge role in assisting us in reframing our current methods of manufacturing. All of these changes will help us to create a healthier planet.
Green technology was made an important topic at the recent COP27 climate change conference. A day was dedicated to these solutions, and the Global Innovation Hub was also on-site to encourage attendees to innovate for climate resilience.
The Hub aims to encourage the development of transformative innovations for a prosperous future by addressing the needs of humans. Innovation has already been instrumental in bringing us solutions like solar energy. New technology development has huge potential to help us address and mitigate the effects of the warming climate.