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Achieving the 2°C climate target will require technological innovation and the rapid and widespread transfer of environmentally‐sound technologies for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and for adapting to the inevitable impacts of climate change. Likewise, achieving sustainable development on a global scale will require a fundamental technological change in both developed and developing countries.

The transition to a green economy offers a pathway to sustainable development that developing countries cannot afford to miss. It offers an opportunity to move to better, environmentally‐sound technologies and to create and strengthen the associated institutions needed to extend access to these technologies.

Technology transfer must therefore operate on a broader scale, covering these challenges and within the framework of a global transition to green economy for sustainable development and poverty eradication. The Cancun Agreements adopted at COP16 established a “Technology Mechanism” which is intended to facilitate the implementation of enhanced action on technology development and transfer in order to support action on mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

The Technology Mechanism consists of the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and a Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN). COP17 in Durban is expected to take a decision to make the Technology Mechanism fully operational in 2012. The UN system organizations can provide a valuable contribution to the work of the Technology Mechanism and in particular the Climate Technology Centre and Network.

The UN system is well placed to support the work of the CTCN, in view of its wide range of capacity building activities for developing countries, on innovation infrastructure and to support the transfer, adaptation and dissemination of technologies.