Green tech revolution in the West has consequences for the rest, UN report warns

Stock photo: A worker finishing setting up a solar panel.
Stock photo: A worker finishing setting up a solar panel.


The majority of developing countries are doomed to miss out on the economic benefits of emerging green technology, according to a new United Nations report. 

This would hinder their progress toward achieving their climate objectives and exacerbate the gap between rich and poor countries, warned the report published by the UN on Thursday. 

“We are at the beginning of a technological revolution based on green technologies,” said UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan. 

“This new wave of technological change will have a formidable impact on the global economy.”

The advantages of lower-emission technology will be nearly unattainable for many poorer nations, particularly in Latin America, the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa noted the report. 

Unless the international community and national governments aggressively support green tech firms in developing countries. 

By 2030, the market value of green hydrogen, solar and wind energy, and electric vehicles is expected to increase by four times to $2.1 trillion. 

Nations are attempting to limit their emissions that contribute to global warming in order to keep it to 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius (2.7 to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

The research singled out a select few nations as growing nations with policies that will allow them to expand some of their green technology sectors in the future, including Mexico, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

It also cited the bioethanol sector in Brazil and the potential for green hydrogen in Chile as examples of clean energy industry booms.

The report lists more than a dozen technologies, largely being used or developed by industrialized countries, including gene editing, blockchain, nanotechnologies, and renewable energy.

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‘Developing countries need agency and urgency’

The UN organization has issued an urgent call for reforming current international trade and intellectual property transfer laws so that developing nations may access both innovations created in wealthier states as well as their own green sectors.

Shamika Sirimanne, the director of technology at UNCTAD, stated that “developing countries need agency and urgency in coming up with the right policy responses” to support the development of green technology in their own countries. 

Sirimanne urged underdeveloped countries to implement energy and innovation policies that would support their clean energy and technology sectors.

According to the report, the industrialized north’s overall exports of green technologies nearly tripled from $60 billion in 2018 to over $156 billion in 2021. 

In contrast, during the same time period, exports from the Global South increased from $57 billion to $75 billion.

The report’s assessment of the countries ready for the enormous industry development and those most likely to profit from rising investments in green technology was dominated by high-income countries, including the United States, Sweden, Singapore, and Switzerland.

Peyman Taeidi

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