Innovation

How the UN uses technology to stem the tide of climate change

Hugh Sealy, co-chair of the Paris Agreement's Article 6 climate negotiations, explains the good news and bad news about technology and climate change.

Climate change has many causes, and many potential solutions—some technological and some cultural. TechRepublic's Dan Patterson met with Hugh Sealy, co-chair of the Paris Agreement's Article 6 climate negotiations, to explain the good and bad news about technology and climate change.

Sealy recently spoke at COP 23, a UN conference about climate change.

"The technology is there for us to mitigate climate change—renewable energy in particular," Sealy said. The good news when it comes to technology is that if we move away from the combustion of fossil fuel, there is enough cheap and scalable solar, wind, ocean, and other types of energy available that we can rely fully on renewable energy, he added.

The bad news is that there is an overreliance on the unproven technologies of the future, like devices that would let us strip carbon from the atmosphere.

There has to be massive policy changes before we can think about climate change solutions, Sealy said. "I think the technology is already there."

"There is technology to replace fossil fuel combustion both in electricity generation and in transport. And if we did that we would be removing the bulk of the emissions that are occuring," he said.

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Image: iStock/Tashka

About Leah Brown

Leah Brown is the Associate Social Media Editor for TechRepublic. She manages and develops social strategies for TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research.

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