The development and widespread adoption of cleaner fossil fuel technology will help reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and advance sustainable development in both developed and developing countries. For example, natural gas, which produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions than other fossil fuels, is abundantly available and is expected to play an increasingly important role in global energy markets.
Cleaner fossil fuel technologies are attractive because they are often both more efficient and less expensive. Incremental progress across the broad spectrum of cleaner fossil fuel technologies has resulted from intense research and development activities in response to environmental and economic concerns. Some of these technologies are now commercially available, but the implementation base of cleaner technology is still relatively small and may take decades to develop as older industrial installations are phased out.
The cost of new technology is often high in the early adoption phase, which poses a particular constraint for developing countries where access to equipment, infrastructure and skills may be lacking. Combating climate change through cleaner fossil fuel technology therefore calls for long-term collaboration between developed and developing nations, including through capacity-building and technology transfer.
DESA organizes international forums where experts meet to discuss national cleaner technology strategies that can lower production costs while also reducing the volume of harmful greenhouse gas emissions.