Methodological and Technological Issues in Technology Transfer

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7.2.3 Adaptation Technologies

Many of the technologies that mitigate GHG emissions also help adapt to the potential effects of climate change. For example, the ability of local governments to provide effective land use planning is essential to address many environmental problems. With such authority, local governments can cluster higher density residential and commercial land use to improve the system efficiency of combined heat and power systems. A city's streets and building lots can be laid out to optimise the potential use of solar energy. By limiting developments on flood plains or potential mud slide zones, a city can adapt to both current and anticipated future flooding. The minimisation of paved surfaces and the use of trees can reduce flooding, moderate the urban heat island effect and reduce the energy required for air conditioning. Water using equipment, such as clothes washers, can be developed and marketed that are both energy efficient and use less water. Building codes and standards reduce energy consumption and also reduce the damage to buildings from destructive weather anomalies. A systems, or whole-building approach, can achieve both mitigation and adaptation objectives through the optimal integration of land use, building design, equipment and material choices and recycling strategies.

A fuller description of these technologies can be found in the IPCC's Second Assessment Report, Working Group II (Watson, 1996a) and the IPCC's Technical Paper I, Technologies, Policies and Measures for Mitigating Climate Change (IPCC, 1996b). Other sources are included in the references (Interlaboratory Working Group, 1997; CADDET, 1997; Worrell, 1996). Adaptation strategies vary between developed and developing countries. While the published literature deals primarily with new technologies, indigenous technologies using thermal mass, convective air movement and night radiation use no energy, and could be more widely used in both developing and developed countries.

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