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Technology and Innovation Report 2023: UNCTAD

  • 24 Mar 2023
  • 5 min read

For Prelims: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Technology and Innovation Report 2023, Green technologies, Electric vehicles, Green Energy Corridor, Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles, International Solar Alliance.

For Mains: Reports Released by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, India’s Initiatives Related to Green Technologies.

Why in News?

In its Technology and Innovation Report 2023, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has stated that developed countries are benefiting more from green technologies than developing countries, and this could deepen global economic inequality.

What are the Key Findings and Recommendations of the Report?

  • Findings:
    • Green technologies can create a market worth USD 9.5 trillion by 2030, up from USD 1.5 trillion in 2020.
      • The total exports of green technologies from developed countries jumped to more than USD 156 billion in 2021 from about USD 60 billion in 2018.
      • While exports from developing countries rose to only about USD 75 billion from USD 57 billion.
    • According to the frontier technology readiness index’ included in the report, only a few developing countries have the capacity to take advantage of frontier technologies such as blockchain, drones, and solar power.
      • Green frontier technologies such as electric vehicles, solar and wind energy, and green hydrogen are expected to reach a market value of USD 2.1 trillion in 2030.
    • The frontier technology readiness index which has ranked 166 countries, is dominated by high-income economies, notably the US, Sweden, Singapore, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
      • The second quarter of the list includes emerging economies – notably Brazil - ranked at 40, China at 35, India at 46, the Russian Federation at 31, and South Africa at 56.
        • Here, India remains the greatest performer by ranking at 67 positions better than expected.
  • Recommendations:
    • UNCTAD calls on governments in developing countries to align environmental, science, technology, innovation, and industrial policies.
      • It urges them to prioritise investment in greener and more complex sectors, to provide incentives to shift consumer demand towards greener goods and to boost investment in research and development.
    • It recommends that international trade rules permit developing countries to protect emerging green industries through tariffs, subsidies, and public procurement, so that they not only meet local demand but also reach economies of scale that make exports more competitive.
    • Lastly, UNCTAD urged developed countries to provide support to their less well-off counterparts and ensure all nations can participate and take full economic advantage of the green tech revolution.

What is the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)?

  • UNCTAD is a permanent intergovernmental body of the United Nations.
    • It was established in 1964 and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • It aims to promote sustainable development, particularly in developing countries, through international trade, investment, finance, and technology transfer.
  • UNCTAD's work focuses on four main areas: trade and development, investment and enterprise, technology and innovation, and macroeconomics and development policies.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Question (PYQ)


Q. With reference to the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA), which of the following statements is/are correct? (2015)

  1. It is a Public Limited Government Company.
  2. It is a Non-Banking Financial Company.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only 
(b) 2 only 
(c) Both 1 and 2 
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (c)


Q. “Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy is the sine qua non to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”. Comment on the progress made in India in this regard. (2018)

Source: DTE

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