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WORKING PAPER

­­Emerging and exponential technologies: New opportunities for low-carbon development by Benjamin Combes, Darius Nassiry, Lizzy Fitzgerald and Tarik Moussa

November 2017

Acknowledgements The authors gratefully acknowledge the following people for their comments and input to earlier drafts of this paper: ●● Andrew Barnett, Director, The Policy Practice ●● Ron Benioff, Director of Multilateral Programmes, National Renewable Energy Laboratory ●● Sam Bickersteth, Chief Executive, Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) ●● Rob Byrne, Lecturer, Science Policy Research Unit, STEPS Centre and Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research ●● Emma Doherty, Manager, CDKN ●● Celine Herweijer, Partner, PwC, and Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum ●● Margaret Kamau, Country Engagement Leader, CDKN, Kenya ●● Munjurul Hannan Khan, Country Engagement Leader, CDKN, Bangladesh ●● Andrew Scott, Senior Research Fellow, Overseas Development Institute ●● Dimitri Zenghelis, Principal Research Fellow, London School of Economics The authors would also like to thank participants at the CDKN closed event held in London, July 2017, for their comments, insights and suggestions on a preview of the ideas and material presented in this paper. PwC is a partner of the 4IR for the Earth initiative, a collaboration between the World Economic Forum, Stanford University and PwC, also supported by the Mava Foundation. The initiative looks to accelerate tech innovation for Earth’s most pressing environmental issues. It will help to identify and scale innovative new ventures, partnerships, finance and policy instruments that harness Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technological advances to tackle environmental challenges. This paper is a joint project of PwC and ODI for CDKN. It was initiated and led by Benjamin Combes (PwC) and Darius Nassiry (ODI), with research and substantive contributions from Lizzy Fitzgerald (PwC) and Tarik Moussa (PwC). Please cite this paper as: Combes, B., D. Nassiry, E. Fitzgerald, and T. Moussa (2017). Emerging and Exponential Technologies: New Opportunities for Low-Carbon Development. London: CDKN.

­­ Emerging and exponential technologies: New opportunities for low-carbon development © Jess Kraft / Shutterstock

by Benjamin Combes, Darius Nassiry, Lizzy Fitzgerald and Tarik Moussa

Bogota, Colombia

Contents Executive summary

2

Harnessing emerging technologies for climate compatible development

3

Mapping emerging technologies for NDC planning

8

Country examples: 4IR challenges and opportunities for Bangladesh and Kenya

18

Emerging risks from emerging technologies

20

Maximising the opportunities from the 4IR for NDC implementation

22

Conclusions and recommendations

23

Appendices

27

Endnotes

28

1

Working Paper, November 2017

Executive summary This paper discusses how new technologies can contribute to achieving climate change goals in developing countries, focusing on how emerging and exponential technologies can support, and potentially accelerate, the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement1 within the broader context of low-carbon, climate-resilient development. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) – the dynamic economic transformation now under way, driven by disruptive new technologies and business models – is projected to affect many production and consumption systems, with far-reaching implications for the environment, economies and society.2 Building on the Third Industrial Revolution (3IR) – which began with personal computing, expanded to mobile phones and the Internet, and has reshaped entire sectors of the economy – the 4IR is expected to have similarly broad impacts, including profound economic