Technology and Innovation Report 2023: Deepening green tech divide between Global North, South to worsen economic inequality, warns UN

Source: The post is based on the articleDeepening green tech divide between Global North, South to worsen economic inequality, warns UNpublished in Down To Earth on 24th March 2023

What is the News?

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development(UNCTAD) has released the Technology and Innovation Report 2023.

What is the purpose of the Technology and Innovation Report 2023?

The report highlights the opportunities that green innovation – goods and services with smaller carbon footprints – offer developing countries to spur economic growth and enhance technological capacities.

It analyzes the market size of 17 green and frontier technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and electric vehicles, and their potential to create jobs.

It also assesses countries preparedness for frontier technologies. It presents a “readiness index” ranking 166 countries based on five building blocks: 1) ICT deployment, 2) skills 3) research and development (R&D) activity, 4) industry activity and 5) access to finance.

What are the key findings from the Technology and Innovation Report 2023?

Green and Frontier Technologies: The 17 frontier technologies covered in the report such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and green hydrogen already represent a $1.5 trillion market, which could grow to over $9.5 trillion by 2030 – about three times the current size of the Indian economy.

– But so far, developed economies are seizing most of the opportunities, leaving developing economies further behind.

– The total exports of green technologies from developed countries jumped from around $60 billion in 2018 to over $156 billion in 2021. 

– In the same period, exports from developing nations rose from a similar starting line of $57 billion to only about $75 billion. In three years, developing countries’ share of global exports has fallen from over 48% to under 33%.

Frontier Technology Readiness Index: The index shows that countries in Latin America, the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa are the least ready to use, adopt or adapt to frontier technologies and are at risk of missing current technological opportunities.

– In general, those most ready are high-income economies, notably the United States, Sweden, Singapore, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

– China, the most-ready developing country, ranked 35, followed by Brazil (40), India (46) and South Africa (56).

Overperformance in Frontier Technologies: The readiness index shows that some developing countries in Asia are performing better than expected.

– Their overperformance is measured as the difference between the actual index rankings and the projected rankings based on per capita income. In general, it results from increased investment in infrastructure, enhanced technical skills and a conducive business climate.

– India remains the greatest overperformer ranking at 67 positions better than expected, followed by the Philippines (54 positions better) and Vietnam (44 better).

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