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Technological Change

Enhancing the Benefits

image of Technological Change
‘We have stressed the great power and speed of technological change, especially that originating from the emerging technologies. The inevitability of technological change does not however mean that societies, and specifically governments, need to adopt a passive or deterministic attitude towards it. There are options in terms of the speed and direction of technological change; policy choices to be made; socially beneficial technologies which can be actively promoted; technologies with negative impacts which can be discouraged or adapted... Different societies will vary enormously in the technological capacity they can realise because of differences of size, income levels and stage of development; but even the smallest and poorest countries need some capacity to make choices and to adapt technology to local conditions.’ - From the Report.



‘Among policy makers in developing countries, emerging technologies are often regarded with apprehension. This is induced by a sense of impotence; also by a feeling that what is appropriate in richer countries may not be so in poor ones. These fears are understandable. But the Group’s Report gives abundant evidence that where technology is directed, and adapted, to meet the needs of low-income groups, it can be a powerful force for good, especially in agriculture and rural development, where in many forms it could be even directly employment-generating... Because of technology, human societies have it in their power to raise living standards worldwide and thus eradicate mass poverty and hunger.’ - From the Foreword by the Commonwealth Secretary-General.



This publication is comprised of two volumes.

English

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Renewable Energy Technologies

Energy derived from renewable sources such as wood, wind and water has assisted human activity and development for thousands of years. But following the invention of the steam engine and subsequently the internal combustion engine, fossil fuels (coal, petroleum and natural gas) have been increasingly used to meet the energy needs of the modern world. By 1980 they provided about three-quarters of the world's energy (commercial and non-commercial), with petroleum by far the most important of the three.

English

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