Palm oil industry in Tabasco, Mexico
A report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) indicated that challenges are observed in the case of the palm oil industry in the state of Tabasco, Mexico.
Weak regulations and public policies, the lack of competent suppliers and the absence of capacity building efforts to adapt imported technologies have not allowed the state to take advantage of the market opportunity derived from the valorization of the variety of biomass resources from harvest and agro-industrial residues available in the country.
In addition, the increase in production and the lack of adequate management of solid by-products generate an increasing impact on the environment, with residues abandoned on the ground or openly burned.
On the contrary, they could be transformed into energy within a proper management system, establishing a sustainable palm oil industry.
The 2023 edition of UNCTAD’s Technology and Innovation Report focuses specifically on what can be achieved through technological innovation, opening “green windows of opportunity”.
It is not implied that problems will be solved by technology alone, nor that new technology is necessarily beneficial, as what is beneficial to one group may be detrimental to others.
However, it does argue that innovation and advances in science and technology, guided by the Sustainable Development Goals, can be used to move the world onto more sustainable and equitable paths, particularly in energy generation and use.
For countries aspiring to catch up with those that are more technologically advanced, adopting a green approach requires more than mere imitation: it requires creative adaptation and innovation.
The pathways are likely to differ substantially from those adopted by advanced economies.
From the UNCTAD perspective, the starting point is to experiment with new ideas and technologies and adapt them to local circumstances, values and priorities.
To take advantage of these ideas, countries will need the right infrastructure in the form of public goods.
This will require direct government intervention, in the form of support for the establishment of new green sectors, for example, or the adoption of regulations on issues such as air or water pollution.
Green innovation is also influenced by global agreements and agendas, standards and mechanisms, especially those related to climate change, such as the Paris Agreement.