Meaningful Technology Transfer for Climate Disruption

Meaningful Technology Transfer for Climate Disruption / David M. Driesen and David Popp, Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 64, No. 1, Fall/Winter 2010, pp. 1-15.

http://jia.sipa.columbia.edu/in-the-journal/195

Any serious effort to address global climate disruption will require effective technology transfer. Developing countries with growing emissions must somehow make emission reductions without curtailing the economic development needed to alleviate poverty. This must be done in order to permit global abatement on the scale required to avoid dangerous climate disruption. Given the limited financial and technical capabilities of developing countries, this task seems impossible without technology transfer. As policymakers continue to embrace and enhance technology transfer options, it is critical to understand the relationship between technology transfer and policy development in order to formulate more effective policies. Whether through market mechanisms, such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), or direct aid programs, such as the Green Climate Fund, we argue that technology transfer programs must support the elaboration of policies in developing countries by addressing three key issues: additionality, appropriate scale and the promotion of knowledge spillovers. We use these three principles to provide a framework for assessing the potential of both the CDM and direct financial aid to foster meaningful technology transfer, which we define as technology transfer that not only lowers the overall short-run costs of carbon reductions, but also enhances the capacity of these countries to
address climate change more thoroughly in the future. (Journal of International Affairs are © The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York)


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