The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law series
Edited by Paul Martin, Li Zhiping, Qin Tianbao, Anel Du Plessis, Yves Le Bouthillier and Angela Williams
Chapter 13: Climate Change: Legal Impediments to Technology Transfer
Zhou Chen 13.1 INTRODUCTION Global warming is an unequivocal threat to humankind happening at a more rapid pace than many expected.1 To a large extent, the state of the climate today is a result of technology choices we made yesterday; similarly, the situation of climate in the 21st century will be largely determined by the technology we choose now. This technological change is particularly important over the longterm time scales that are characteristic of climate change.2 The rapid and widespread transfer of the relevant technologies, namely those technologies used to mitigate and adapt to climate change, encompasses an inclusive set of processes in which climate-related equipment, knowledge and experience pass through several basic stages (from supply and interim path to demand among different stakeholders).3 In addition to the operation of the technology market in the country-based context, there is also a broader performance conducted at the international level. As a positive measure of addressing global climate change, technology transfer has both economic and environmental benefits. It is expected, for example, to improve efficiency in energy use, introduce less carbon-intensive sources of energy, develop renewable energy sources and further achieve a transition to a low-carbon economy.4 From the legal perspective of global environmental responsibilities, the transfer of technology has been acknowledged to be a fresh avenue for international cooperation in relation to the ‘common concerns of humankind’,5 especially where cooperation between developed countries and developing countries is concerned. Indeed, collective cooperation on climate control and technological improvements benefits all...
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