Research Handbooks in Intellectual Property series
Edited by Joshua D. Sarnoff
Chapter 10: Technology transfer for climate change and developing country viewpoints on historical responsibility and common but differentiated responsibilities
The transfer of technology from developed to developing countries (as well as between developed countries) is a key pillar of the international framework for addressing global climate change. Addressing climate change requires a step change, a radical shift in economy-wide investment, production and consumption patterns. The development and diffusion of technologies is a fundamental and necessary element to ensuring that standards of living are maintained and poverty continues to be reduced as global warming is mitigated and weather impacts are minimized. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol were built on a fundamental political bargain directly involving technology transfer. Industrialized countries would take the first steps to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. They would move toward low-carbon or carbon-free economies, while transferring technology to enable developing countries to make progress on carbon efficiency. Thus, carbon leakage – the shifting of polluting carbon-inefficient industries from industrialized to developing countries – would be avoided. In addition, developed countries would provide financial and technical assistance to developing countries to build capacities to adapt to the negative impacts of climate change. Developed countries would demonstrate to developing countries the techniques and policies necessary to achieve GHG emissions reductions while maintaining economic growth. This demonstration and assistance would ensure that developing countries were in a position to reduce their emissions.
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