A Post-2012 Technology and Finance

Presented by the Energy
Research Center
of the Netherlands, ICTSD
and University of

This event discussed technology transfer issues under the UNFCCC within the
context of the relevant international intellectual property and trade-related
agreements. It also drew lessons learned from technology transfer negotiations
in other development-related areas, such as health, which may serve to enhance
the technology and finance framework of the Convention.

Andrew Higham, Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN), noted that both
private and public finance is crucial to shifting investments toward
low-emission technologies and identifying major gaps in financing for the
following measures: research and development in developing countries;
demonstration stage technologies; early deployment support; and energy
efficiency in buildings and the agriculture, transport and forest sectors.

David Ockwell, University
of Sussex
, explained the
different political motivations of developed and developing countries to become
parties to the UNFCCC, which are respectively the desire to find solutions to
environmental problems and to access new technologies for economic growth and
poverty alleviation. He argued that sustained or improved competitive advantage
is always an issue in technology transfer negotiations; therefore, the
interests of national firms and industries are key considerations.

Frederick Abbott, University
of Florida
, described
lessons learned on technology transfer from the global intellectual property
rights (IPRs) and health negotiations. He noted that: economic and political
power always matters; stakeholder involvement is essential; propaganda plays a
key role; forum shifting can undermine gains; and technology transfer requires
concrete commitments. He stressed that "soft" commitments made by
governments to transfer privately owned technology are meaningless.

Heleen de Coninck, ECN, noted that an enhanced technology framework under the
UNFCCC must be included in the climate regime and be demand-driven and
self-reinforcing, reward success, and provide flexibility.

Shane Tomlinson, E3G, questioned whether existing institutions provide the best
way to scale up the diffusion of low-carbon technologies. Pedro Roffe,
International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, argued that there
is no harm in a political declaration reaffirming the flexibilities of the
Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS),
which are weakened by the obligations that are contained in bilateral trade and
investment agreements. Bert Metz, European Climate Foundation, emphasized the
challenges inherent in developing meaningful policy recommendations for
decision makers without an understanding of how technology is transferred on
the ground.

Participants discussed the need for a political declaration on access to
climate-friendly technologies similar to the Doha Declaration on Public Health,
and the extent to which market incentives, such as patents, are likely to work
in regions that lack market demand.