Methodological and Technological Issues in Technology Transfer

Other reports in this collection

3.4.2 Technology Transfer in the Kyoto Protocol and Buenos Aires Decisions

The wording on technology transfer in the Kyoto Protocol, compared to the UNFCCC, does lay greater emphasis upon the role of private investment and of actions by and in the developing countries themselves. The opening sentence in Article 10(c) of the Kyoto Protocol states that Parties should "Cooperate in .." contrasts with the Convention's onus upon developed country Parties only to "take all practicable steps". It also expands on similar language in the Convention by adding the general catch-all on "practices and processes pertinent to climate change". Perhaps most significantly, it formally recognises the role of the private sector and the need for an "enabling environment." All this reflects a significant evolution of thinking, but is very limited in terms of specific commitments (see Box 3.5).

Box 3.5: Kyoto Protocol - key provisions relating to technology transfer and review of implementation
Article 8.3: Review process shall provide a thorough and comprehensive technical assessment of all aspects of the implementation by Parties of the Protocol. The expert review teams shall prepare a report [to the COP/MOP] assessing the implementation of the commitments of the Party and identifying any potential problems in, or factors influencing, the fulfillment of commitments. Such reports to be circulated to all Parties... ...secretariat shall list those questions of implementation indicated in such reports for further consideration by [COP/MOP].
Article 8.5: [COP/MOP] shall, with assistance of SBI and, as appropriate, the SBSTA, consider:
a) information reported under Art 7 and reports of the expert reviews thereon conducted under this Article; and
b) those questions of implementation listed by the secretariat[...] as well as any questions raised by Parties.

Article 8.6: Pursuant to its consideration of the information referred to in paragraph 5 above, [COP/MOP] shall take decisions on any matter required for the implementation of the Protocol.
Article 10.c (All Parties, taking into account their common but differentiated responsibilities..., shall): Cooperate in the promotion of effective modalities for the development, application and diffusion of, and take all practicable steps to promote, facilitate and finance, as appropriate, the transfer of, or access to, environmentally sound technologies, know-how, practices and processes pertinent to climate change, in particular to developing countries, including the formulation of policies and programmes for the effective transfer of environmentally sound technologies that are publicly owned or in the public domain and the creation of an enabling environment for the private sector, to promote and enhance access to, and transfer of, environmentally sound technologies;

In some ways, concerning technology transfer itself, the CoP4 follow-up in Buenos Aires was perhaps more significant than the Protocol itself. There was a much more focussed agreement that addressed the roles of all Parties. It called for Annex II Parties (largely OECD countries) to provide lists of environmentally sound technologies that were publicly owned, and for developing countries to submit prioritised technology needs, especially related to key technologies for addressing climate change. All Parties were urged to create an enabling environment to stimulate private sector investment, and to identify projects and programmes on cooperative approaches to technology transfer. Most importantly, the agreement called for a consultative process to be established to consider a list of 19 specific issues and associated questions, set out in an Annex (referred to in Chapter 1). One interpretation is that the Kyoto and subsequent Buenos Aires agreements on technology transfer 'embodied a considerable change of attitude in which the previous impasse has eased in favour of an approach which recognises that there are real problems that require real creative solutions to achieve global dissemination of environmentally sustainable technologies' (Grubb et al., 1999).

Other reports in this collection

IPCC Homepage