Methodological and Technological Issues in Technology Transfer

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1. Background

Article 4.5 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) states that developed country Parties and other developed Parties included in Annex II to take "all practicable steps to promote, facilitate and finance, as appropriate, the transfer of, or access to, environmentally sound technologies and know-how to other Parties, particularly developing country Parties", and to "support the development and `enhancement of endogenous capacities and technologies of developing country Parties", and calls on other Parties and organisations to assist in facilitating the transfer of such technologies.

The Subsidiary Body for Scientific Technological Advice (SBSTA) identified at its first session a list of areas in which it could draw upon the assistance of the IPCC. "Development and assessment of methodological and technological aspects of transfer of technology" was included in this list as an important element of the Third Assessment Report and an issue that may be appropriate for an interim or special report.

This Special Report was prepared in response to this request. It addresses the "technology transfer" problem in the context of all relevant UNFCCC provisions, including decisions of the Conference of Parties (CoP), and Chapter 34 in Agenda 21. It attempts to respond to recent developments in the UNFCCC debate on technology transfer, by providing available scientific and technical information to enable Parties to address issues and questions identified in Decision 4/CP.4 adopted by COP-4 (see Box TS 1). The focus of the Report is on the technology transfer process rather than on the assessment of technologies, which have been addressed in earlier IPCC Technical Papers and Reports.

Box TS.1 Questions included in Annex to Decision 4/CP.4 of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC that are to be considered in the consultative process set up by this decision.
  1. How should Parties promote the removal of barriers to technology transfer? Which barriers are a priority and what practical steps should be taken?
  2. How should Annex II Parties promote the transfer of publicly owned technologies?
  3. What additional bilateral and multilateral efforts to promote technology co-operation to facilitate technology transfer should be initiated? What should be the priority?
  4. Are existing multilateral mechanisms sufficient? Are new mechanisms needed for technology transfer? If so, what are appropriate mechanisms for the transfer of technologies among Parties in pursuance of article 4.5 of the Convention?
  5. What should be the objective of collaboration with relevant multilateral institutions to promote technology transfer and what practical steps should be taken?
  6. What additional guidance should be given to the financial mechanism?
  7. What sort of information is needed and how can this best be done?
  8. How could access to emerging technologies be facilitated?
  9. What role is the private sector playing in technology transfer? What additional role can the private sector play? What barriers prevent their greater participation?
  10. What technical advice on technology transfer is needed?
  11. What areas should be the focus of capacity building and how should it be undertaken, e.g. what kind of activities, programmes and institutional arrangements?
  12. How, to whom and in what format should developing country Parties make their requests for assistance to assess required technologies?
  13. What technical, legal and economic information is needed? What practical steps should be taken to promote and enhance access to such information by national and regional centres?
  14. What type of process is needed to develop a consensus on practical next steps to improve existing technology centres and networks in order to accelerate the diffusion of clean technologies in non-Annex I Party markets. What type of arrangement is needed to monitor progress?
  15. What measures, programmes and activities can best help to create an appropriate enabling environment for private sector investment?
  16. How should the Convention oversee the exchange of information among Parties and other interested organisations or innovative technology co-operation approaches, and the assessment and synthesis of such information?
  17. How should information be compiled and synthesised on innovative technology co-operation approaches? When should recommendations on such approaches be forwarded to the Conference of Parties?
  18. How and when should information on projects and programmes of technology co-operation which Parties believe can serve as models for improving the diffusion and implementation of clean technologies internationally under the Convention be provided to the secretariat?
  19. Can specific technology transfer goals be set?
  20. Can we develop indicators and accounting systems to track progress on technology transfer?
  21. Are particular institutional arrangements needed to monitor progress?

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