Methodological and Technological Issues in Technology Transfer

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4.10 Equity Considerations

Any international regime that aims to address international problems will tend to influence the distribution of costs and benefits associated with the management of the regime, both internationally and nationally. To the extent that the transfer of technology is seen as an important operational tool for addressing the global climate change problem, it will also have a serious impact on distribution issues. The technology transfer issue is born out of the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities of countries. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) stated in Article 4.5 that the developed country Parties "shall 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". However, the international equity aspect of climate change impacts and adaptation have received relatively little attention so far (Metz, 1999). So there is even less material to draw on to review the 'national' equity aspects of technology transfer. But it is evident that the execution of the international responsibility of developed country parties will have differential impacts in recipient countries. Within the domestic contexts of countries, there are also vast differences in emission and development levels between different groups of people. Technology transfer within countries is likely to affect some groups positively at the cost of other groups so clear distribution issues will become evident. If they are ignored there could be negative consequences on achieving technology transfer (see Box 4.8).

Box 4.8 Development Conflicts: For a New Agenda (Reddy, 1998)

Environment-development conflicts can be minimised if not avoided. What is required is the implementation of a new agenda based on: a quantitative statement of what the project intends to achieve; a comprehensive listing of all the options (including megaproject and/ or mixes of smaller options) for achieving the objective; rigorous comparative real-costing of options, inclusive of externalities; determination of least-cost mixes; clear description of benefits according to region, location, income-group and gender; environmental impact assessment; universally accessible information and transparency; and democratic participation and decision-making along with the necessary institutional changes."

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