188.8.131.52 Foreign or international policies
Industrial RDD&D programmes assume that technologies are easily adapted across regions with little innovation. This is not always the case. While many industrial facilities in developing nations are new and include the latest technology, as in industrialized countries, many older, inefficient facilities remain. The problem is exacerbated by the presence of large numbers of small-scale, much less energy-efficient plants in some developing nations; for example the iron and steel, cement and pulp and paper industries in China, and in the iron and steel industry in India (IEA, 2006a). This creates a huge demand for technology transfer to developing countries to achieve energy efficiency and emissions reductions.
Internationally, there are a growing number of bilateral technology RDD&D programmes to address the slow and potentially sporadic diffusion of technology across borders. A December, 2004 US Department of State Fact Sheet lists 20 bilateral agreements with both developed and developing nations (US Dept. of State, 2004), many of which include RDD&D.
Multilaterally, the UNFCCC has resulted in the creation of two technology diffusion efforts, the Climate Technology Initiative (CTI) and the UNFCCC Secretariat’s TT:CLEAR technology transfer database. CTI was established in 1995 by 23 IEA/OECD member countries and the European Commission, and as of 2003 has been recognized as an IEA Implementing Agreement. Its focus is the identification of climate technology needs in developing countries and countries with economies-in-transition, and filling those needs with training, information dissemination and other support activities (CTI, 2005). TT:CLEAR is a more passive technology diffusion mechanism that depends on users accessing the database and finding the information they need (UNFCCC, 2004). Additionally, in 2001, the UNFCCC established an Expert Group on Technology Transfer (EGTT) (UNFCCC, 2001). EGTT has promoted a number of activities including workshops on enabling environments and innovative financing for technology transfer. Ultimately, the Kyoto Protocol’s CDM and JI should act as powerful tools for the diffusion of GHG mitigation technology.
IEA implementing agreements, for example the Industrial Energy Related Technology and Systems Agreement (IEA-IETS, n.d.), also provide a multilateral basis for technology transfer. While still in the planning stage, it is hoped that the newly established Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate will play a key role in technology transfer to China, India and Korea (APP, n.d.)