A new white paper by CCCL Visiting Fellow Stéphanie Chuffart examines how to improve technology transfer under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Response to climate change will critically depend on the cost, performance, and availability of technologies that can lower emissions and help us mitigate and adapt to climate change. Technological innovation can furthermore lower the cost of achieving environmental objectives. However, data from the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice illustrate that although issues of technology transfer have been central to the UNFCCC since the negotiation of the Convention, there is still an urgent need for effective environmental technology diffusion.

Building upon lessons learned from technology transfer activities under the Clean Development Mechanism and the Global Environment Facility, the white paper suggests three possible solutions for enhanced environmental technology diffusion within the UNFCCC regime. First, it advocates in favor of a simplification of the transfer scheme within the Convention’s bodies, in order to save resources and better allocate responsibilities. Second, it makes some recommendations with respect to technology transfer through the Green Climate Fund. Third, it suggests that the creation of an environmental patents pool would help to ensure access to key environmental technologies. In this respect, it concludes that in order to ensure the full participation of the private sector, right holders should be paid a fair royalty. Therefore, it recommends a model where rights would be bought out and then made available to Parties through a patent pool.

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