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From confrontation to cooperation: a developed country perspective on the role of developing countries’ contribution to technology development and transfer

This report argues that a successful mechanism for technology development and transfer requires contributions by developing countries (DCs) as well. Specifically, the paper discusses the role of DCs within a mechanism for development and transfer of climate friendly technologies, and makes suggestions for the design of such a mechanism.

The paper finds that technology developed and transferred to DCs at significant cost under a cooperative mechanism should actually be implemented by DCs. However, this may be difficult as implementation of a particular technology may conflict with domestic policy priorities.

The paper uses India as a case study and finds that India may play an important role considering its size, human capital basis and large markets for demonstration purposes. Thus it could contribute significantly to bridging the North-South divide in climate negotiations and hence turn confrontation into cooperation.

However, pooling the financial and human resources of Europe on the one hand and the human and market resources of India on the other hand, the paper asks the following question: how would one go about fostering the research, development and manufacture of one or two key low carbon technologies?

The paper identifies contributions of developing countries as follows:

  • sharing responsibility for research programmes with other countries
  • agreement on what is the limit of technology development and when external funding should stop
  • clean technologies should not be misused in DCs.

Additionally, concerning research centers, the paper presents these two recommendations:

  • think tanks and research centres should collaboratively continue to explore the design of mechanism for technology development and transfer
  • solar pv (Photovoltaics) and carbon capture and storage are two highly relevant case studies for technology development and transfer.