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Innovation and Technology Transfer

Framework for a Global Climate Deal

Faster and broader innovation and diffusion of new technologies will be required on a global scale to deal with the consequences of climate change, and achieve low carbon and climate resilient development.

In 2008, E3G and Chatham House published a joint report which proposed an “institutional framework” on how best to achieve this.

Intended as a briefing informing negotiations ahead of the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009, it signalled critical features which were needed in the agreement. For example, with public energy research and development spending having fallen in the last 25 years, the authors suggest that funding into low carbon technology should be increased to $15-$20 billion per year for the next 10-15 years.

Other conclusions included:

  • Developed countries need to shift their national strategic innovation priorities if international cooperation is to be effective;
  • Developing countries require support to build effective innovation systems not just narrow technology transfer;
  • Delivering innovation faster and to scale requires the creation of strong new markets for innovative low carbon products and a diversity of cooperation initiatives;
  • A failure to constructively tackle intellectual property rights and competitiveness issues will limit the pace of innovation and diffusion, and potentially poison the international climate negotiations.

Findings from Innovation and Technology Transfer later informed “Technology for a Low Carbon Future”, a report written by E3G’s Shane Tomlinson for the Office of Tony Blair, funded by The Climate Group. A further related study commissioned by the Nordic Council assessed technology proposals under the UNFCCC. This was written by E3G alongside ECN.