Technology Transfer to China to Address Climate Change Mitigation Page: 2
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Currently, countries are engaged in negotiating post-2012 international climate agreements. Although
technology transfer is considered one of the major pillars of future agreements, its negotiations frequently
stall, as developed and developing countries tend to be in conflict, especially over treatment of intellectual
property rights (IPRs) and the role of public funding. Developed countries typically argue that technology
transfer occurs commercially and the role of national governments is to create business and regulatory
environments that enable commercial activities. For them, IPR protection is the core of enabling
environments for technology transfer. On the other hand, developing countries emphasize the role of
public assistance by developed countries. Even if they agree on the critical and central role of the private
sector, they continually request large-scale public funding from developed countries. In addition, they
believe that protection of IPRs makes technologies less accessible and affordable and request special
treatments such as compulsory licensing. Although much time already has been spent on the negotiations,
discussion there still tends to be conceptual and abstract without talking about concrete examples and
This paper therefore aims to provide knowledge based on the reality of technology transfer by analyzing
seven cases and then deriving dynamics of technology transfer from them. The cases are located in China,
as this is one of the world's largest emitting countries, with massive potential for emissions reduction.
Furthermore, China is frequently regarded as representative of developing countries. In the following
discussion, Section 2 briefly reviews existing literature on technology transfer and summarizes major issues
on technology transfer in post-2012 climate agreements; Section 3 offers a framework for the case studies;
Section 4 provides overviews of the seven cases; and Section 5 examines the factors affecting technology
transfer. Built on the analyses of the case studies in the previous sections, Section 6 looks at policy
implications and how to engage China into post-2012 international climate agreements through technology
2. Literature Review
The aim of this section is to identify historical roots of divergence in views on technology transfer between
developed and developing countries and points of discussion at negotiations by reviewing the relevant
2.1 DEFINITIONS OF TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER
Before exploring the literature, technology transfer should be defined. The term may generally encompass
all the activities related to flows of technical knowledge, experience, and equipment (IPCC 2000). For the
purpose of analysis of climate policy, this paper defines technology transfer in two simple ways: (a) all the
flows that end up in deployment and diffusion of mitigation technologies, and (b) all the flows that lead to
local production of mitigation technologies in developing countries. Figure 1 schematizes the technology
development process in both developed and developing countries. Technological knowledge, experience,
According to UNFCCC (2009), a technology at the deployment stage is "well understood and is available for selected commercial applications but is more
costly than the established technology," and a technology at the stage of diffusion is "competitive with the established technology."
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Takahiro Ueno. Technology Transfer to China to Address Climate Change Mitigation, text, August 2009; (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501474/m1/4/: accessed April 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .