Climate tech transfer policy moves ahead


Source: SciDev.Net

Environment ministers and officials have worked out a framework to facilitate technology transfer related to climate change activities, which they will present at the international climate change meeting in Cancun, Mexico, in December.

But they say that the contentious issue of intellectual property rights remains unresolved.

At a two-day meeting that concluded in Delhi today, representatives from 35 countries agreed on the three critical elements of technology transfer: its structure and governance, priority activities, and financing.

Details of these elements were presented at a press briefing today (10 October) by Sha Zukang, UN under secretary-general for economic and social affairs, Mexico's environment minister, Juan Elvira Quesada, and India's environment minister, Jairam Ramesh.

They said that, at the Cancun meeting, they expect major progress on mitigation, adaptation, financing, technology transfer mechanism, and the release of the US$30 billion fund for 2010–2012 that was pledged by developed countries at the climate change meeting in Copenhagen in December 2009.

The Copenhagen meeting was widely perceived as a failure for not delivering a highly anticipated climate change agreement that would succeed the Kyoto Protocol that expires in 2012.

'Whatever we do [at Cancun], it will be better than Copenhangen,' said Zukang. The framework for technology transfer is an area in which countries expect concrete progress in Cancun, he added.

The Delhi meeting agreed that the proposed framework would consist of an executive committee on technology that would have an advisory role at Cancun, and climate technology centres and networks that would serve as the framework's operational arm.

The meeting suggested that these centres should focus on strengthening national capacities, help countries identify their technology needs and priorities, and facilitate innovation.

Ramesh told SciDev.Net that intellectual property rights (IPR) issues have emerged as a major sticking point in transfer of mitigation technologies, but have proved easier to deal with in the case of adaptation technologies.

Despite these issues, the meeting agreed to push forward with the framework and consider technologies already available in the public domain, while continuing discussions on IPR.

Of the US$30 billion pledged by developed countries for the fast-start fund, US$7 billion has been released so far in 2010, Ramesh said. Of this, US$4 billion is for forestry schemes but it is unclear how much of the US$7 billion is new funding additional to the general foreign aid already pledged by developed countries.

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