On 3 December 2015, UNU-IAS organized a side event on Building International Cooperation for Low-Carbon Technology Transfer in Paris during the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21). The event showcased various activities regarding cooperation on low-carbon technology transfer, particularly in France, Germany, Japan and the UK, and provided considerations for future directions post-COP21.
The event opened with Dr. Christopher Doll (UNU-IAS) introducing UNU-IAS and providing an overview of the Low Carbon Technology Transfer project, outlining some of the current thinking in this area before introducing the participants.
Dr. Takashi Hattori (International Energy Agency) provided an overview of the IEA’s activities in multi-lateral technology cooperation with a focus on its technology roadmap studies, noting how the agency will focus on regional developments for certain technologies in the future. He also advocated greater R&D spending and greater cooperation with the private sector.
Dr. Kotaro Kawamata (Embassy of Japan in Germany) followed with a presentation outlining two major initiatives of the Japanese government in the area of technology transfer, namely the L2 tech (leading and low-carbon technology) initiative and JCM (joint crediting mechanism). He noted that, in general, support for energy efficiency measures were not well captured in the UNFCCC processes, such as in the CDM (clean development mechanism).
The final presentation by Mr. Markus Hagemann (New Climate Institute) detailed work carried out by the New Climate Institute regarding financial mechanisms that were evaluated in the case of a Peruvian biomass NAMA (Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action). His presentation focused on how to build an enabling environment that supports technology transfer, showing that different combinations of financing can make projects substantially more attractive.
The presentations were followed by a discussion session in which discussant Dr. Heleen C. de Coninck (Radboud University Nijmegen) highlighted the role of in-country capabilities and the need to let innovations take place locally, while also noting the existence of knowledge gaps in all existing potential technologies. She also cautioned that at some point, technology transfer goes from collaboration to competition, and emphasized the importance of the UNFCCC to recognize this point in their negotiations.
The presentations and the discussions provided the below key messages in considering low-carbon technology transfer: