On 3 December 2015, the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainable Studies (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 covered considerations for future directions post-COP21.
The event opened with Dr. Christopher Doll (UNU-IAS), who introduced UNU-IAS and provided 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 multilateral technology cooperation with a focus on its technology roadmap studies, noting that 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: the L2 Tech (leading and low-carbon technology) initiative and Joint Crediting Mechanism. He noted that, in general, support for energy efficiency measures was not well captured in the UNFCCC processes, such as in the 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 Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action. His presentation focused on how to build an enabling environment that supports technology transfer.
The presentations were followed by a discussion session. 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 existing potential technologies. She cautioned that, at some point, technology transfer goes from collaboration to competition, and emphasised the importance of the UNFCCC recognizing this point in their negotiations.
The presentations and the discussions provided several key messages for considering low-carbon technology transfer: