Technology and Technology Transfer

Element Description: The innovation of creating technologies that is more beneficial to the environment and having the ability to transport and use this technology across the world.
Stakeholders: Businesses that create and produce the technology, and citizens who would use the technology.
Issues: Technology is not currently the best yet and sharing is not as easy as it seems.

Ethanol is far from a cure-all for the nation's energy problems. It's not as environmentally friendly as some supporters claim and would supply only 12% of U.S. motoring fuel — even if every acre of corn were used. Compared with gasoline, it produces 12% less "greenhouse" gasses linked to global warming, according to the study. But the researchers also said it has environmental drawbacks, including "markedly greater" releases of nitrogen, phosphorous and pesticides into waterways as runoff from cornfields. Ethanol, especially at higher concentrations in gasoline, also produce more smog-causing pollutants than gasoline per unit of energy burned, the researchers said.
Minnesota Ecologist Clarence Lehman said “With known technology today there are 15 things any 7 of which if we do them now in a sustained effort for 50 years will hold carbon constant in the atmosphere. That buys 50 years." Until then, he says, we can apply what we already know - energy conserving technology for buildings, more fuel efficient vehicles, alternative energy including clean coal and, yes, nuclear power - used on a vast scale to stop the projected doubling of carbon dioxide emissions.
Technology Transfer
UNFCCC Convention definition of technology transfer is the act of sharing “know-how, experience and equipment for mitigation and adapting to climate change.”
According to the Pew Center “While the Global Environment Facility (GEF) estimates that over $1 billion was spent in climate change-related projects in over 120 countries in the 1990s, it is generally agreed that technology has not been deployed to developing economies as rapidly as needed.
Problems with transferring technology comes from the problems of Intellectual Property Rights. Technology development and transfer has been identified as a key element in the Bali Action Plan. In the negotiations on a global climate treaty the developing nations have put forth ideas and plans to ensure that intellectual property rights (IPRs) do not become a barrier to transfer of climate friendly technology. Patent statistics shows the dominance of developed countries in specific technologies. The analysis on specific technologies indicates that IPRs is an important issue in development and transfer of technology and it is a barrier. Data indicates that although developing countries have made some progress, the dominance of developed countries in terms of patents, royalty and licensing income and expenditure on Research and Development remains as before. The historical experience is that stronger IPRs do not always result in more technology transfer and technology absorption. Hence the argument that developing countries should provide stronger protection of IPRs to encourage technology transfer has to be challenged. The technology transfer under UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol has been minimal and insufficient to meet the needs of developing countries.