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Bridging the low-carbon technology gap? Assessing energy initiatives for the Global South

Authors
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Weko,  Silvia
IASS Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies Potsdam;

/persons/resource/1243

Goldthau,  Andreas
IASS Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies Potsdam;

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Citation

Weko, S., Goldthau, A. (2022): Bridging the low-carbon technology gap? Assessing energy initiatives for the Global South. - Energy policy, 169, 113192.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113192


Cite as: https://publications.iass-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_6002374
Abstract
Many developing countries have made their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) conditional on receiving climate finance, technology transfer, and capacity-building support. Due to a lack of engagement from the private sector, countries from the ‘Global South’ face continued challenges in accessing low-carbon finance and technology. Technology transfer initiatives, including public-private partnerships or intellectual property rights (IPR) sharing platforms, have been suggested to bridge this ‘low-carbon technology gap’ and promote the technology transfer needed for energy systems transformation. This paper assesses whether such initiatives address the technology gap, as well as other imperatives such as climate justice or carbon lock-in prevention. The paper finds that many low-carbon technology transfer initiatives focus on transferring multiple kinds of technologies to countries that are facing electricity access and governance challenges. Yet these initiatives do not all address the key capacity-building components of knowledge transfer, and countries with poor intellectual property rights (IPR) protections have fewer initiatives on average. Initiatives are also observed less frequently in climate-vulnerable countries. To meet the Paris climate goals, there is an urgent need for the international community to address the low-carbon technology gap by mainstreaming technology transfer into trade and finance.