GEG WP 2009/53 Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change - Why Financing for Technology Transfer Matters

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With the countdown to the crucial climate change summit in Copenhagen now well underway, prospects for a breakthrough appear limited. Behind the increasingly intensive negotiating activity, familiar divisions continue to hamper progress. The deadlock between developed countries and the major developing countries over the timing, pace and distribution of commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions has emerged as a potential deal-breaker in Copenhagen. Failure to resolve the deadlock will have grave consequences, calling into question prospects for avoiding dangerous climate change.

This paper argues that technology transfer holds the key to a substantive agreement in Copenhagen. It sets out the case for the creation of a Low Carbon Technology and Finance Facility (LCTFF) to mobilise around $50bn annually by 2020 in public finance, with additional amounts leveraged through private investment. The facility would cover the incremental costs of financing national mitigation efforts in developing countries, enabling them to achieve carbon stabilisation targets without compromising national poverty reduction efforts. Mechanisms would include concessional finance, interest rate subsidies and risk guarantees.


Author Bios

Arunabha Ghosh is CEO of the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), an independent, policy research institution in India with a mandate to address pressing global challenges through an integrated approach. With experience in more than thirty countries, Arunabha’s work intersects international relations, global governance and human development, including climate, energy, water, trade and conflict. He advises governments, industry and civil society around the world on energy and resources security; renewable energy policy; water governance and institutions; climate governance (financing, R&D, geoengineering); energy-trade-climate linkages; and international regime design.
Kevin Watkins joined ODI as Executive Director in June 2013. He is a former nonresident senior fellow with the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution, and was previously director and lead author of UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report. His research focuses on education, globalization and human development.