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Transfer of low-carbon technology under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: the case of the Global Environment Facility and its market transformation approach in India

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posted on 2023-06-07, 15:47 authored by Rüdiger H Haum
The transfer of low-carbon technology to developing countries is one of the key means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries and therefore a key aspect of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This thesis aims to contribute to the understanding of international low-carbon technology transfer and how it might do justice to the interest of developed and developing countries. The empirical example is the technology transfer approach and its implementation by the Global Environmental Facility, which acts as the financial mechanism of the UNFCCC. My theoretical framework includes two sets of theories. The first includes theories of international technology transfer. This set explains how international technology transfer may lead to economic benefits on the side of the technology recipient. This theory, however, does not explain how international technology transfer will lead to significant environmental benefits. I therefore included a second set of theories in my theoretical framework. Theories of diffusion of environmental technologies explain how technology might achieve environmental benefits such as the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries. A case study was chosen as method. In order to do justice to the research question, the empirical enquiry takes place on three interconnected levels. On the first level, the positions of developed and developing countries on the subject of technology transfer under UNFCCC were established. These serve as additional yardsticks for the discussion of the GEF approach and its outcomes. On the second level, the technology transfer approach of the GEF and the relationship to GEF and UNFCCC on the subject on technology transfer was established. On the third level, the GEF project Photovoltaic Market Transformation Initiative (PVMTI) in India, which follows the GEF approach to technology transfer, was investigated. The thesis concludes, in relation to the research question, that the current GEF approach to technology transfer is unlikely to achieve the goals of both developed and developing countries. It is able to achieve the goals of developed countries as it tends to prioritise the environmental goals through selected demand side measures that are effective in achieving emission reductions. It is less effective in achieving development goals as international technology transfer is left to the private actor.


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