Strategy for promoting low-carbon technology transfer to developing countries: The case of CCS

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is the critical enabling technology that would reduce CO2 emissions significantly while also allowing fossil fuels to meet the world’s pressing energy needs. The International Energy Agency analysis shows that although the developed world must lead the CCS effort in the next decade, there is an urgent need to spread CCS to the developing world. Given technologies for reducing GHG emissions originate mainly in developed countries, technology transfer, as an important feature emphasized by both the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol, therefore has a key role to play in bridging a gap between developed and developing countries. The main objective of this paper is to explore potential policies and schemes promoting the transfer of CCS technologies to developing countries. First, it reviews the global CCS status, analyzes the significant gap of CCS in developed and developing countries, and investigates stakeholder perceptions of diffusing CCS to China, which is a major developing country and a significant potential candidate for large-scale CCS deployment; then the authors make an attempt to understand technology transfer including its benefits, barriers, and definition. The UNFCCC explicitly commits the developed (Annex I) countries to provide financial and technical support to developing countries under favorable terms. The authors argue that the ultimate goal of technology transfer should not only be limited to apply CCS in developing countries, but also to enhance their endogenous capabilities, which will enable future innovation and ensure long-term adoption of low-carbon technologies. As a result, the authors propose a four-pronged approach to the transfer of CCS technologies, which involves physical transfer of explicit technologies, a financial mechanism, endogenous capacity building, and a monitoring mechanism. Concrete enhanced actions to promote CCS technology transfer are also proposed. The four-pronged approach and related enhanced actions proposed in this paper are also applicable to other low-carbon technology transfer. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.