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The role of international business in clean technology transfer and development


  • Ans Kolk


While research has generated very useful insights, usually at the macro level, regarding the multifaceted nature of environmental innovation and regulation, the characteristics and drivers peculiar to international companies have remained underexposed in the policy-related literature on clean technology transfer and development. This article aims to help open the 'black box' of business, also as input for future policy making, by discussing aspects that influence corporate responses: sector-specific and company-specific peculiarities as well as those related to country contexts (both origin countries and host countries for companies). Most of the climate-related investments in 'developing' countries turn out to have been geared to a few emerging economies, generally involving established technologies with limited transfer, and a major role for developed-country utilities, particularly from Europe. Despite these limitations, there is a base with experience being built up, and a potential for extension to lesser-developed areas, but that requires market co-creation by joint business and governmental efforts. As viable business models are largely lacking, the article suggests three main modalities, ranging from fully commercial to primarily publicly funded, involving different types of actors and countries. Gearing policies more towards corporate realities and reaping the international momentum of sustainable energy might also further climate goals.

Suggested Citation

  • Ans Kolk, 2015. "The role of international business in clean technology transfer and development," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 170-176, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:tcpoxx:v:15:y:2015:i:1:p:170-176
    DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2013.772357

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Unruh, Gregory C., 2002. "Escaping carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 317-325, March.
    2. Dechezleprêtre, Antoine & Glachant, Matthieu & Ménière, Yann, 2008. "The Clean Development Mechanism and the international diffusion of technologies: An empirical study," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 1273-1283, April.
    3. Paul Lanoie & Jérémy Laurent‐Lucchetti & Nick Johnstone & Stefan Ambec, 2011. "Environmental Policy, Innovation and Performance: New Insights on the Porter Hypothesis," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 803-842, September.
    4. Kemp, René & Pontoglio, Serena, 2011. "The innovation effects of environmental policy instruments — A typical case of the blind men and the elephant?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 28-36.
    5. Dechezleprêtre, Antoine & Glachant, Matthieu & Ménière, Yann, 2009. "Technology transfer by CDM projects: A comparison of Brazil, China, India and Mexico," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 703-711, February.
    6. Ans Kolk & Jonatan Pinkse, 2008. "A perspective on multinational enterprises and climate change: Learning from “an inconvenient truth”?," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 39(8), pages 1359-1378, December.
    7. Ana Pueyo & María Mendiluce & María Sanchez Naranjo & Julio Lumbreras, 2012. "How to increase technology transfers to developing countries: a synthesis of the evidence," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 320-340, May.
    8. John H. Dunning & Sarianna M. Lundan, 2010. "The institutional origins of dynamic capabilities in multinational enterprises -super-†," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 1225-1246, August.
    9. Christos N. Pitelis & David J. Teece, 2010. "Cross-border market co-creation, dynamic capabilities and the entrepreneurial theory of the multinational enterprise," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 1247-1270, August.
    10. Kesidou, Effie & Demirel, Pelin, 2012. "On the drivers of eco-innovations: Empirical evidence from the UK," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 862-870.
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    Cited by:

    1. Engelken, Maximilian & Römer, Benedikt & Drescher, Marcus & Welpe, Isabell M. & Picot, Arnold, 2016. "Comparing drivers, barriers, and opportunities of business models for renewable energies: A review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 795-809.
    2. repec:pal:jintbs:v:50:y:2019:i:7:d:10.1057_s41267-019-00238-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:gam:jeners:v:11:y:2018:i:7:p:1656-:d:154440 is not listed on IDEAS

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