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International Energy Technology Transfers for Climate Change Mitigation - What, who, how, why, when, where, how much … and the Implications for International Institutional Architecture


  • Thomas L. Brewer


The goal of the paper is to expand and refine the international technology transfer negotiating and analytic agendas and to reframe the issues. The paper presents concepts, indicators, illustrations and data that identify and measure international transfers of energy technologies that can be used to mitigate climate change. Among the questions on that agenda are how much technology transfer there has been to date, and how much will be needed in the future, especially to assist non-Annex I developing countries in their efforts to mitigate climate change. Before the how much questions can be answered, however, there are several prior questions, and hence the many other elements of the subtitle of the paper: what, who, how, why, when, where. These aspects of international technology transfer vary significantly among three existing institutional settings and among the associated analytic paradigms: North-South Official Development Assistance, Global Private International Investment and Trade, and International Public-Private Cooperation Agreements. The principal sections of the paper focus on features of international technology transfers in these institutional settings and on illustrations drawn from the biodiesel industry, especially the use of jatropha tree as the source of the feedstock. The conclusions are summarized as follows: (i) Technologies include intangible know-how and services, as well as tangible goods in the form of production process equipment and finished products. (ii) International transfers of some types of technology are much easier to measure than others. (iii) International technology transfers are highly industry-specific. (iv) Even for individual industries, it is necessary to use multiple indicators of technology transfers. (v) Patterns in the types of technology and methods of transfer vary across the three institutional settings examined in the paper. (vi) All three of the institutional arrangements are probably under-performing and inadequa

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas L. Brewer, 2008. "International Energy Technology Transfers for Climate Change Mitigation - What, who, how, why, when, where, how much … and the Implications for International Institutional Architecture," CESifo Working Paper Series 2408, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2408

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Christoph Böhringer & Ger Klaassen & Ulf Moslener, 2007. "Technology transfer and investment risk in international emissions trading," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(6), pages 467-469, November.
    2. Thomas L. Brewer, 2004. "The WTO and the Kyoto Protocol: interaction issues," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 3-12, March.
    3. Thomas L. Brewer, 2008. "Climate change technology transfer: a new paradigm and policy agenda," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(5), pages 516-526, September.
    4. Rugman, Alan M. & Brewer, Thomas L. (ed.), 2001. "The Oxford Handbook of International Business," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199241828.
    5. Heleen De Coninck & Frauke Haake & Nico Van Der Linden, 2007. "Technology transfer in the Clean Development Mechanism," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(5), pages 444-456, September.
    6. Brewer, Thomas L. & Young, Stephen, 2000. "The Multilateral Investment System and Multinational Enterprises," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199241101.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pauline Lacour & Catherine Figuière, 2011. "Environmentally friendly technologies transfers through trade flows from Japan to China - An approach by bilateral trade in environmental goods," Post-Print halshs-00628832, HAL.
    2. Thomas L. Brewer, 2010. "Trade Policies and Climate Change Policies: A Rapidly Expanding Joint Agenda," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(6), pages 799-809, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F59 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - Other


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