Technology transfer

The Addis Agenda commits to a range of actions with the aim to directly and indirectly foster the development, dissemination and diffusion of technologies to promote sustainable development.

The Addis Agenda specifically:

  • Commits to transfer marine technology in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity
  • Encourages the development, dissemination and diffusion as well as transfer of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed

Update from the 2019 Financing for Sustainable Development Report

Technology transfer has been a key element of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) was developed as the central instrument for transferring green technologies from developed to developing countries. It was promoted in 1997 at the third UNFCCC conference and was significant from a technology-transfer perspective as it involved allowing developed countries to count emissions reduction from CDM investments in developing countries towards meeting their legally binding obligations. Reductions would count only for projects that would not be commercially viable under normal circumstances. The assumption was that CDM projects would bring with them new technologies or innovative applications and the accompanying know-how.

Estimates suggest that only one-tenth to one-third of the CDM projects have enabled technology transfer. South-South transfers represented only 10 per cent of the total. High-tech and energy projects, such as wind turbines or solar panels, generated more transfers, while traditional sectors such as agriculture or construction materials created less. Some of the factors that could affect the extent of technology transfer involved in CDM projects include tariffs on imported equipment and recipient countries’ capabilities to absorb technology.

Read more here.

Relevant SDG indicator