Technology transfer: a new agenda for LDC negotiators

11th November 2021

Technology transfer: a new agenda for LDC negotiators

This briefing looks at some of the issues and the potential to maximise synergies between the trade and climate negotiation communities.

Key Messages

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreements contain a range of commitments by developed countries to help Least Developed Countries (LDCs) access technology to support their development and address the impacts of climate change. Many of these commitments remain unmet. The COP26 and MC12 meetings urgently need to address this.

There is potential for greater synergies between UNFCCC and WTO technology transfer mechanisms for LDCs, especially around the transfer and integration of green technologies. There has been some discussion of climate change and technology transfer in the WTO TRIPS Council, the Committee on Trade and Environment and member-led discussions on trade and environment sustainability (TESSD), but this has not been systematised.

Technology transfer mechanisms should provide tangible technologies to enable LDCs to address severe climate events such as flooding, sea level rise, crop failures, deforestation and desertification and droughts.

Effective coordination of technology transfer requires institutional and regulatory capacity in LDCs. Supporting institutional capacity needs to be considered alongside support for actual transfers. This is particularly important for graduating LDCs, who would have to implement stronger intellectual property protection.

Report by the Overseas Development Institute