ECN publication
Technology transfer in the Clean Development Mechanism
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Policy Studies 26-1-2007
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-E--07-009 ECN publication
Number of pages: Full text:
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Technology transfer is often mentioned as an ancillary benefit of the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), but this claim has never been researched or substantiated. The question of technology transfer is important from two perspectives: for host countries, whether the CDM provides a corridor for foreign, climate-friendly technologies and investment, and for industrialised countries as it provides export potential for climate-friendly technologies developed as a consequence of stringent greenhouse gas targets. In order to better understand whether technology transfer from the EU and elsewhere is occurring through the CDM, and what is the value of the associated foreign investment, this paper examines technology transfer in the 63 CDM projects that were registered on January 1st, 2006. Technology originates from outside the host country in almost 50% of the evaluated projects. In the projects in which the technology originates from outside the host country, 80% use technology from the European Union. Technologies used in non-CO2 greenhouse gas and wind energy projects, and a substan-tial share of the hydropower projects, use technology from outside the host country, but biogas, agricultural and biomass projects mainly use local technology. The associated investment value with the CDM projects that transferred technology is estimated to be around 470 million Euros, with about 390 coming from the EU. As the non-CO2 greenhouse gas projects had very low capital costs, the investment value was mostly in the more capital-intensive wind energy and hydropower projects.

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