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ECN publication
Climate technology in context: Synthesis Report on Climate Technology and Development
Cameron, L.R.; Bhasin, S.; Blanco, G.; Bristow, S.; Byrne, R; Coninck, de, H.C.; Fang, Z; Gallagher, K.S; Ionita, R; Mikunda, T.; Sagar, A; Wuertenberger, L
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Policy Studies 3-6-2014
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-O--14-015 Other
Number of pages: Full text:
44 Download PDF  

Technology as an enabler of low-carbon development has both enormous urgency, but also opportunities associated with it. From a global perspective it is vital that developing countries are able to improve both access to, and their ability to develop, climate technologies, as it is in these countries that the majority of new GHG emissions will occur. At the same time, there are large potential benefits of low-carbon innovation that countries can gain from; for example in terms of developing new or more competitive domestic industries, or adopting improved technologies that have positive social and environmental impacts. Yet building the low-carbon innovation systems that can deliver the necessary technologies and services is a resource-intensive and long term endeavour, the outcomes of which are neither guaranteed nor predictable, and no single approach fits all national contexts. To mitigate the risky nature of building innovation systems, the public sector needs to provide financial support alongside private sector investments. Innovations emerge from a system of interconnected firms, organisations and users all operating within an institutional environment that supports the building and strengthening of skills, knowledge and experience, and further enhances the interconnectedness of such players. The successful development and adoption of low-carbon technologies in developing countries therefore depends on the presence of appropriate policies and innovation systems that suit their local context. However countries are not homogenous, the technology and innovation needs of the poorest can be expected to differ vastly from those of an emerging industrial sector. In order to benefit and reach out successfully to the varying development levels and needs of its populations, nations need to approach goals of sustainable development by targeting their differing demographics through appropriate interventions. This report synthesises research that was undertaken in the “Climate Technology and Development’’ project, which sought to answer the question: “What are conditions for innovation for low-carbon development for three different categories – the industrial sectors, rising middle class and bottom of the pyramid – in developing countries?”.

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