Council on Energy, Environment and Water Integrated | International | Independent

Climate Technology Partnerships

Form, function, and impact

Arunabha Ghosh, Anupama Vijayakumar, Sudatta Ray
October 2015 | Technology, Finance & Trade

Ghosh, Arunabha, Anupama Vijayakumar, and Sudatta Ray. 2015. “Climate Technology Partnerships: Form, Function and Impact”CIGI Fixing Climate Governance Series, Paper No. 2, Waterloo, ON: Centre for International Governance Innovation. Available at: https://www.cigionline.org/publications/climate-technology-partnerships-form-function-and-impact


This paper analyses the purpose, membership, and governance of four partnerships - the Montreal Protocol, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, the EC-ASEAN COGEN Programme, and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. It identifies critical features, including appropriate financing, leveraging capacity, flexible intellectual property rules, coordination, and design and functional features across several institutions. These features could become the foundation for new partnerships to deliver measurable action and possibly increase trust among negotiating parties. The paper also focuses on technology partnerships as technology transfer has been a key demand throughout the two decades of climate negotiations.

Key Highlights

  • There is a need to upfront funding commitments and result-based disbursement. Even successful mechanisms such as the Montreal Protocol’s Multilateral Fund underscores the need.
  • Financial needs assessments would be as important as technical needs assessments as reliance on voluntary contribution creates uncertainty. However, insistence on paid-up commitments might restrict the number of donors willing to make such promises.
  • Several countries have proposed amendments to the protocol to phase out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by replacing them with new sets of chemical alternatives. However, unless the intellectual property rights (IPR) provision evolves alongside, it would be difficult to garner support from many member states who might argue against purchasing new chemicals with unknown side effects.
  • Capacity development and contributions to technology partnerships go hand-in-hand.
  • EC-ASEAN COGEN Programme and the C40 suggested that networks are likely to have more impact when they support their weaker members to gain access to knowledge, experience, know-how and technology.
  • It is important to design partnerships in such a way that the most important assets and resources of different actors and institutions are made available for the group’s benefit.
Fixing climate governance through technology partnerships require understanding the solution and challenges in the quest for consensus, the quest for function and the quest for form.

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