International technology-oriented agreements to address climate change
Much discussion has surrounded possible alternatives for international agreements on climate change, particularly post-2012. Among these alternatives, technology-oriented agreements (TOAs) are perhaps the least well defined. We explore what TOAs may consist of, why they might be sensible, which TOAs already exist in international energy and environmental governance, and whether they could make a valuable contribution to addressing climate change. We find that TOAs aimed at knowledge sharing and coordination, research, development, or demonstration could increase the overall efficiency and effectiveness of international climate cooperation, but are likely to have limited environmental effectiveness on their own. Technology-transfer agreements are likely to have similar properties unless the level of resources expended is large, in which case they could be environmentally significant. Technology-specific mandates or incentives could be environmentally effective within the applicable sector, but are more likely to make a cost-effective contribution when viewed as a complement to rather than a substitute for flexible emissions-based policies. These results indicate that TOAs could potentially provide a valuable contribution to the global response to climate change. The success of specific TOAs will depend on their design, implementation, and the role they are expected to play relative to other components of the policy portfolio. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
de Coninck, H; Fischer, C; Newell, RG; Ueno, T
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