Greenhouse gas mitigation in developing countries through technology transfer?: a survey of empirical evidence

Abstract

While greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are projected to rise primarily in the developing countries, the potential for developing new GHG mitigation technologies exists primarily in the industrialized countries. It is thus important, not only for predictions about future emission paths but also for climate change mitigation policies, to understand how the international diffusion of such technologies takes place and how it affects the energy infrastructure and GHG emissions in developing countries. This paper provides an overview of the channels through which these technologies diffuse and focuses on the empirical evidence pertaining to the effects these technologies have on GHG emissions in developing countries.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The UNFCCC is an international enviornmental treaty produced at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. It is aimed at reducing global GHG emissions.

  2. 2.

    See e.g. Keller (2004) and Saggi (2002) for a survey on international technology diffusion, Copeland and Taylor (2003, 2004) for a survey on the linkages between environment and trade, Blomström and Kokko (1998) for a survey on spillovers via FDI, Jaffe et al. (2001, 2002) for a survey on technological change and the environment, Panayotou (2000) for a survey on globalization and the environment and Metz et al. (2000) for a survey on climate friendly technology transfer.

  3. 3.

    This study finds that for Indonesia the Uruguay round of trade liberalization decreases CO2 emissions by 12% relative to a business as usual scenario, while APEC trade liberalization increases CO2 emissions by 2–12% depending on the assumptions on economic growth.

  4. 4.

    Granger causality means that one time series is useful in forecasting another one. While oridnarily, regressions reflect “mere” correlation, Granger causality tests are able to reveal something about causality.

  5. 5.

    Over 70% of all aid activities and 95% involving coal-fired plans were marked to have aid to the environment as one of the main objectives (Metz et al. 2000, p 74).

  6. 6.

    For more detailed information on the GEF and its focal area climate change, see Ravindranath and Sathaye (2002).

  7. 7.

    See Philibert (2004) for a brief overview over further programs.

  8. 8.

    The data are taken from the figures in the different sections of this paper.

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Acknowlegments

I thank Andreas Keller, Gernot Klepper and five anonymous referees for helpful comments and suggestions and Paul Kramer for greatly streamlining the language and structure of the paper.

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Correspondence to Sonja Peterson.

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Peterson, S. Greenhouse gas mitigation in developing countries through technology transfer?: a survey of empirical evidence. Mitig Adapt Strateg Glob Change 13, 283–305 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11027-007-9111-8

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Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Developing countries
  • FDI
  • Trade
  • Technology diffusion
  • Technology transfer

JEL Classifications

  • O33
  • O13
  • F18
  • F21
  • F35
  • Q54