Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rich Countries 'Should Pay' To Transfer Low Carbon Technology

Date:
November 13, 2009
Source:
University of Oxford
Summary:
With the countdown to the climate change summit in Copenhagen underway, a new article says that rich countries need to pay the full incremental cost of low carbon technology for developing countries to avoid dangerous climate change.

Pile of coal about to be burned by the coal power plant in the background. Coal-fired power stations are ‘the most pressing challenge for stabilising emissions’.
Credit: iStockphoto/Andy Olsen

With the countdown to the climate change summit in Copenhagen underway, a new paper by Oxford University researchers says that rich countries need to pay the full incremental cost of low carbon technology for developing countries to avoid dangerous climate change.

The authors argue that transferring the most efficient low carbon technologies to developing countries with the fastest growing emissions, such as China and India, is 'the key to a substantive agreement in Copenhagen'.

They also stress that without an ambitious technology transfer strategy agreement 'there is little prospect of a credible deal emerging at the Copenhagen summit, or in post-Copenhagen negotiations'.

The paper 'Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change -- Why Financing to Technology Transfer Matters', by Dr Arunabha Ghosh and Dr Kevin Watkins, states that to avoid an increase in global temperatures of 2C, global emissions will need to halve by 2050. Yet the authors point out that current projections show emissions are on course to increase by 45 per cent by 2050, with over 90 per cent of that increase projected to originate in developing countries.

The paper focuses on coal-fired power stations as an example of the problems and potential for action, describing them as 'the most pressing challenge for stabilising emissions'.

By 2030, coal will account for one third of the total increase in developing country emissions. Yet the best performing coal-fired power plants in rich countries are 50 per cent more efficient than the average plant operating in India and China, says the paper. It suggests that closing the efficiency gap would allow the same amount of energy to be produced with half the emissions.

Total demand for coal in India is projected to rise from 423 million tonnes in 2005 to 670 million tonnes in 2011, with current plans for India implying that an additional 500 megawatt plant would be built each week until 2030.

'Technological change holds the key to closing the efficiency gap … but on a scale and at the pace required that comes with a price tag,' warn the researchers. The coal sector in India alone would require $5.2 billion to $8.4 billion per annum more than the currently planned investments to 2030 to achieve 45 per cent thermal efficiency, reports the paper.

The paper says the no coal option, as argued by some environmental groups, is not a feasible one for the medium term, and the medium term is what counts in terms of the interim targets needed to frame a climate change agreement.

Dr Ghosh and Dr Watkins, from the Global Economic Governance Programme, said: 'Rich countries should finance the full incremental cost of the transition to higher efficiency. This can be done through the creation of a Low Carbon Technology and Finance Facility to mobilise around $50 billion a year by 2020 through the public purse, with additional amounts leveraged through private investment.

'The LCTFF would correct for shortcomings in current arrangements by scaling up financing, offering balanced governance structures (including ownership over priorities), and managing intellectual property.

'Political leaders in developing countries are unlikely to sign-up for an agreement that involves trading-off current poverty reduction efforts against a contribution to future climate change mitigation. The case for developed countries financing a technology transfer deal is rooted in capability and responsibility. They have the financial and technology resources to act -- and their historic emissions have led to a large accumulated debt.'


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Oxford. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Oxford. "Rich Countries 'Should Pay' To Transfer Low Carbon Technology." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091113130008.htm>.
University of Oxford. (2009, November 13). Rich Countries 'Should Pay' To Transfer Low Carbon Technology. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091113130008.htm
University of Oxford. "Rich Countries 'Should Pay' To Transfer Low Carbon Technology." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091113130008.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

AFP (July 19, 2014) A spectaCular lightning storm struck the UK overnight Friday. Images of lightning strikes over the Shard and Tower Bridge in central London. Duration: 00:23 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

AFP (July 19, 2014) As if it weren't enough that the Queen is the Sovereign of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms, she is also the owner of all Britain's unmarked swans. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: High Winds Push Growing Washington Widlfire

Raw: High Winds Push Growing Washington Widlfire

AP (July 19, 2014) Pushed by howling, erratic winds, a massive wildfire in north-central Washington was growing rapidly and burning in new directions Saturday. (July 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins