Know Climate Change

Adaptation and Mitigation


Role of Technologies

There is widespread agreement that achieving dramatic reductions in GHG emissions, necessary to stabilize GHG concentrations between 450 and 750 ppm, would require innovation and large-scale adoption of GHG-reducing technologies throughout the global energy system (IPCC, 2001). Echoing the same, the UNFCCC recognizes ‘technology transfer’ of ESTs (Environmentally Sound Technologies) as one of the key ingredients of climate change mitigation.

IPCC gives the working definition of CCTT (Climate Change Technology Transfer) as ‘a broad set of processes covering the flows of know-how, experience and equipment for mitigating and adapting to climate change amongst different stakeholders such as governments, private sector entities, financial institutions, non-governmental organizations and research/education institutions’ (IPCC Special Report, 2000).

The most crucial factors that determine the pace and cost of any climate change response are - availability of technology, its cost, and performance.

Technological change can roughly be considered as a two-part process.

  1. Conceiving, creating, and developing new technologies or enhancing existing technologies, that is, advancing the ‘technological frontier’
  2. Diffusion, or deployment, of these technologies

Important sources of technological change include the following.

  1. R&D (Research and Development): R&D encompasses a broad set of activities in which firms, governments or other entities expend resources specifically to gain new knowledge.
  2. Spill-over Effects: Spill-over effects refer to the transfer of knowledge or the economic benefits of innovation from one individual, firm, industry or entity, or from one technology to another.

To know more about technological options, barriers, opportunities, and impacts on production in various sectors, you can read the publication (Sectoral Mitigation Technological Options) on

We will now examine the role of market-based mechanisms.