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Financing technology in a post-2012 international climate change agreement: leveraging private investment for climate change mitigation technologies

Higham, Andrew (2010) Financing technology in a post-2012 international climate change agreement: leveraging private investment for climate change mitigation technologies. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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The Bali Action Plan (UNFCCC, 2007a) acknowledges the central roles of finance and technology in the successful implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (‘the Convention’). They form two of the four building blocks for a post-2012 international climate change agreement. For developing countries, the conclusion of negotiations for an acceptable and successful agreement hinges upon the provision of financial and technology sup-port from developed countries, commensurate with the identified needs, in accordance with the polluter pays principle and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, and reflecting the full agreed incremental costs of meeting the objectives of the Convention.

This dissertation presents research undertaken in support of these negotiations and the design of new financing and technology development and transfer policies to underpin the mitigation and adaptation efforts of the post-2012 agreement, as mandated by decision 3/CP.13 of the Conference of the Parties. The research contained within this dissertation draws and builds upon the re-ports of the Expert Group on Technology Transfer (UNFCCC, 2008a; 2009a;b) which were pre-pared in response to the mandate of the Conference of the Parties.

Financing for technology will need to be scaled up by an order of magnitude, across all technologies and in all nations (UNFCCC, 2009b). In the order of USD 1 trillion in investment, both public and private, needs to be mobilized each year (IEA, 2008a). Using estimates of the incremental costs for developing countries, the cost for Annex II Parties is estimated at an additional USD 262–670 billion per year for mitigation technologies and USD 33–163 billion per year to adapt to climate change (see UNFCCC, 2009a, pp 31–33). A wide range of financing options and technology development and transfer policies are avail-able, some with greater potential than others to mobilise the necessary financial resources. Effectiveness varies across policy instruments. Combining policy options so as to exploit synergies, and matching of policy responses to local and national circumstances can be significant determinants of a successful regime.

This dissertation attempts to assess and compare the possible public and private financing needs, based on the policy concept of ‘leveraging the private sector’, which is commonly touted within the negotiations by many national governments as an essential policy objective for finance and technology. Available options are described and proposals are analysed according to their effectiveness.

Scenarios of public and private financing for technology development and transfer are developed based on the average leveraging ratios achieved by a wide range of policies and programmes at the national, regional and international level. Policies under consideration both at the international and national levels are included where estimates of their leveraging potential can be made. The assessment is made for each stage of the technology innovation cycle (research and development, demonstration, deployment, diffusion) and estimates are made of the amounts of public financing required.

The results of this dissertation point to the significant role that public finance will play in achieving the objectives of the Convention. Scenarios that involve a significant increase in the leveraging effect of public policies and investment programmes on the private sector will still require substantial public investment, in the order of USD 30–160 billion per annum. It is estimated that, under this scenario, the private sector share of total investment would be increased from the current levels of approximately 60 per cent to 75–80 per cent. The results also suggest that the financial mechanism of the Convention needs to take a more prominent role in coordinating the overall delivery of financing and to help optimize the potential for private sector financing. Integrated design of public policies and investment programmes will be important and a wide range of innovative financing instruments and types of finance will need to be deployed in a targeted way to address qualitative and quantitative gaps in the existing financial arrangements.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Supervisor(s): Pettitt, Bradley
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