Due to the diversity of countries’ national circumstances and innovation needs, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to technology transfer. To be effective, however, it should include not only the physical hardware but also the technical know-how and capabilities necessary to understand, operate, and maintain new technologies, as well as institutional and policy arrangements that facilitate technological uptake and encourage local innovation. To be sustainable, technology transfer requires the capabilities to deploy, operate, maintain, adapt, improve, and reproduce the transferred technology and, ultimately, the capacity to invent new technologies.
There are specific treaty provisions pertaining to technology transfer to support climate change action under the UNFCCC and its Paris Agreement. Institutions such as the Technology Mechanism have also been set up under the convention. Developing countries have undertaken technology needs assessments and developed technology action plans under the UNFCCC.
Through these, developing countries have identified their technology transfer priorities in the mitigation and adaptation sectors, largely in relation to energy, transport, agriculture, water, and infrastructure and settlements. They have also identified the barriers to technology transfer that they experience as well as the enablers that would be needed to support effective technology transfer, such as financing for technology transfer.