Achieving this transformation and a just transition, particularly for the most vulnerable economies, will require massive scaling up and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies coupled with careful attention to wider sustainable development considerations. Across the world, there are calls for various forms of government intervention to increase technology access, transfer, absorption and adaptation to local circumstances, especially given the urgency of climate mitigation and adaption. While technology transfer has been a recurring topic in international policymaking for several decades, it has gained renewed urgency and policy relevance in light of unprecedented global environmental problems and sustainable development challenges.
The creation of a dedicated Technology Mechanism linked to the UNFCCC, for instance, reflects the importance of technology transfer to achieving rapid decarbonization and climate resilience. There is also renewed interest in how trade and trade policies can support the technology transfer, innovation, and technological development vital to sustainable trade and the economic prospects of developing countries in a green global economy. Alongside long-standing discussions in a range of WTO regular committees, for instance, recent Ministerial Statements on Trade and Environmental Sustainability (cosponsored by 71 WTO members) and on Plastic Pollution and Environmentally Sustainable Plastics Trade (IDP) (cosponsored by 70 WTO Members) each highlight the relevance of trade and trade policies to promoting access to and uptake of environmental technologies.