UN: India asks to focus on slowdown technologies

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New Delhi, Dec 1: Underlining that in the move towards a low-carbon economy, technology has a vital role to play, India today called for creation of a GEM (Global Enterprise for Mitigation Technologies).

''The global challenge to combat global warming needs a global response. Much like the Human Genome project, the global community might consider a Human GEM project: a Global Enterprise for Mitigation technologies,'' said Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Kapil Sibal, who is leading the Indian Delegation at the UN talks on climate change at the Indonesian island of Bali.

Speaking at the Round Table discussions on Technology Transfer in the context of climate change and global warming being held at the island, he said the mitigation technologies should engage significantly the attention of policy-makers and scientists.

Pointing out that the G-77+ China had already put forward a proposal for the creation of a new multilateral technology cooperation fund that would finance the development, deployment, diffusion and transfer of technologies for both mitigation and adaptation to developing countries, he emphasised its centrality for future action.

Observing that one of the main barriers to technology adoption lies in the poor absorptive capacities of developing countries, the Minister said technology diffusion cannot be forced through the harmonisation of standards. Standards and norms must reflect the development levels of where they are being deployed.

Low carbon emissions technologies and environmentally sound technologies for public good need a facilitative IPR regime that balances rewards for innovators with the common good of humankind.

This may be done through a system of regulated royalties to innovators for deployment in developing countries. Such an approach has been adopted successfully in the case of pharmaceutical technologies for the benefit of HIV/AIDS victims in developing countries, he said.

If there was a moral imperative to adopt such an approach in the case of pharmaceuticals, the moral case of a similar approach for saving the planet was even more compelling, Mr Sibal added.

He said in the deliberations on climate change, technology has been mostly addressed in terms of the transfer of environmentally sound and low emission technologies from the developed countries to the developing world.

''This dialogue on technology needs to be extended to focus on issues such as technology development, adoption and diffusion, along with a streamlined process that enables technology transfer,'' he said.

Other panelists in the Round Table were Maxwell Jumah, Deputy Minister from Ghana, Andy Karsner from US Department of Energy, Stigson,- President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and representative of the GEF. Mr Sibal's speech also triggered a number of interventions from the floor as well.

However, the US, even while acknowledging the collaborative R&D with India in mitigation, observed that legal and commercial frameworks within developing countries were the main constraints for diffusion of technologies. The IPR of advanced technologies lay in the private sector and the companies perforce looked for compensation for investments in research, it said.

UNI

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