The idea of a "technology transfer fund" that industrialised nations would have to pay into and developing countries could draw from in order to finance clean energy technology projects or buy patents, is being mooted by China, as delegations from 187 countries gathered in Bali for the 3-14 December UN climate conference.
While the Asian giant - now the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases – continued to fend off calls for binding CO2 reduction targets for developing countries, it insisted that rich countries should be doing more to encourage the spread of clean technologies.
According to the Chinese delegation, efforts so far have been "puny".
Last year, the Clean Development Mechanism succeeded in directing $5 billion investment into cutting greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries. However, the UN estimates that climate mitigation efforts will require an annual investment of $200 billion by 2030, with nearly half of that in developing nations.
A report published on 3 December by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBSCD) also notes that, although the CDM has succeeded in bringing clean energy technology to some countries in the developing world, hundreds of projects have been "stopped at the starting gates" due to lengthy approval processes, uncertainty regarding commercial returns and worries about intellectual property theft.
The result is that projects have focused on a select group of countries like China, Brazil and India, where existing market potential is high, whereas the African continent has only succeeded in attracting 3% of all CDM projects - primarily within South Africa.