International cooperation for clean(er) technologies
It has been proposed (UNCED, 1991a) that each country will need to develop policies and programmes to implement Agenda 21 (the action plan adopted at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, UNCED). How can international cooperation promote clean(er) technology transfer, particularly to the large number of small developing countries which lack the critical mass of human and other resources to cope with the future?
One response to this challenge is the establishment of a variety of research and technology partnerships, supported by international funds to sponsor a network of centres in various regions of the world. This network of research, training, and technology transfer could focus, for instance, on chlorofluorocarbon substitutes; cleaner production processes and hazardous wastes; energy efficiency; cleaner coal technologies; sustainable biological production systems, etc.
These international partnerships should be conceived in a flexible fashion and operate as facilitators under the overall guidance of competent international bodies. One of their roles should be as demandoriented clearing-houses for their technologies. They could make use of ongoing initiatives such as: (a) UNEP's International Cleaner Production Information Clearinghouse (ICPIC); the clearing-house on CFC-free technologies under the Montreal Protocol; (b) OZONETT, an international private clearing-house on CFC-free technologies, linked to ICPIC; and (c) CADETT and other clearing-houses on energyefficient technologies (UNCED, 1991b).
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