International transfer of technologies for climate adaptation - the case of membrane bio-reactors
Existing research on the international transfer of climate technologies has so far largely concentrated on the transfer of mitigation technologies. However, the UNFCCC's decision to adopt the Cancún Adaptation Framework reflects the increasing political priority that is given to climate adaptation in general, as well as to the development and transfer of adaptation technologies. Given this situation, the objective of this case study is to explore the specific drivers and barriers pertaining to the international transfer and diffusion of membrane bio-reactors (MBR), a water treatment technology that enables the reclamation and reuse of water and helps to reduce the negative impacts of climate change. While this technology has largely been developed in industrialized countries, many of those countries that are most vulnerable to draughts and water scarcity belong to the developing world. Therefore, this case study analyzes the international transfer of MBR technology to two emerging economies, Brazil and China. Methodologically, the case study combines quantitative evidence, e.g. trade and patent data, with qualitative evidence gained from the analysis of the relevant legal and political framework in Brazil and China, as well as from insights gained from eight personal interviews with experts representing MBR companies and policy makers.