Beyond the North-South divide: The political economy and multi-level governance of international low-carbon technology transfer in China

Minsi Liu, Kevin Lo*, Linda Westman, Ping Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The rapid rise of emerging economies challenges the conventional understanding of international low-carbon technology transfer (ILTT) from a North-South perspective. Rather than acting like passive recipients of foreign investment and technology, actors in emerging economies have become more assertive, seeking control over the processes of ILTT. To understand this emerging trend, this paper conceptualizes ILTT as political-economic and multi-level governance processes involving two key elements—partnership building and technology adaptation. The empirical findings, drawing from a case study on the transfer of the passive house concept from Germany to China, show that the priorities of domestic rather than foreign actors have defined the scope for collaboration and the purpose of the technology, resulting in the adoption of a version of the technology that best serves domestic political-economic interests. These findings suggest that ILTT is becoming increasingly complex geographically, which opens new perspectives into the spatial dimension of socio-technical transitions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-204
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Innovation and Societal Transitions
Volume44
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

User-Defined Keywords

  • China
  • International low-carbon technology transfer
  • Multi-level governance
  • Partnership building
  • Political economy
  • Technology adaptation

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