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Researchers from the University of Sussex have designed a new climate policy approach that meets the needs of low- and middle-income countries. The approach has informed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Green Climate Fund, and the World Bank.



Facilitating the transfer of climate technologies to developing countries has been a core aim of global climate policy for the last three decades. Historically, however, this has largely benefitted richer developing countries and international companies who supply technologies to them, and failed to meet the needs of low- and middle-income countries.



Based on a combination of long-term empirical analyses in sub-Saharan Africa, India, and China and inter-disciplinary conceptual work, Sussex research has demonstrated how climate technologies can be successfully transferred, and have used research to design a new policy approach – Climate Relevant Innovation-System Builders (CRIBs) - to make this happen.

The research mainly focused on energy technologies, but was used to develop both conceptual and practical policy insights to climate technologies more broadly.



The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) Technology Executive Committee used the CRIBs approach to evaluate their existing climate technology policy and inform plans for improvement. Specifically, the UNFCCC used CRIBs to frame their assessment of how to fund collaborative research and development through the Green Climate Fund (GCF), a fund for global efforts towards attaining international climate change goals in developing countries.

In the light of difficulties African countries have had in leveraging international climate finance, the African Union (AU) recognised the Sussex CRIBs approach as an opportunity for African countries to improve access to Green Climate Funding. Sussex research partners in Africa were commissioned to provide training to 41 African and international climate policymakers from 18 different countries.

Since the training, 16 policy organisations from 9 countries are in the process of developing funding proposals to the GCF to implement CRIBs, or using the CRIBs approach to inform their climate policy-making and implementation processes.

In both Kenya and Burundi, CRIBs-based GCF funding proposals have already been submitted. This has resulted in US$9,994,500 in GCF funding being awarded to Burundi, and proposals worth US$20,000,000 at advanced stages of approval in Kenya.


More information

Institution: University of Sussex

Researcher: Dr Robert Byrne

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Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) (2023) Redesigning global climate technology policy and funding. Available at  Last accessed on: <date>