Climate Innovation Centres: A partnership approach to meeting energy and climate challenges


  • Ambuj D. Sagar is Vipula and Mahesh Chaturvedi Professor of Policy Studies at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India. E-mail:

  • Cath Bremner is Head of International Development at The Carbon Trust, London, UK.

  • Michael Grubb is Professor of Economics at the University of Cambridge and Chief Economist at The Carbon Trust, London, UK.


Meeting the climate challenge will require both mitigation and adaptation. New, improved, or adapted technologies will play an important, often central role, in both of these activities. The scale of the problem is obviously enormous; at the same time, its complexity is underlined by the wide range of technologies that will be required for mitigation and adaptation and the vast differences among the countries where these technologies will be deployed. This is particularly important for developing countries, where technological capabilities are often limited, where financial, institutional and other constraints make the innovation challenge even starker, and where other developmental challenges — such as enhancing energy access and, sustaining livelihoods — are equally pressing. Given this context, it is imperative to explore institutional arrangements that can advance technology innovation to meet the energy and climate change needs of developing countries. This paper suggests ‘Climate Innovation Centres’ (CICs) as a way to advance and strengthen the energy innovation process in developing countries through a partnership between them and industrialized countries.