This paper critically examines the clean development mechanism (CDM) established under Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol in terms of its effectiveness as a vehicle for technology transfer to developing countries, a specific commitment under the UNFCCC. Fundamentally, the paper poses the question of whether technology transfer as part of the CDM is a myth or a reality in the broader context of sustainable development. Technology transfer between countries of the North and South is explored in a historical context and the emergence of technology transfer obligations is traced in multilateral environmental agreements. The architecture of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol are examined in relation to technology transfer obligations.