Environmental Technologies, Intellectual Property and Climate Change

Environmental Technologies, Intellectual Property and Climate Change

Accessing, Obtaining and Protecting

Elgar Law, Technology and Society series

Edited by Abbe E.L. Brown

Many disciplines are relevant to combating climate change. This challenging book draws together legal, regulatory, geographic, industrial and professional perspectives and explores the role of technologies in addressing climate change through mitigation, adaptation and information gathering. It explores some key issues. Is intellectual property part of the solution, an obstacle to change or peripheral? Are there more important questions? Do they receive the attention they deserve? And from whom? This innovative book will play an important role in stimulating holistic discussion and action on an issue of key importance to society.

Introduction

Edited by Abbe E.L. Brown

Subjects: development studies, law and development, environment, climate change, innovation and technology, technology and ict, law - academic, environmental law, human rights, intellectual property law, law and development, politics and public policy, human rights

Extract

This collection is one of the outputs of the project ‘Obtaining, Protecting and Using Essential Environmental Technologies: A Holistic Analysis’, which ran from 2010–11 and was kindly supported by a British Academy Small Research Grant. My interest in this field arose from long-standing work on the interface between legal fields (mainly intellectual property (IP), competition and human rights). How might this apply in different practical fields – health, communications and the environment – to increase access to technologies, while still having regard to the positive elements of IP and rights of the IP owner? As that project became a monograph Intellectual Property, Human Rights and Competition: Access to Essential Innovation and Technology published by Edward Elgar in 2012, I wished to look (even) more broadly. Exploring climate change technologies, I wished to look at more legal fields, at the views of experts from different places and from professional practice, industry, policy- making and other scholarly fields, in particular, given the focus on climate change, from geography and geoscience. Even more than most issues to which scholars devote attention, questions of climate change technologies do not exist within a scholarly or legal bubble. To what extent could arguments from the health field be used in the climate change and environmental field? Both fields are of significant public and social importance – so should solar technology be approached in the same manner as an HIV/AIDS treatment? Or might a new form of energy generation still be developed which provides a closer analogy?