Accessing, Obtaining and Protecting
Elgar Law, Technology and Society series
Edited by Abbe E.L. Brown
Chapter 2: The puzzling persistence of the intellectual property right/climate change relationship
At the 2011 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties in Durban, India sought to introduce a number of late amendments to the negotiations, including those on technology transfer. Specifically, they wished for the inclusion of the agenda item ‘Accelerated access to critical mitigation and adaptation technologies and related intellectual property rights’. Why? They explained that: An effective and efficient global regime for accelerated access to intellectual property rights (IPRs) of critical climate friendly technologies is essential for the global efforts for development, deployment, dissemination and transfer of such technologies. In the absence of such an arrangement, the objective of advancing the nationally appropriate mitigation and adaptation actions at the scale and speed warranted by the Convention cannot be met effectively and adequately. Such a regime should promote access to IPRs as global public good while rewarding the innovator in a manner consistent with the inter- national law _ Conference of Parties should urgently decide on addressing the issue of treating and delivering climate technologies and their IPRs as public good in the interest of the global goal of early stabilization of climate and advancing developing country efforts aimed at social and economic development and poverty eradication. Such a statement raises a number of questions. Is it truly the case that liberalized access to climate friendly IPRs is essential for the development and dissemination of such environmentally sound technologies (EST)? In the absence of an IP regime that makes such provision, can nationally appropriate mitigating actions (NAMAs) not be achieved?
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