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.

Chapter 11: A view from inside the renewable energy industry

Mervyn D. Jones

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


The chapters in this book portray the breadth of activity and technology encompassed by the term ‘renewable energy’ and even more so when extended to ‘environmental technology’. Whilst this is encouraging in that it highlights the awareness that there is of the breadth of influence that the human race has in the ecology of the planet, there is a risk of implying that unifying policies can be applied to anything under one of these banner titles without recognizing the very varied landscape within them. In examining the question of whether the protection of Intellectual Property (IP) is constraining the implementation of environmental technologies and, hence, the pace at which a number of global challenges can be addressed, we need to be very conscious of this risk. In this commentary, reflecting on some of the points raised in the book, I will address two questions which sit alongside the IP question, namely, which global challenge are we addressing and, then, what are the key bottle- necks and constraints to addressing that challenge?

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