Table of Contents

Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Climate Change

Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Climate Change

Research Handbooks in Intellectual Property series

Edited by Joshua D. Sarnoff

This innovative research tool presents insights from a global group of leading intellectual property, environment, trade, and industrial scholars on the emerging and controversial topic of intellectual property and climate change. It provides a unique review of the scientific background, international treaties, and political context of climate change; identifies critical conflicts and differences of approach; and describes the relevant intellectual property law doctrines and policy options for regulating, developing, or disseminating needed technologies, activities, and business practices.

Chapter 10: Technology transfer for climate change and developing country viewpoints on historical responsibility and common but differentiated responsibilities

Dalindyebo Shabalala

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental law, law - academic, environmental law, intellectual property law


The transfer of technology from developed to developing countries (as well as between developed countries) is a key pillar of the international framework for addressing global climate change. Addressing climate change requires a step change, a radical shift in economy-wide investment, production and consumption patterns. The development and diffusion of technologies is a fundamental and necessary element to ensuring that standards of living are maintained and poverty continues to be reduced as global warming is mitigated and weather impacts are minimized. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol were built on a fundamental political bargain directly involving technology transfer. Industrialized countries would take the first steps to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. They would move toward low-carbon or carbon-free economies, while transferring technology to enable developing countries to make progress on carbon efficiency. Thus, carbon leakage – the shifting of polluting carbon-inefficient industries from industrialized to developing countries – would be avoided. In addition, developed countries would provide financial and technical assistance to developing countries to build capacities to adapt to the negative impacts of climate change. Developed countries would demonstrate to developing countries the techniques and policies necessary to achieve GHG emissions reductions while maintaining economic growth. This demonstration and assistance would ensure that developing countries were in a position to reduce their emissions.

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