Climate Change and Technology transfer

1.2.2012
Glopolis issued a paper on climate change and technology transfer. 

There is a strong consensus that the global climate goals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions can only be achieved using new technologies. At the same time, heavy emission increases are anticipated in developing countries, both emerging markets and the least developed, as the result of industrialization. The transfer of environmentally sound technologies (ESTs) is a viable option to allow those countries to improve living conditions through sustainable development. In this regard, links between climate policies and trade policies need to be highlighted. The transfer is necessary, since most research and development is conducted in developed countries due to higher scientific capacities unavailable in developing countries. But although there is consensus on the need for technology transfer, there is also deep disagreement about how this should be implemented. While developing countries repeatedly name Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) as the main barrier to the transfer of ESTs, the European Union and other developed countries argue that the protection of IPRs is the main vehicle not only for research and development, but also for the transfer and dispersion of technologies.

This paper aims to present two major multilateral agreements shaping international technology transfer implementation. Furthermore, this work will evaluate whether these efforts are satisfactory and identify the main problems with the specific regimes. Intellectual property rights offer a great lesson on the limits of climate change negotiations, the complexity of climate change, and solutions on the table.

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