Insights for climate technology transfer from international environmental and human rights law

Kim Bouwer

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Abstract

The transfer of technologies to support the development of low-carbon pathways - that are fundamental for the mitigation of climate change - is frequently claimed to be hindered by the protection afforded by intellectual property rights. However, there are arguably further complexities involved in the development, receipt and operation of technologies, that frustrate the implementation of crucial mitigation processes. This paper challenges the notion of “transfer” of technology under the international climate change regime, in light of the recognition of a focus on needs and cooperative approaches in that context. The paper problematises any unidirectional concepts behind the idea of ‘transfer, building on the human right to science and the notion of fair and equitable benefit-sharing, which is a component thereof. The paper concludes with a series of considerations arising from international human rights and environmental law that could be taken into account in the ongoing negotiations on technology transfer under the international climate change regime.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-21
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Intellectual Property Rights
Volume23
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • international human rights
  • climate technology
  • climate change
  • intellectual property law

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