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Part IV Setting up the International Mitigation Regime: Contents and Consequences, Ch.18 Intellectual Property and Climate Change, with an Emphasis on Patents and Technology Transfer

Joshua D. Sarnoff

From: The Oxford Handbook of International Climate Change Law

Edited By: Cinnamon P. Carlarne, Kevin R. Gray, Richard Tarasofsky

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 24 June 2024

Natural resources — Climate change — Environmental disputes — Pollution

This chapter addresses some of the issues raised between the patent system and the international climate change regime. Substantial theoretical and empirical uncertainties remain regarding whether the patent system is the best method of promoting investment, innovation, and dissemination of technologies. It highlights the end of the Sixteenth Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Cancún where the UNFCCC agreed to focus its technology development and transfer efforts to the patent system through two new subsidiary institutions: the Technology Mechanism and the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The chapter also describes a few of the alternatives to the patent system such as the Hartwell Paper, which offers a more indirect approach by harnessing coextensive social motivations to adopt carbon-free energy technologies.

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