Patents and clean energy: bridging the gap between evidence and policy


    Climate change is the most pressing challenge of our time.
    Addressing it requires an unprecedented mobilisation of
    human and financial resources to alter our patterns of
    production, consumption and energy use. The large-scale
    development and diffusion of technologies is the key to
    making such a transition possible.
    Enhancing technology transfer has been a key pillar of the
    global climate change regime since the inception of the
    United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
    (UNFCCC) in 1992. The current climate change negotiations
    recognise the need to strengthen this pillar by, among
    other things, the establishment of a technology mechanism
    to accelerate technology development and transfer.
    In this context, the role of intellectual property rights in
    the development of climate change mitigation and adaptation
    technologies, and especially their transfer to developing
    countries, has emerged as a particularly contentious
    issue. Despite repeated calls for reliable and continuously
    updated information about climate change technologies and
    patents, this vigorous debate has been marked by a general
    lack of impartial data and evidence that would enable
    policy-makers to make informed choices.

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