Can intellectual property rights within climate technology transfer work for the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement?

  • Chen ZhouEmail author
Original Paper


Since the UNFCCC 1992 mandated technology transfer commitments, how to fulfil the commitments and effectively facilitate the international transfer of climate-friendly technology in reality has been the subject of debate. In theory, climate change policymakers provide a broad framework for technology transfer through the UNFCCC regime. The 2015 Paris Agreement commits the Parties to strengthening cooperation on climate technology. In practice, however, the dynamic transfer of these technologies on an international scale does not take place fast enough to reach the full potential required by the UNFCCC. This shortcoming is partly due to intellectual property rights, which pose a significant obstacle to quick and efficient technology transfer. This article examines the kinds of changes in intellectual property laws needed to promote accessible, affordable and adaptable technology transfers and to help prepare host countries for potentially mandatory emission reductions in the post-Paris era.


Climate technologies Technology transfer The Paris Agreement Intellectual property rights TRIPS 



Best Practices Identification


Clean Development Mechanism


Certified emission reductions


Conference of Parties


Climate Technology Centre and Network


Dispute Settlement Mechanism


Green Climate Fund


Greenhouse gases


Intended Nationally Determined Contributions


Intellectual property


Intellectual property rights


Least developed countries


Multinational environment agreements


Non-government organizations


New International Economic Order


Research and development


Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice


Technology Executive Committee


Technology Need Assessment


The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights


United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change


Working Group on Trade and Technology Transfer


World Trade Organization


World Intellectual Property Organization



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Xiamen UniversityXiamenChina

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