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Climate Change and Human Rights: Intellectual Property Challenges and Opportunities
  • Alexandra Phelan, Georgetown University

Mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change will require innovation and the development of new technologies. Intellectual property laws have a key part to play in the global transfer of climate technologies. However, failures to properly utilize flexibilities in intellectual property regimes or comply with technology transfer obligations under international climate change agreements calls for a human rights based analysis of climate technology transfer. Climate change is an unprecedented challenge and requires unprecedented strategies. Given the substantial impact of climate change on all of humanity and the ethical imperative to act, a complete rethink of traditional intellectual property approaches is warranted. This report proposes a series of intellectual property law policy options, through a human rights framework, aimed at promoting access to technologies to reduce the human suffering caused by climate change.

  • Intellectual Property,
  • Climate Change,
  • Human Rights,
  • Technology Transfer.
Publication Date
September 22, 2015
This report was prepared for Dr Matthew Rimmer as part of his Australian Research Council Future Fellowship on Intellectual Property and Climate Change, Australian National University College of Law.
Citation Information
Alexandra Phelan. "Climate Change and Human Rights: Intellectual Property Challenges and Opportunities" (2015)
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