Experts Review UNEP Report On Green Economy And Trade

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By Georges Bauer for Intellectual Property Watch

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has released a new report focused on the issue of green economies and international trade. The report examines six sectors – agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture, forestry, manufacturing, renewable energy and tourism – that are of particular interest to developing countries.

The UNEP report is available here.

The panellists – which included World Trade Organization Director General Pascal Lamy, UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner, three ambassadors and representatives from the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) – discussed issues such as what they viewed as one of the impediments to progress on this global issue. One suggestion was an acknowledgement that in the current political climate, many of the innovative climate policies are being seen as protectionist. This and others are major hurdles that the international community must overcome to tackle environmental issues, panellists said.

The report touches upon intellectual property rights in a section devoted to the “Technology Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technologies.” It highlights the role of green patents and how IPRs could create a barrier to further innovation. The report suggests a green patent pool as a possible way around this issue.

Georges Bauer recently obtained a Masters of International Law and Economics degree from the University of Bern’s World Trade Institute. Through his studies in political science and trade he developed an interest in intellectual property issues.

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