IP Issues In Shadows At Climate Change Conference10/12/2010 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch 1 CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service and depends on subscriptions. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You may also offer additional support with your subscription, or donate.As delegates in Cancun, Mexico, neared the end of their search this week for consensus on how to stop climate change, intellectual property issues were being set aside for later.IP issues were set aside under a “non-paper” from the chair of the working group on long term cooperative action, though Bolivia on Wednesday asked that formal negotiations on this new text be held, instead of informal negotiations only including a select group of countries.The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is holding its Climate Change Conference from 29 November to 10 December. The conference covers the 16th Conference of the Parties (COP), the 15th session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitment for Annex I parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP), and the 13th session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA).Intellectual property issues appeared in the AWG-LCA with several options under discussion, one of which, proposed by developed countries according to a source, would erase mention of intellectual property in the final text. Developing countries have argued that intellectual property rights act as barriers to technology transfer.On Wednesday, the chairperson of the AWG-LCA, Margaret Mukahanana-Sangarwe from Zimbabwe, released a new version of her “note by the chair [pdf].” The text “reflects the effort by the Chair, after consultations with facilitators, to capture progress made to date in drafting groups,” according to the secretariat.In this new text, there is recognition of the different views on intellectual property rights among parties and “the importance of continued dialogue among parties on this matter in 2011, in the context of enhancing technology innovations and access to technologies for mitigation and adaptation.”The head of the Bolivian delegation said during a press briefing on Monday that intellectual property was a key issue for technology transfer. Bolivia submitted a proposal on draft decisions [pdf] under the AWG-LCA yesterday.On Wednesday, the Third World Network (TWN) said during a press briefing that there was a very strong reluctance from some countries to “even talk about IP.” Developing countries have put forward a number of proposals such as specific green technologies being exempt from IP because this technology would be considered as a global public good. Some others have proposed the use of compulsory licences “to deal with the barriers of patents,” said TWN’s Chee Yoke Ling.During the first plenary meeting of the AWG-LCA on Monday, the International Chamber of Commerce said over 80 percent of the financial resources required to fund global reductions of emissions of greenhouse gas, technological development and adaptation activities would come from the private sector, notably through investments. Therefore, they said, it is vital to clarify the role of the private sector in the climate change challenge and put forward mechanisms to accelerate technology transfer in a way that respects IP rights.On the same day, the ministers of Brazil, China, India and South Africa gave a press conference and said that they are deeply conscious of the need to have a substantive and successful outcome to the negotiations. However, they presented three non-negotiable conditions. The first was the necessity of having an extension of the commitment under the Kyoto Protocol; the second was to accelerate the fast-track finance mechanism, which they said had not started yet and had hardly been financed, although it was part of the Copenhagen accord last year. The third condition was to have a technology mechanism that would not only address adaptation needs of vulnerable countries but would also keep the dialogue on IP issues going.On Wednesday, the Bolivian Ambassador held a press briefing and said a number of countries were convened by the Chair of the working group to discuss the new text for an informal meeting. Bolivia extended their apologies to the Chair and left the meeting in hopes that that would send a message to request that official formal negotiations where 192 countries take part be re-established, so that “there is no one who is left outside.”Kyoto Protocol Hanging by a ThreadOne of the key elements of discussion in Cancun is the extension beyond 2012 of the commitment of developed countries to reduce their emission of greenhouse gas. Japan declared at the opening of the conference that it will not agree to such an extension. The European Union said on Monday that it was willing to consider a second commitment period of the Kyoto protocol engaging all major economies. However, if all current “Annex 1” countries (developed countries listed in annex one of the protocol) were to extend their commitment it still would not be enough to keep the temperature rise below two degrees.The key for the EU is to anchor emission pledges under the Copenhagen accord and enhance transparency of action, they said.The United States speaking on Wednesday at a press conference said that the signature achievement of the Copenhagen accord was that all major economies agreed to implement: national targets on the side of the developed countries (paragraph 4), and national actions on the side of developing countries (paragraph 5).Developed countries appear to favour the Copenhagen Accord because it includes developing countries and is not binding, and also because the system is not based on a science-based aggregate target but based on pledges, according to sources. The Kyoto Protocol is a binding agreement and only requires countries listed in its annex to commit to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, which is seen as unjustified by some because it does not include emerging economies, such as China or India.Meawhile, on 29 November, the International Chamber of Commerce, along with the Mexican Institute of Intellectual Property, and Microsoft Mexico, co-hosted a seminar in Mexico on intellectual property rights.The seminar, entitled, Maximising the Value of Mexican Innovations through Intellectual Property, “explored ways that Mexican companies can benefit and become more competitive, while protecting and managing their innovations through IP,” according to a press release.Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)RelatedCatherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com."IP Issues In Shadows At Climate Change Conference" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.