Intellectual Property Rights as Ethical Response to Global Climate Change Crisis


Debate regarding the contribution of Intellectual Property (IP) rights to lessening climate change is intensifying. On one side, IP optimists emphasize their function in encouraging investment in Research, Development and Commercialization. However, alternative view, principally associated with developing countries, sees the monopoly rights embodied in IP as a barrier to technology adoption and international transfer and this has led to a dilemma in IP rights ethically responding to global climate change.The role of intellectual property rights with regards to climate change has remained a divisive issue.  Not only has no agreement been reached in this area, but even the path to a constructive and meaningful discussion seems elusive. Unless the role of intellectual property is addressed in a constructive and balanced manner, the potential for achieving sustainable and realistic outcomes from the climate talks could be compromised.This article explored the complex relationship between IP rights and climate change through technology-based reductions in emissions and with reference to sustainable development laws. It also considers the role IP rights can play in delivering technological change to abate the issues of climate change crisis by arguing that climate change is legally disruptive, with existing legal doctrines and frameworks forced to confront, respond, and perhaps even evolve to respond to climate change, beyond the application and incremental development of existing rules and doctrines written in the context of linkages between private international law and public international law.It concludes by outlining some plausible strategies that are necessary in resolving the dilemma associate with IP rights ethically responding to global climate change.

Citation: Kujo Elias McDave (2022) Intellectual Property Rights as Ethical Response to Global Climate Change Crisis, Global Journal of Politics and Law Research, Vol.10, No.3, pp.50-68,

Keywords: Climate Change, Innovation, Intellectual Property Rights, Patent, Technology


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 50-68 (Download PDF)

Creative Commons Licence
This work by European American Journals is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License