Climate Change and IPR


UN Office for the High Commissioner of the Human Rights (OHCHR) published a report in 2009 which demonstrated the innumerable array of consequences that Climate Change can result into on lives of not only Human Beings but the whole of the planet itself. Hence, it is suffice to say that since 2009 although some amount people have enhanced their knowledge about the atrocious effects of the installation of Climate Change, no one has actually contributed towards recognizing its severity and how it can cause a lifetime of change. Climate Change is a form of intense alteration in the weather pattern so as to creating unforeseen and colossal behavior of nature like droughts, floods or tsunamis, rising sea level, reduction in fertilization of soil, increasing land and ocean heat and many more. Since, the beginning of the time of a human life, they have been customized to seek what they want and rather continue to the development up to its last limit. From the invention of fire in the Early Age Period to the installation of Artificial Intelligence in today’s world, it is important to note that in order to fulfill the needs of human kind, the humans have to pay a huge cost including lives of innocent. The Earthquake in Haiti, 2010 or the Hurricane Maria in 2017 or the 1932 China Floods and even the recent Cyclone in the arena of Kolkata are in fact a cost that the humans have to pay in order to not being able to maintain the foundation of human-nature relationship.

As the amplifying rise of Global Warming, the authorities both National and International are working towards making the Environment safer. It has been clearly under everyone’s view that International authorities are working under coining different strategies in order to bring stabilization in the weather pattern and at the same time different Nations, developed or developing are the working towards initiating and formulating the best situational controls for their respective areas in the circumstance of crisis. As governed by many nations the fact that since there is an involvement of newly technological and highly advanced society, the inclusion of the protection of Intellectual Property (IP) would contribute as a highly valuable manifestation to bargain against Climate Change.

The State Governments are constantly instigating on the protection of Human Rights which results into greater good of the country as a whole and gives a fair chance of service for the needy. The immediate assistance that is required is under the parts where the rural society lies. The nexus between the Human Rights and Climate Change is the implementation of Intellectual Property as it not only protects but also provides a backdrop to the needs of the hour for the people whose lives are at stake.



Global Warming and Climate Change goes hand in hand with an increment. At this level International Authorities like United Nation, World Health Organization, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) or the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which is an international treaty have reported that the world will definitely need a bodyguard to protect against rising level of temperature as Ozone Layer, its current bodyguard is shedding off as the days go by.


Clean Energy Solutions

After much discussion and thought, the inculcation of Thermal Energies like Solar Water Heating Tanks, Solar Cookers, Solar generation Systems have been the most commercialized form to achieve the protection of Human Rights. The idea behind this is to produce energy without compromising the nature’s dangerous parameters. Furthermore with the help of Solar Energy, the coming technologies are trying to mark an easy way to create thin film of semiconductors which can be applied to the existing surfaces resulting in the reduction of manufacturing cost of Solar Technologies.


Human Rights Obligations

Intellectual Property Rights as Human Rights gives protection of moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary, or artistic production. The duty of the State is not just fulfilling by adopting a policy or a particular engagement in technology, instead the need of the hour should be recognized as to where the danger lies and when the minimum standards of living are guaranteed. Intellectual Property avails these fundamentals to all those in need. There should be the existence of royalty free patency and licenses to those industries that produce clean energy technologies. This issue has been raised even by many developed nations as well under World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS Agreement), which includes an obligation to grant patents in all fields of technology. Industrialized countries have fervently opposed any change to the TRIPS Agreement and other treaties, which would weaken patent protections for clean development technologies, arguing that this would hinder technological innovation. Many developing countries are not convinced, however.

This tension between the industrialized countries and developing nations can create a hindrance but this is believed that both the sides will favor the measures and patency rights on United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Many demands have also been established by Indian Environmental Ministers from the developed nations so as to provide technology free of IPR to be able to stand up to the expectations of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC). INDC are plans that every country has to take under their purview in order to tackle climate change with the main focus of arena being the domestic assistance.

With these submissions the discussions grows to a wider spectrum and eventually be a part of the Global Climate Change Agreement in Paris. Sumant Sinha, chairman and CEO of ReNew Power Ventures, opined, “global climate deal can only work for India if it manages to solidify its renewable sector and set a peaking year.”



Although the existing elasticity within the TRIPS Agreement were asserted to be sufficient for facilitating access to essential medicines may similarly be sufficient for easing the IP protections on important clean energy technologies, the fundamental differences between the regimes of IP and human rights protections warrants a major analysis of Human Rights.

Author: Gayatri Sharma,
GGSIPU, Jims School of Law, 2nd year/ Student

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