Find the latest episode of "This Is Uncomfortable" here. Listen

Treaty would protect green innovation

Sam Eaton Jul 29, 2009
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Treaty would protect green innovation

Sam Eaton Jul 29, 2009
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: This morning the House Climate Change committee takes up the issue of intellectual property rights. It’s become a flash-point in international climate talks as poor nations demand cheaper access to low-carbon technology developed by rich countries. From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, here’s Sam Eaton.


Sam Eaton: Negotiators for a new international climate treaty have fielded several proposals that would allow poor nations to break patents on green technologies. The argument is that developing nations can’t be expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions without a little help.

But Mark Esper is with the Intellectual Property Center at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He says if companies’ inventions aren’t protected, they’ll simply stop inventing.

Mark Esper: If they come to believe that at the end of the day when they create something it will be taken by China or it will be taken by India and exploited in those countries, then the concern is that innovation required to address climate change will simply dry up.

The Chamber recently set up an alliance to lobby for patent protections on climate technology. Esper says rather than punish inventors, climate negotiators should ensure access to low-carbon technologies through a global fund that would help poor nations pay for it.

I’m Sam Eaton for Marketplace.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.