UNFCCC SBI 36/SBSTA 36/AWGLCA 15/AWGKP 16/ADP 1
Update 10 ( 23 May 2012, Wed)
AWG-LCA Contact Group Tackles Intellectual Property Rights Related to Technology Transfer
The AWG-LCA Contact Group tackled the issues of finance, technology transfer and response measures in the afternoon of this day with the AWG-LCA Chair opening the discussion on these cluster of issues saying the Parties should indicate which specific concerns among these issues would still need further consideration by the AWG-LCA as it tries to determine whether from the Bali Action Plan and subsequent COP (Conference of the Parties, the governing body of the Convention) decisions from that time, these items were either resolved already or are currently within the mandates of thematic bodies already created by the COP since Bali in 2007.
The Philippines spoke first, saying that one of the unfinished items in the agenda relating to enhanced action on technology transfer, which is already provided for by para. 128 (e) of Decision 1/CP.16, the Cancun Decision, is the matter of additional functions for the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the Climate Technology Center and Network (CTCN), suggesting language for the COP in the following manner : “The COP hereby decides on the following additional functions of the TEC and CTCN in accordance with para. 128 ( e ) of Decision 1/CP.16 : (a) for the TEC to consider issues related to intellectual property rights (IPRs) as they arise from the development and transfer of technologies, and (b) for the CTCN to provide advise and support, including capacity-building, on the conduct of technology assessments of new and emerging technologies subject to technology development and transfer under the Convention.”
Mexico, supported by Japan, answered that before considering additional functions for the TEC and the CTCN, the AWG-LCA should focus on what has been already agreed, especially its implementation; on the issue of IPRs, this issue belongs to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
The AWG-LCA Chair Aysar Tayeb said he didn’t think this discussion serves as a challenge to the mandate of WIPO, as it is more like finding out where else the AWG-LCA needs to take some action to complete its mandate from the Bali Action Plan.
China said the AWG-LCA needs to look at the Bali Action Plan which called for the removal of obstacles and the provision of financial resources for technology transfer and the development of mechanisms and tools to facilitate technology transfer for specific sectors.
While noting that some intergovernmental organizations are already dealing with IPRs, China said this is not enough since these intergovernmental bodies do not look at technology transfer to influence action on climate change adaptation and mitigation.
China also said studies show there is unbalanced intellectual property (IP) capacity that is why we need to seek ways to address this to facilitate technology diffusion.
As to the linkage of technology transfer to finance, China sees limited financial resources to support activities to the CTCN, thus, it is important to have a strong linkage between the Technology Mechanism and the Financial Mechanism of the Convention and this needs to be further elaborated.
The Co-Chair responded saying indeed there are elements from the Bali Action Plan on the removal of obstacles and the provision of incentives and he asked China, what is your suggestion on how to provide for that; on IPRs, he said China highlighted a study of the IP system and you are suggesting a dialogue, and does this dialogue need to happen on one place here within the AWG-LCA?
Australia countered that IPRs are covered under WTO and WIPO and the UNFCCC will duplicate this activity, noting further that the TEC has the mandate to deal with this and there will be a dialogue that it will undertake next week on barriers to technology transfer. As to the linkages to finance, currently this is a matter under SBSTA on the linkages with the financial mechanism and the SBI is currently considering the elements of the Financial Mechanism.
Norway agreed with Australia, taking up this issue is premature, suggesting instead we should wait for the outcome of that dialogue happening in TEC in four days; as to the the additional functions, we just set up these bodies in the Technology Mechanism, it is too soon to add these functions to these bodies, it’s hard to tell at this stage if we are fulfilling the mandate so far.
Bangladesh supported the Philippines saying IPRs is not a bad thing, we need it as incentives for innovation; the issue here it to give function to TEC to deal with IP as they arise from technology transfer; the area of activities are the same, it can talk about not as an additional function not to enlarge the dimension of that additional function; climate change is a new challenge we need to break barriers to deal with these problems; it doesn’t mean we trample with the IPRs, we are trying to respond to the needs of developing countries, there can be an IP financing pool; thus to say that this cannot be discussed here, if we can find a way to justify the use of IP for climate change issues why then it should be a red line for us, for Bangladesh, he still has to hear convincing reasons why.
AWG-LCA Chair noted we are putting this issue in the right context.
The US said we have already agreed to a lot we have answered what is already in the Bali Action Plan; on whether there is a need for additional function, the US has said it before, we don’t think IPRs are a barrier; to the extent that we need these issues to be dealt with, these are within the TEC’s mandate, when it comes to CTCN, it will have the opportunity to deal with the issue of IPRs as it implements the transfer of technologies.
Iran said this issue of IPRs should not be conditioned on any matters, and there are also matters of collaboration between the CTCN and other centers that deal with technology transfer.
The EU said that WIPO is where this debate take place, but in here, we’re talking about barriers to technology transfer; in terms of functions, there are ongoing discussions on TEC on this.
Closing the session, the AWG-LCA Chair highlighted what was said about IPRs as a barrier and also as an incentive, now which is which, this is something to reflect upon, as IPRs are now seen in two contexts; he then moved on to response measures.
On the informal group of SBSTA/SBI dealing with technology transfer, they agreed last night at around 830pm to the final unresolved item in their agenda relating to the modalities of TEC as it relates to the Board of the Green Climate Fund and leaving open other possibilities for linking up with other thematic bodies of the Convention and also giving TEC the leeway to further consider this item on modalities as it proceeds to implementing its workplan.
This was exchanged with the agreement of the US to the deletion of the word “when appropriate” on the paragraph relating to the support by the Global Environment Facility to the long-term implementation of the Poznan Strategic Program on Technology Transfer which is being aligned with the activities of the Climate Technology Center and Network.
The informal group on ADP was still trying to find ways to agree to an agenda this will be known later if they have actually succeeded already in doing so.