Balanced approaches that consider various viewpoints are needed to promote the diffusion of clean energy technologies to developing countries.

One of the biggest obstacles towards the transfer of clean energy technology from developed to developing nations is the protection of Intellectual Property Rights. Developed countries worry that incentives to invest will greatly diminish if adequate returns are not ensured. According to authors Koskina, Farah, and Ibrahim—in their article ‘Trade in clean energy technologies: sliding from protection to protectionism through obligations for technology transfer in climate change law, or Vice Versa?’—information and technical knowledge are easily appropriable; therefore, a conflict arises between protecting investments and transferring technologies to developing countries. It is indeed an issue that must be addressed, for negative externalities from diminished investments in clean energy technology development could overcome any potential benefits from transferring them to countries in need. This issue has already been addressed in some of the negotiations: for instance, the Agenda 21 promotes the transference of technologies that are publicly owned or in the public domain; the World Bank in its 2012 Inclusive Green Growth Report suggested the implementation of compulsory licensing and patent pools; the TRIPS Agreement considers that measures may be needed to prevent abusing of intellectual property rights. Nonetheless, some sectors of clean energy technology are more challenging than others in this respect. There are many approaches to this dichotomy, including facilitating the transfer of clean energy technologies to developing countries, excluding certain technologies from patent protection in developing countries, and expanding the use of TRIPS flexibilities. The transfer of clean energy technologies should promote technological innovation as well as its transfer and dissemination to establish a symbiotic relation between producers and users to improve social and economic welfare. Therefore, in order to establish an appropriate framework for the exchange of such technologies, the IPR situation must be dealt with. With the premise that most of the responsibility for the environmental degradation falls over developed nations; a system by which developed nations’ governments help developing countries finance the IPR could improve the transfer while, at the same time, maintain the interest in investment. Any sort of international negotiation on the subject that does not address the problems regarding IPRs will suffer from a lack of credibility, as balanced approaches that consider various viewpoints are needed to promote the diffusion of clean energy technologies to developing countries.