Intellectual property rights (IPRs) and the transfer of low carbon technologies to developing countries have been the focus of sustained disagreement between many developed and developing country Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). We argue that this disagreement stems from two conflicting political discourses of economic development and low carbon technology diffusion which tend to underpin developing and developed countries' respective motivations for becoming party to the Convention. We illustrate the policy implications of these discourses by examining empirical evidence on IPRs and low carbon technology transfer and highlight how the two discourses are based on an incomplete understanding of the role of technological capacity in either economic development or technology diffusion. This has important implication for the success of post-2012 international climate agreements.

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Keywords Intellectual property rights (IPRs), Technological capacity, Technology diffusion, Technology transfer, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
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Journal Global Environmental Change
Ockwell, D.G. (David G.), Haum, R. (Ruediger), Mallett, A, & Watson, J. (Jim). (2010). Intellectual property rights and low carbon technology transfer: Conflicting discourses of diffusion and development. Global Environmental Change, 20(4), 729–738. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2010.04.009