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Brazil readies big push on solar energy but companies are wary

UNFCCC headlines - Tue, 08/12/2014 - 07:34
Source: Reuters - Grappling with its worst energy crisis in more than a decade, Brazil is making its first big move to develop a local solar power industry that could help reduce its dependence on a battered hydro power system
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Two Filipinos are 'must-hears' in climate discussion

UNFCCC headlines - Tue, 08/12/2014 - 07:34
Source: Rappler - A global scientific organization lists 20 people – including Filipinos Victoria Tauli-Corpuz and Naderev Saño – they want to hear talk at the upcoming 2015 climate talks in Paris
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More severe tornado outbreaks may be linked to climate change

UNFCCC headlines - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 07:34
Source: CBS News - Climate change may be playing a role in the strength and frequency of tornadoes, a new study suggests.
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Cheap airfare swamps industry's emissions cuts – study

UNFCCC headlines - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 07:34
Source: Climate News Network - The aviation industry insists that it is making only a tiny contribution to global warming, with just 2 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions coming from its aircraft.
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On International Day, Ban says indigenous peoples can be 'powerful agents of progress'

UNFCCC headlines - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 07:34
Source: UN News Centre - Marking the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples today, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said indigenous peoples have a central interest in development and can act as “powerful agents of progress.”
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The Empiricist Strikes Back (opinion)

UNFCCC headlines - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 07:34
Source: NY Times -
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Q&A: Sen. Boxer on climate change, California drought

UNFCCC headlines - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 07:34
Source: The Desert Sun - Sen. Barbara Boxer, who leads the Environment and Public Works Committee, is on a trip to Amsterdam focusing on climate change.
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Push for climate change on G20 list

UNFCCC headlines - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 07:34
Source: Sydney Morning Herald - Three former Australians of the Year, including Nobel laureate Peter Doherty, have signed an open letter to Prime Minister Tony Abbott calling for climate change to be included on the agenda for the G20 leaders summit to be held in Brisbane in November.
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African Journalists attend session on UN Climate Summit

UNFCCC headlines - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 07:14
Source: GNA - Journalists from Ghana, Kenya, Namibia and Nigeria have participated in an hour-long online press briefing to discuss Climate Change and the upcoming UN Climate Summit in New York.
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BASIC nations discuss climate issues ahead of UN talks

UNFCCC headlines - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 07:14
Source: The Hindu Businessline - India, along with other major developing nations such as China and Brazil, could well be on its way to standing up against richer developed countries.
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Opposing view | BASIC climate changes

UNFCCC headlines - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 07:14
Source: Livemint -
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Forests for the future: Kenya's carbon credit scheme

UNFCCC headlines - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 07:14
Source: eNews Channel Africa - When 61-year old Mercy Joshua was young, the vast forests of southeastern Kenya teemed with wildlife, but decades of unchecked deforestation by locals have devastated the land.
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Two NREL Scientists Named to Highly Cited Researcher List

NREL - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 08:00
Two scientists at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory have been included in Thomson Reuters' Highly Cited Research list for the thousands of citations of their work by fellow researchers over the past decade.
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The Declaration on Patent Protection: Regulatory sovereignty under TRIPS.

The Declaration on Patent Protection: Regulatory sovereignty under TRIPS was drafted under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition in Munich. It is the result of two decades of intensive research and prepared with the support of scholars all over the world. It has been issued in the context of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the WTO and the adoption of the TRIPS Agreement on 15 April 1994.

The purpose of the Declaration indicates the interpretive scope of the TRIPS norms. Overall, it remains neutral – it is neither directed at states with a specific level of development nor does it aspire to provide recommendations for legal action. It only points out the regulatory discretion that national legislators enjoy when it comes to implementing their own patent systems.

According to the drafters

“Sovereign states should retain the discretion to adopt a patent system that best suits their technological capabilities as well as their social, cultural and economic needs and priorities, with the proviso that the exercise of such discretion must remain within the boundaries of international law. Taking into account the customary principles of interpretation of international law, this Declaration seeks to shed light on these boundaries. The purpose is to clarify the policy space that the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) leaves to national legislators and judicial authorities with regard to the implementation and administration of their patent systems.”

The Declaration deals accordingly with the following aspects of patent law: a) general principles; b) differentiation of fields of technology; c) patentability and disclosure; d) scope of protection; e) exhaustion issues; f) exceptions to the scope of protection; g) compulsory licence; h) government use; i) undisclosed information; j) enforcement; k) goods in transit; and l) criminal measures.

The Declaration on Patent Protection shows that it is possible to design a patent system that reflects both the interest of inventors and right holders as well as the national public interest, without infringing the international obligations of WTO members and taking advantage of the TRIPS Agreement flexibilities.

You can access the document here

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International technology transfer: Current implementation and future course of action

Improving technology transfer flows and arrangements directed towards developing countries and LDCs has emerged as an important priority in a number of international forums such as the WTO, WIPO and beyond. It has also been a shared interest in the research agendas of ICTSD and the Centre for Global Development (CGD).

In this context, this expert meeting will discuss the draft of a new CGD paper entitled: ‘Europe Beyond Aid: Evaluating Europe’s contribution to the transfer of technology and knowledge to developing nations’ developed in cooperation with Walter Park (American University) and Owen Barder (CGD) who will present the paper at the dialogue. Beyond Europe, the meeting will also examine the status of current technology transfer discussions at both WTO and WIPO.

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Multilateral IP negotiations: Between rhetoric and reality

Multilateral intellectual property (IP) negotiations face multiple challenges in an increasingly complex global innovation landscape. From climate change to biodiversity and access to medicines, IP has become a cross-cutting issue with important public policy implications. Regional/bilateral trade agreements and plurilateral initiatives have also become a key feature of this global landscape.

In this context, what are the present realities and future challenges facing these negotiations? How can traditional differences be bridged to reach consensual outcomes? How to ensure coherence across the variety of international forums where IP issues are raised? These are some of the questions to be addressed in this dialogue which will bring together capital-based officials to interact with Geneva based IP negotiators, who will provide a practical perspective on how IP negotiations are conducted at forums such as the WTO and WIPO.

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First Geneva Dialogue on Traditional Knowledge

The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), the Australian Centre for Intellectual Property in Agriculture (ACIPA) and the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) are holding the First Geneva Dialogue on Traditional Knowledge on Friday, March 21, 2014 (9h30 - 18h00).

The objective of this dialogue is to provide an informal space to debate key issues relevant for the effective development and implementation of an international regime for the protection of TK, with a primary focus on the ongoing process at the IGC.

The dialogue will thus bring together a multi-stakeholder group of country delegates, experts, academics and indigenous people representatives to discuss the current direction of the IGC negotiations on TK. The morning sessions will provide opportunities to discuss the IGC draft text on TK, its relationship to the CBD Nagoya Protocol, and the treatment of customary law and its role in securing effective TK protection. The contribution of proposals included in the recent IGC draft text on GRs to the prevention of TK misappropriation will also be examined. The afternoon sessions will address key issues in the draft TK text, as well as cross-cutting issues in the draft GRs text, such as: i) scope; ii) economic rights/beneficiaries; iii) shared TK and iv) limitations and exceptions.

If you wish to attend, please register in advance with Ms. Anna Jedrusik (Tel: +4122-9178855, email: ipprogramme@ictsd.ch). Places are limited.

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Multilateral IP negotiations: Between rhetoric and reality

Multilateral intellectual property (IP) negotiations face multiple challenges in an increasingly complex global innovation landscape. From climate change to biodiversity and access to medicines, IP has become a cross-cutting issue with important public policy implications. Regional/bilateral trade agreements and plurilateral initiatives have also become a key feature of this global landscape.

In this context, what are the present realities and future challenges facing these negotiations? How can traditional differences be bridged to reach consensual outcomes? How to ensure coherence across the variety of international forums where IP issues are raised? These are some of the questions to be addressed in this dialogue which will bring together capital-based officials to interact with Geneva based IP negotiators, who will provide a practical perspective on how IP negotiations are conducted at forums such as the WTO and WIPO.

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WIPO Ctte Nominates Gurry for Second Term

Francis Gurry is set to serve another six years as the head of the UN’s intellectual property body, after a selection committee nominated him for a second term last week. The recommendation is expected to be formally approved during May’s meeting of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) General Assembly.

Gurry’s first term as WIPO Director-General, which began in 2008, saw the adoption of two major treaties: the Marrakesh Treaty on copyright exceptions for the visually impaired and the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances. (See Bridges Weekly, 4 July 2013 and 27 June 2012, respectively)

This year’s Director-General race featured four candidates competing for the top slot, some of whom indicated that their candidature was motivated by a perception that WIPO was in need of strengthening as an institution. Traditionally when an incumbent UN agency chief is seeking re-election, they are endorsed by consensus, without any challengers.

Along with Gurry, who was nominated by Australia, the other candidates included Deputy Director-General Geoffrey Onyeama of Nigeria, Estonian Ambassador Jüri Seilenthal, and Panamanian Ambassador Alfredo Suescum.

Under WIPO procedures, a final nominee is chosen by the organisation’s Coordination Committee, which votes by secret ballot to whittle down the list of candidates. The committee serves as WIPO’s executive body, and is made up of 83 member states. The outcome is then sent to the full WIPO membership for final approval or rejection.

Last Thursday, in the first round of voting, Gurry received 46 votes, followed by Onyeama with 20, Suescum with 10, and Seilenthal with 7. The top three candidates were slated to advance to the second round. However, Onyeama and Suescum withdrew their candidacies later in the day, leaving Gurry as the consensus nominee.

In his acceptance speech, Gurry thanked the committee for its confidence in him. “The world of intellectual property is a challenging one, but one with great opportunities,” he said.

“I think that our task in the future is to manage those tensions that inevitably occur around intellectual property, innovation, and creativity in order to maximise the opportunities for all member states,” he added.

After approval in May, Gurry will begin his second term in October.

ICTSD reporting.

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The Shale Gas Revolution

As shale gas exploration and extraction ramps up in many parts of the world, its contribution to global climate change and effect on international trade are becoming increasingly complicated and indeterminate. Undoubtedly, shale gas is transforming energy prices, industrial competitiveness, and geopolitics in a number of countries. Further investigation and safeguards are therefore needed to ensure that the shale gas “revolution” fosters, rather than hinders, sustainable development.

This paper, authored by Thomas L. Brewer, a senior fellow of ICTSD, sheds light on these complex issues and calls on governments, industry and international agencies to evaluate the full effects of shale gas on the environment and climate change to determine how it can best fit into a sustainable development agenda.

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