Raising Climate Ambition: A Resolution for a Green New Deal

Matthew Rimmer

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A number of Nobel Laureates in economics have been grappling with the problem of research, development, and transfer of clean technologies in order to tackle the climate crisis. Joseph Stiglitz has been investigating how intellectual property laws could be recalibrated and redesigned to better account for sustainable development and climate change. Stiglitz and his collaborators have argued: ‘A substantial recalibration of the international approach to Intellectual Property Rights is required to ensure the advancement of the standards of living and well-being of the entire world.’ In their view, ‘As the world continues to move towards greater integration and becomes more interdependent and faces up to the pressing challenge posed by our co-dependencies on each other, including global public health and climate change, these reforms will become more urgent.’

Another Nobel Prize winner William Nordhaus has also been focused upon the best public policy options to promote the adoption of clean technologies. In his 2018 Nobel Lecture in Economics, Nordhaus stressed that ‘people must understand the gravity of global warming’, engage in ‘intensive research’ and resist ‘false and tendentious reasoning.’ He insisted that: ‘Nations must raise the price of CO2 and other greenhouse-gas emissions.’ Nordhaus also maintained that ‘policies must be global and not just national or local.’ He believes that ‘the best hope for effective coordination is a climate club.’ In his view, ‘rapid technological change in the energy sector is essential.’

In this context, Brown seeks to address one of the profound challenges of our time — namely, achieving a just transition to a low-carbon economy to address the wicked global problems of climate change. This foreword considers three key dimensions of the contribution of Brown’s book, Intellectual Property, Climate Change and Technology. First, it explores the work as a response to the need for global climate action in the wake of the Paris Agreement 2015. Second, the foreword examines how the book considers new legal, regulatory and administrative frameworks to address climate change. Third, it examines the focus of the book upon climate litigation as a means of encouraging government and corporate action in respect of climate change. Brown seeks to push for greater climate ambition in international agreements; in national policy; and in the courts.

Rimmer, Matthew (2019) Raising climate ambition: A resolution for a green new deal. In Brown, Abbe E.L. (Ed.) Intellectual Property, Climate Change and Technology: Managing National Legal Intersections, Relationships and Conflicts. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham and Northampton (MA). The full version is available open access here — https://www.elgaronline.com/view/9781788111102/03_foreword.xhtml and https://eprints.qut.edu.au/128789/

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