Intellectual property is a central issue in the climate negotiations. On the one hand, it shapes and encourages innovation in low-carbon technologies. On the other hand, it reduces access to these technologies by giving patent holders market power. We analyze the interactions between climate negotiations and the acquisition of patents on renewable energy technologies. First, we recall the geopolitical nature of intellectual property and explain how it is modified by the particularities of low-carbon innovation. The second part of this article is devoted to an inventory of the production of inventions in renewable energy technologies (RETs). In particular, we focus on the relative technological advantages of countries and the value of patented inventions. Major changes are observed in the geographical distribution of low-carbon innovation during the 2000s and they foreshadow a reorganization of the geopolitical balances of innovation in renewable energies.
UNIVERSITÉ PARIS NANTERRE
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