We Should Share Clean Coal Technologies With The Rest Of The World

steven chu worried tbi

The U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen are still months away, but the Chamber of Commerce is already worried that China, or other nations, will get the U.S. to give away intellectual property rights for clean technologies as part of an agreement.

What’s gotten them so rattled? DOE chief Steven Chu saying “we should work very hard in a very collaborative way – by very collaborative I mean share all intellectual property as much as possible.”

Of course this has many businesses howling, thus the Chamber of Commerce formed the Innovation, Development & Employment Alliance to try and fight any such move. The reasons they’re against sharing IP, are obvious. Without IP protection there will be no incentive to innovate, brilliant research won’t be rewarded, etc.

Clean coal technology, if such a thing can exist, should be exempted from those policies. We don’t expect this will happen any time soon, if ever, as businesses are already making their grievances known. But, as Steven Chu points out, there’s tremendous upside to this idea.

  • The most obvious, is that the world gets access to technology that limits CO2 emissions. If we want to cut back on them to prevent global warming, it can not be a local solution, it must be a global solution.
  • We foster an atmosphere of cooperation for agreeing on an international climate change pact.
  • Chu points out, not much is lost for a home country “since power plants are built in the home country most of the investments are in the home country, you don’t build a power plant, put it in a boat and ship it overseas.”
  • Also, much of this technology is sponsored by the government. The government clearly believes that cutting CO2 emissions is important. It should feel free to share technology that it has sponsored.

We don’t think completely independent companies should have to share their IP with the rest of the world. Just companies that are taking government money.

Video via Dot Earth

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