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COP28 Series: Introduction

By Josephine Pepper
COP28 Series: Introduction

In attempting to reduce both the causes and effects of climate change, innovation and technology are frequently held up as solutions which may allow us to keep pace with (and possibly even reverse) the ongoing changes to our planet.

COP28 summed up the sentiment, with technology and innovation “at the heart and centre of everything we do” and a dedicated Technology & Innovation Hub. COP28’s Global Stocktake decision text concluded that “rapid and scaled-up deployment and adoption of existing clean technologies and accelerated innovation, … demonstration and dissemination of new and emerging technologies, as well as increased access to those technologies” is needed to meet the objectives set out in the Paris Agreement.

It is clear that the potential for transformative innovation in this field is huge. However, there are legitimate concerns that many proposed technologies are still very early-stage and have yet to be proven to work at the scales needed to have the desired impact. Too much focus on exciting innovations that may ultimately prove unworkable or unscalable risks creating false hope and deflecting attention away from solutions that, while perhaps lower-impact, are ready for implementation now.

So, what is the ‘technology and innovation’ that COP28 was talking about? Do the promises bear up to scrutiny? Are there any gaps that went unaddressed? How ‘ready’ actually is this technology? Is there technological capability that is currently being overlooked or held up and, if so, how?

As patent attorneys, we encounter a range of innovations coming through the R&D pipeline in all areas of technology. This series of regular insights will use this expertise and experience to take a look at where we stand in different areas of the technological fight against climate change.

The first insight in this series will be available on 21 March and will look at energy efficiency. Future insights will follow on a fortnightly basis and cover topics ranging from oceans to genetic technologies for food production.

More information about IP in cleantech fields is available on our dedicated cleantech hub.