The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) recently unveiled the second edition of its "Green Technology Book" during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The document underscores the pivotal role of innovation, technology, and intellectual property (IP) in the fight against climate change. With a focus on climate change mitigation, the book delves into significant innovations across crucial sectors such as Industry, Agriculture and Land Use, and Cities.

Addressing urgent climate change requires immediate action, focusing on deploying proven technologies rather than awaiting breakthroughs. Delays pose risks, especially as certain emerging technologies face setbacks. Developing countries, particularly growing cities, are pivotal in adopting existing climate technologies, unlocking trillions in economic opportunities by 2030.

Urgent action is imperative in addressing climate change, emphasising deploying proven technologies. Delaying poses risks, especially as emerging technologies face setbacks. Developing countries, notably growing cities, are pivotal in adopting existing climate technologies, unlocking trillions in economic opportunities by 2030.

Circular thinking and design are central, emphasising material efficiency in cities, food systems, and industries. Despite insufficient climate finance in 2021, private finance lags behind public investment. Consumer spending, particularly on electric cars, is crucial. Innovation and intellectual property (IP) play a critical role in climate change solutions.

Data reveals a fivefold increase in climate change mitigation technology inventions from 1995 to 2011. Though a temporary slowdown occurred from 2014 to 2017, positive trends resumed, especially in low-carbon energy technologies. Patent activity in electric and hybrid vehicles correlates with fossil fuel price fluctuations. The article advocates for promoting technology transfer, national innovation, and recognising solutions from developing countries.

Urban climate finance is approximately $384 billion per year, falling short of the $4.5 to $5.4 trillion needed. Finance predominantly focuses on mitigation over adaptation, with 54% for low-carbon transport and 44% for the building sector. Limited attention is given to waste mitigation.

In electric vehicles (EVs), a surge in patents, particularly in battery technology, is noted. Asian companies, mainly in China, lead in innovations for battery life, charging speed, and recyclability. Micromobility systems, hydrogen fuel cells, and smart mobility technologies also see increased patent activity. Heating and cooling technologies, especially heat pumps, witness innovation led by China, Austria, and Germany. Sustainable materials, especially plastics, experience innovation in bioplastics and recycling technologies.

Plastic production, use, and disposal contribute to 19% of the global carbon budget by 2040. Urban climate finance faces a significant gap, with only 54% allocated to low-carbon transport and 44% to the building sector. Agriculture witnessed a surge in innovation, especially in agricultural engineering patents, led by China. Agricultural drones, robotic arms, and automated irrigation are focal points. Innovations targeting methane emissions from livestock, such as feed additives, show promise. Environmental Earth observation for precision farming sees a 1,800% increase in patent filings, led by China.

Agricultural climate finance remains underfunded, receiving only 2.5% of total climate finance in 2019/20. Precision farming, sustainable rice farming, and regenerative agriculture gain financial support. Plant-based proteins receive over $5 billion in venture capital investments in 2021. The precision farming market is expected to grow from $9.7 billion in 2023 to $21.9 billion by 2031.

Steel and cement production contributes nearly 14% to global emissions. Efficient material use is critical, as construction projects use 30 to 50% more cement and steel than necessary. Technology, such as lightweight and low-carbon materials, computer modelling, and reuse/recycling, can minimise waste. Green hydrogen emerges as a low-carbon alternative. Challenges include dependence on renewable energy and fossil-fuel-heavy electric grids.

Innovations in low-emission steel, low-carbon cement technologies, carbon capture and storage (CCS), hydrogen, and Industry 4.0 technologies are increasing. China leads in patent filings for low-carbon steel. Innovations in low-carbon steel may need nearly $200 billion, and decarbonising steel could require $1.4 trillion by 2050. Government grants and initiatives play a crucial role.

Venture capital and bank interest in decarbonisation startups surge, raising over $7 billion in the past two years. International cooperation, carbon credits, and pricing schemes are essential for achieving net-zero targets by 2050. Proposed rules under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement aim to link countries' carbon markets. In low-emission steel and iron ore, China leads in patent applicants, accounting for 88%.

The urgency of the climate crisis demands immediate action, deploying proven technologies collaboratively. Advancements across sectors emphasise the need for inclusive global innovation. Challenges persist, particularly in securing adequate climate finance and promoting technology transfer. The pathway forward involves not only breakthrough technologies but also the rapid implementation of existing solutions, fostering international collaboration and ensuring equitable access to sustainable innovations.

Written by Shivani
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