Global Intellectual Property Center

U.S. Chamber Report Projects 1 Million Green Job Losses if Efforts to Weaken IP Rights Prevail

U.S. Chamber Report Projects 1 Million Green Job Losses if Efforts to Weaken IP Rights Prevail

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) today highlighted the findings of Intellectual Property and Green Growth: Analysis and Implications for International Climate Negotiations, a recent report by Garten Rothkopf that details future green job losses if efforts to weaken intellectual property rights (IPR) prevail. The study finds that compulsory licensing and other anti-IP policies would lead to green job losses of 1 million by the year 2020, and increasing exponentially after that. This report comes in the midst of international climate change negotiations where some governments are lobbying for weakened IP rights.

“As the Administration moves forward in an effort to create millions of jobs in the green tech sector, protecting intellectual property rights in climate change negotiations is key to maximizing that,” said Dr. Mark Esper, executive vice president of GIPC. “This study clearly indicates that compulsory licensing and other anti-IP measures will lead to green job losses and the forfeiture of foreign export markets, and further supports the facts that strong IP is essential to job growth and economic resurgence.”

The Garten Rothkopf study analyzes the impact compulsory licensing, as part of a global climate treaty, would have on U.S. job growth in five green tech sectors – solar, biofuels, wind, batteries and LED lighting. Adopting conservative assumptions, the report states that 1 million jobs could be forfeited by 2020. In all green tech sectors, the report finds that job losses due to involuntary compulsory licensing mechanism could run as high as 3 million, if using the expansive projections of some industry associations.   The report also finds that in four of the five sectors analyzed, over 50% of foreign export markets would be lost.

The study also finds that the lack of a clear, legal definition of “climate friendly technologies” poses a serious risk to innovators. The ambiguity of this term suggests that compulsory licensing could be applied to any technology that in some way reduces waste or greenhouse gases. The study also concludes that compulsory licensing will actually hinder technology transfer as firms pull back from exporting to developing countries for fear of losing IP protections.

The Garten Rothkopf report, Intellectual Property and Green Growth: Analysis and Implications for International Climate Negotiations, is available here.

The Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center is working around the world to champion intellectual property (IP) as vital to creating jobs, saving lives, advancing global economic growth, and generating breakthrough solutions to global challenges.

The U.S. Chamber is the world’s largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

For more information, please contact Trinh Nguyen at (202) 463-5379.