July 29, 2009

U.S. Chamber Testimony Highlights IP’s Role in Providing Climate Change Solutions

Technology is the Key to Addressing Climate Change,’ Esper tells Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Dr. Mark Esper, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center, testified today before Congress about the importance of protecting intellectual property rights and highlighted the role IP will play in solving global climate change challenges.

“Technology is the key to addressing climate change, and protecting intellectual property rights is essential if we want such innovation to flourish,” Esper told the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.  “We must safeguard a time-proven system that not only incentivizes breakthrough solutions to global challenges, but that will also create jobs and spur economic growth here in the United States.

“America’s intellectual property is valued at over $5 trillion, worth more than the nominal GDP of any other country, and accounts for more than half of all U.S exports, fueling our economy and creating jobs. It needs to be protected,” he said.

Esper noted that despite these facts, threats to innovation and IP rights exist around the globe, particularly among a number of governments who are trying to weaken the global IP system for their own benefit. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the latest front where some are attempting to portray IP rights as a barrier to addressing climate change.  Esper made clear that IP actually facilitates technology development and sharing, and that any climate change agreement that weakens IP protections will do just the opposite.

“We cannot afford to undermine a system that both incentivizes innovation while sharing knowledge broadly in a way that benefits mankind,” said Esper. “IP is part of the solution to climate change – not a hindrance.”

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

Click here to read Esper’s testimony in its entirety.

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.

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