On 6 December 2023 at the United Nations Climate Change Conference ("COP28") in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the World Intellectual Property Organisation ("WIPO") released the second edition of its Green Technology Book (the "Book"). WIPO has focused this edition of the Book on climate change mitigation and innovations in industry, agriculture and cities. The Director General of WIPO said that the Book is a practical guide for policymakers, industry, investors, researchers and many others. This short blog provides an overview of the latest edition.

Main Themes and Findings

Whilst the 2022 edition of the Green Technology Book, released at COP 27 in Egypt, was technology based with a focus on climate change adaptations, the 2023 edition of the Book instead focuses on solutions for climate change mitigation.

The Book emphasises that climate change mitigation requires innovation and that while we may have the solutions needed to halve emissions by 2030, reaching net zero by 2050 requires significant and rapid technological innovation.

From an intellectual property ("IP") perspective, IP and innovation have an important role in the creation and implementation of low-emissions technologies. The Book highlights that innovation often builds on existing technologies. Well-managed intellectual property rights are important for efficient national systems of innovation and a wide range of climate technologies are being created. Weaker national systems of innovation lead to fewer patents.

The Book did acknowledge that most patents for climate technology are filed in developed countries and that the majority of climate technologies are a response to the needs and conditions of developed nations. Five countries represented nearly 76% of high-value climate mitigation innovations developed between 2010 and 2016: China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States. Throughout the Book and each sector, there was a trend in China being named as the country submitting the most patents.

In an accompanying press release of the Book, WIPO summarised its 10 key findings:

  1. The majority of the climate technologies which are needed to halve emissions by 2030 are already available and focusing on future technologies might mean we miss out on investment in pre-existing solutions.
  2. Dependence on fossil fuels hinders the effectiveness of climate technologies and countries reliant on fossil fuels for electricity may have difficulties in implementing electricity-based technologies.
  3. It is critical to address the growing demand for resources (e.g., energy, water and materials).
  4. A broad-based, participatory approach, gathering stakeholder's views are needed when developing and deploying climate technologies for successful uptake of the technology.
  5. Slow adoption of climate technologies increases the risk of stranded assets and carbon lock-in as rapidly growing cities are putting in place long-term infrastructure such as buildings and road networks. Careful assessment of technology choices and availability is needed.
  6. Efforts to decarbonise the "hard-to-abate" sectors (e.g., steel and cement) focus on less carbon intensive stages, which ignores other emission reduction opportunities.
  7. Changes to agricultural practices and land use have significant potential to reduce emissions as technologies can support sustainable practices, but such use depends on economic viability and policy support.
  8. Greater collaboration is needed as few countries are leading the way with climate technology.
  9. Localised adaptation of climate technologies is essential and current technologies are often expensive and inaccessible in many regions.
  10. As mentioned above, IP rights are vital in a well-functioning innovation system.

Cities, Agriculture and Industry

The Book has chapters dedicated to innovations and climate technologies in cities, agriculture and land use, and industry. The chapters examine patenting and financing trends in these sectors.

In the cities chapter, the Book explores technologies for decarbonising cities including efficient heating and cooling technologies, smart mobility and material efficiency and sustainable waste management. Regarding patents, it highlights the trend towards electrification of fleet vehicles and that most low carbon transport inventions relate to battery technology. E-bikes and step scooters have also seen the most intense level of innovation among European patent applications for "micro-mobility".

The agriculture and land use chapter explores technologies in livestock, soils, land use and forestry, rice cultivation and data and precision farming. The Book highlights that the agricultural sector is experiencing high levels of innovation in terms of patents, with filings increasing by around 10% between 2000 and 2017. Drones and robots are also seeing innovation with significant patenting in the area of robotic arms and mechatronics applied to fishing.

Finally, the industry chapter explores iron and steel, cement, and industry 4.0 (the recently introduced term for the current digital transformation of the industrial sector). The number of patents relating to low-emission steel and iron ore is growing while the number of patents for carbon capture and storage has declined. The Book highlights that industry 4.0 does not guarantee climate mitigation and, at worst, industry 4.0 technologies could increase emissions.


Following the agreements reached at COP28 to increase efforts to tackle climate change, including the decarbonisation of the energy system to keep the goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach, the Book highlights the importance of innovation and the critical role of the protection of intellectual property in order to reach these goals.

Brodies' commercial team is experienced in assisting clients with research and development projects, advising green technology organisations in relation to their commercial agreements and the protection of intellectual property. If you would like to discuss any of the points raised in this blog in more detail, please get in touch with a member of the corporate and commercial team or your usual Brodies contact.


Rebecca Ronney


Alison Bryce


Clare O'Toole