Global Artificial Photosynthesis Project: A Scientific and Legal Introduction
Journal of Law and Medicine, Vol. 19, pp. 275-281, 2011
7 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2011
Date Written: November 28, 2011
With the global human population set to exceed 10 billion by 2050, its collective energy consumption to rise from 400 to over 500 EJ/yr and with the natural environment under increasing pressure from these sources as well as from anthropogenic climate change, political solutions such as the creation of an efficient carbon price and trading scheme may arrive too late. In this context, the scientific community is exploring technological remedies. Central to these options is artificial photosynthesis – the creation, particularly through nanotechnology, of devices capable to doing what plants have done for millions of years – transforming sunlight, water and carbon dioxide into food and fuel. This article argues that a Global Artificial Photosynthesis (GAP) project can raise the public profile and encourage the pace, complexity and funding of scientific collaborations in artificial photosynthesis research. The legal structure of a GAP project will be critical to prevent issues such as state sovereignty over energy and food resources and corporate intellectual monopoly privileges unduly inhibiting the important contribution of artificial photosynthesis to global public health and environmental sustainability. The article presents an introduction to the scientific and legal concepts behind a GAP project.
Keywords: Artificial photosynthesis, renewable energy, solar fuel, energy security, common heritage, intellectual monopoly privileges, patents, technology transfer, carbon price
JEL Classification: Q42, Q43, Q48, O33, O34, O32, O19, N70, L93, K32, K21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation