Public Reason: Vol. 4, No. 1-2, June-December 2012
Global Justice Considerations for a Proposed Climate Impact Fund
Cristian Timmermann & Henk van den Belt


One of the most attractive, but nevertheless highly controversial proposals to alleviate the negative effects of today’s international patent regime is the Health Impact Fund (HIF). Although the HIF has been drafted to facilitate access to medicines and boost pharmaceutical research, we have analysed the burdens for the global poor a similar proposal designed to promote the use and development of climate-friendly technologies would have. Drawing parallels from the access to medicines debate, we suspect that an analogous “Climate Impact Fund” will increase the already very high scientific and technological supremacy of the developed world over the Global South. We advocate countering this dominance on the ground that countries with scarce research and development capacities will be in a difficult position to reject technologies and will not have a say on how such technologies should look like. Further, addressing global hazards should be an inclusive endeavour and not only a privilege reserved for the developed world. Incentivizing grassroots innovation would be a major step to promote scientific and technological inclusion.  

Key words: technology transfer, distributive justice, health impact fund, development aid, climate change, priority, scientific participation.



Timmermann, Cristian, and Henk van den Belt. 2012. Global Justice Considerations for a Proposed Climate Impact Fund. Public Reason 4 (1-2): 182-96.