NEW DELHI, India - Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh argued Thursday that innovations in "green" technology should be shared with developing countries in much the same fashion as HIV/AIDS drugs.
Labelling new, clean-energy discoveries "global public goods," Singh said the attached legal copyright regime should balance rewards for the innovators with the need to promote the common good of humanity.
"Suitable mechanisms must be found that will provide incentives for developing new technologies while also facilitating their deployment in developing countries at affordable cost," Singh told a climate technology summit in New Delhi.
The prime minister cited a precedent in the case of pharmaceutical technologies being made available for the benefit of HIV/AIDS patients in developing countries.
"The moral case of a similar approach for protecting our planet and its life support system is equally compelling," he said.
The transfer of clean-energy technology will be a key issue at UN climate talks in Copenhagen in December aimed at hammering out a new global climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol which expires in 2012.
India has been a stalwart member of the G77 group of developing nations which want rich countries to provide them with finance and technology to help reduce harmful emissions that cause climate change.
India and China have refused to sign on to binding targets for emissions cuts, arguing that it would cap their economic growth and insisting that the developed world should shoulder the main responsibility for mitigating global warming.
"Developing countries cannot and will not compromise on development," Singh told Thursday's summit.
The main challenge, he said, was to find a way of "collapsing the time" between the development of new technologies and their large-scale adoption in the developing world.
"We need technology solutions that are appropriate, that are affordable and that are truly effective," he added.
India and China, two of the world's biggest polluters, signed a climate change agreement Wednesday that included a commitment to cooperating on technology development.