University Training

The workshops for the university students in Poland took place between 22nd May and 25th June 2023.

Information about the first training:
On May 22, 2023, at the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Silesia, a
workshop was held by Prof. dr hab. Katarzyna Grzybczyk and titled “Climate change and intellectual property law“. The training took place in connection with the implementation of the project entitled: “Activation of young generation in the times of climate policy backlash in Central Europe” (AGIT), funded
under the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme (CERV), grant agreement ID: 101081252. The University of Silesia in Katowice serves as a partner of the Project. Participants in the training were students of the Faculty of Law and Administration at the University of Silesia in Katowice. In total 165 students from Poland participated in the training.

Training description:
The relationship between climate change and the law is most evident in the area of
industrial property law – mainly with regard to inventions, utility models, industrial designs
and geographical indications. It is these immaterial goods that can either contribute to
solving climate problems, intensify them or lose their meaning due to the indicated changes.
The two main goals of industrial property law, namely to encourage creativity and/or
investment in research and development by rewarding innovation and to protect inventors
from inappropriate competitive actions, do not seem to be a priority in the current situation,
and in any case require a specific adjustment.

The main change that should happen immediately concerns the conditions for obtaining an
exclusive right to a specific immaterial good. Industrial property legislation does not require
inventions submitted for patenting to be “environmentally friendly,” and they are not
examined for effects harmful to the climate or the environment.

In the case of industrial designs, there is no indication of the materials from which the
product is to be made, while a requirement such as “reusable” or recyclable should be
introduced. Perhaps in this way the phenomenon of fast-moving consumer goods, resulting
in the overproduction of unnecessary things without any idea of their sensible disposal,
could be halted.

Finally, geographical indication, an immaterial good that was supposed to protect traditional
food products, is becoming an obstacle to adaptive change as a result of climate change and
could contribute to impoverishment or job loss in many agricultural regions, not only in
Europe.

Climate change and its effects that we have been witnessing over the years have more to do
with industrial property rights than one might expect. It varies depending on the immaterial
good, but in each case it remains on the margins of legal considerations.

Meanwhile, in a situation of massive and irreversible crisis (threat), it would be appropriate
to use all legal means and opportunities to curb people’s destructive behavior.

In contrast, the links to copyright law are perhaps less obvious, and consist mainly in the fact
that new creations and ways of using them (NFT, Metaversum, artificial intelligence) are very
energy-intensive, which is not mentioned when creating an environment for the
entertainment and amusement of people in the rich North.

The participants were students who previously completed a course on Intellectual Property
Law. The meeting was an interactive lecture – the lecturer gave a presentation and
developed the main theses at the same time answering students’ questions. Once this part
was completed, students had the opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions and
discuss issues.


Information about the second training:
On June 07, 2023 (9.45-11.15) and June 14, 2023(11.30-13.00) at the Faculty of Humanities
of the University of Silesia, a divided into 2 parts workshop was held by Dr Łukasz Maryniak under the title: “Communication actions of an individual as an instrument for exerting pressure on public
administration bodies in the field of combating climate change
”. The participants of the
training were students of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Silesia. 23 students
from Poland participated in the training.

Training description:
An essential role in the development of an active and informed civil society, as well as in
efforts to combat climate change, is played by individual rights and freedoms in the area of
broadly understood communication between the state (public administration body) and the
citizen. The process of “communication” includes not only the traditional freedom of speech,
i.e. the ability to freely express one’s views including in the public sphere (e.g., in the form of
public gatherings), but also the right to obtain broad data available to public entities. For
only then does the individual become an informed, i.e., an informed citizen, thanks to which
he or she can actively manifest one’s views and expectations, exerting pressure on policy
makers. The training pointed out that the aforementioned rights and freedoms related to
communication are guaranteed directly by the Constitution of the Republic of Poland.

Additionally, the Constitution of the Republic of Poland imposes specific duties on public
administration bodies related to environmental protection:
1) the general obligation to protect the environment and follow the principle of sustainable
development is indicated in Article 5,
2) the duty to prevent the negative health effects of environmental degradation is indicated
in Article 68, paragraph 4,
3) the obligation to support the activities of citizens to protect and improve the environment
is indicated in Article 74 (2) and (4).

During the training, issues related to:
1) the mode and principles of providing public information and environmental information,
2) rules for organizing public assemblies,
3) freedom of association and formation of associations as a form of social activism in
connection with climate change.
In particular, it was pointed out how the above solutions work in practice and how they can
contribute to legitimate pressure on public administration bodies (policy makers) to take
concrete measures to prevent negative climate change.

The participants of the workshop were students of digital communication. The meeting had
a conversational character – participants were able to ask questions and express their own
views.

Information about the third training:
On June 25, 2023, (8.15-11.20) at the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of
Silesia, a workshop was held by Dr Łukasz Maryniak titled: “Climate change and intellectual property law”. Participants in the training were students of the Faculty of Law and Administration
at the University of Silesia in Katowice. In total 56 students from Poland participated in the
training.


Training description:
The relationship between climate change and the law is most evident in the area of
industrial property law – mainly with regard to inventions, utility models, industrial designs
and geographical indications. It is these immaterial goods that can either contribute to
solving climate problems, intensify them or lose their meaning due to the indicated changes.
The two main goals of industrial property law, namely to encourage creativity and/or
investment in research and development by rewarding innovation and to protect inventors
from inappropriate competitive actions, do not seem to be a priority in the current situation,
and in any case require a specific adjustment.

The main change that should happen immediately concerns the conditions for obtaining an
exclusive right to a specific immaterial good. Industrial property legislation does not require
inventions submitted for patenting to be “environmentally friendly,” and they are not
examined for effects harmful to the climate or the environment.

In the case of industrial designs, there is no indication of the materials from which the
product is to be made, while a requirement such as “reusable” or recyclable should be
introduced. Perhaps in this way the phenomenon of fast-moving consumer goods, resulting
in the overproduction of unnecessary things without any idea of their sensible disposal,
could be halted.

Finally, geographical indication, an immaterial good that was supposed to protect traditional
food products, is becoming an obstacle to adaptive change as a result of climate change and
could contribute to impoverishment or job loss in many agricultural regions, not only in
Europe.
Climate change and its effects that we have been witnessing over the years have more to do
with industrial property rights than one might expect. It varies depending on the immaterial
good, but in each case it remains on the margins of legal considerations.
Meanwhile, in a situation of massive and irreversible crisis (threat), it would be appropriate
to use all legal means and opportunities to curb people’s destructive behavior.

In contrast, the links to copyright law are perhaps less obvious, and consist mainly in the fact
that new creations and ways of using them (NFT, Metaversum, artificial intelligence) are very
energy-intensive, which is not mentioned when creating an environment for the
entertainment and amusement of people in the rich North.

The meeting was an interactive lecture – the lecturer gave a presentation and developed the
main theses at the same time answering students’ questions. Once this part was completed,
students had the opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions and discuss issues.

Materials from the training are available from the documents library: https://agitproject.info/index.php/pl/agit-polski/1267-2/

Information about the fourth training:

„Climate change from legal perspective” – training for studentssummary

Trainers:

JUDr. Matúš Michalovič, PhD

JUDr. Ľudovít Máčaj, PhD

Mgr Filip Nawrot

Information about the training:

On November 15, 2023 (13:45-17:00), a training course entitled: “Climate change from legal perspective”. The participants of the training were students of the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Silesia in Katowice. A total of 52 students participated in the training.

Training Description:

Climate change is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges facing humanity today. However, at present, regulations in this area are not uniform, are scattered across various pieces of legislation and sometimes lacking at all. The years 2011-2020 were the warmest decade on record, and the average global temperature in 2019 was 1.1 °C above pre-industrial levels. Human-induced global warming is currently increasing at a rate of 0.2 °C per decade.

The purpose of the training was to familiarize participants with how the system of acts, both legal and non-legal, is currently developing in relation to climate change. Introduction included information on the impact of climate change on student’s lives and the relation between individual behaviors and climate change. Further, in the course of the training, regulations at the international level were discussed first, along with an overview of the history of the development of this part of the law. It was presented what climate change is, what causes it, and what the current options are for combating global warming and how one can actively participate in this combat.

This was followed by a presentation of how solutions to slow down climate change are being applied in practice in Slovakia, primarily in forest management activities in the context of climate change.

In the last part, the trainees were able to learn about Polish regulations on underground carbon storage, or carbon capture and storage technology (CCS for short). Recent changes in regulations allow for better application of this technology in Poland and are beneficial for the climate.

The training discussed in detail issues related to:

1) Combating climate change from a legal perspective;

2) Legal regulation of forest management in the context of climate change in Slovakia;

3) Polish regulations on underground carbon storage.

The training showed to what extent climate change translates into the lives of individuals. In the course of the discussion, much attention was paid to the practical applications of climate regulations in Poland and Slovakia. The meeting had a conversational character – participants could ask questions and express their own positions in an active discussion with the presenters. Part of the discussion was devoted to methods of practical application of the presented information (including information on a preparation of pleading and a claim to the court).