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Almost every product sold today must conform to standards, whether relating to its design, manufacture, operation, testing, safety, sale or disposal, and sometimes to many of these at once. At their root, standards are no more than written requirements or design features of a product, service or other activity. They can be breathtakingly detailed or disarmingly general, ranging from thousands of pages in length to just a few sentences. Standards are set by a wide range of bodies, from governmental agencies to industry consortia to multinational treaty organizations. Some standards are adopted into local, state or federal legislation and attain the force of law, others remain voluntary, yet are adopted by entire industries. This chapter provides a brief overview of the standards development landscape as it pertains to climate change technologies, also sometimes referred to as "clean tech", "green tech" and sustainability technologies, as well as the critical intellectual property issues that affect standards setting today.

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