From the World Business Council for Sustainable Development:
Sharing knowledge and technology that protect the environment is oneway to address a wide range of challenges and threats to our planet. One vital way to share such knowledge and technology is through making patented technology available. Yet, to date, there has been no organized effort to make patents available, without royalty, to help enable the world community to reduce waste, pollution, global warming, and energy demands...
As has been demonstrated by the open source software community, the free sharing of knowledge can provide a fertile ground for new collaboration and innovation.
Don't know anything about the initiative, but an eco-patent commons certainly sounds interesting.