OECD Environment Working Papers

ISSN :
1997-0900 (online)
DOI :
10.1787/19970900
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This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected studies on environmental issues prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal authors are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language English or French with a summary in the other if available.
 

Literature Review of Recent Trends and Future Prospects for Innovation in Climate Change Mitigation You or your institution have access to this content

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Author(s):
Richard G. Newell1
Author Affiliations
  • 1: Energy Information Agency, United States

Publication Date
17 Dec 2009
Bibliographic information
No.:
9
Pages
52
DOI
10.1787/218688342302

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The international discussion about global climate change now revolves around what the necessary set of policies and technologies will be needed to realize reduction goals. Stabilizing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations at 450 to 550 parts per million will require policy changes along with innovation and large-scale adoption of GHG-reducing technologies throughout the global energy system. Innovations will need to be supported by international cooperation and behavioral changes to further realize the benefits of technological advances. Much discussion has therefore focused on policies that target technology directly, including research and development (R&D) activities and technology-specific incentives, as well as policies and agreements that increase diffusion and adoption. This paper reviews the recent literature on trends and prospects for innovation in climate change mitigation, to identify the most important international and domestic actions necessary to technologically alter energy systems in a direction that can achieve GHG stabilization targets while also meeting other societal goals. It provides an overview of key technical issues associated with the development, diffusion, and adoption of technologies that mitigate climate change. It examines the role of environment and innovation policy measures to encourage innovation, and it outlines the conditions that trigger these advances. The review highlights that establishing a GHG emission price is essential from a technology perspective. Such a price should be coupled with public R&D support. The review discusses policy features that impact on environmentally oriented R&D, the diffusion of environmental innovations, their deployment in developing countries. In particular, the paper outlines the positive role of international technology-oriented agreements as part of the architecture of an international climate change policy.
Keywords:
green technologies, environment & development, climate change, government policy, sustainable development
JEL Classification:
  • O33: Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth / Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights / Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
  • O34: Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth / Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights / Intellectual Property Rights
  • O38: Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth / Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights / Government Policy
  • Q55: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Technological Innovation
  • Q58: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Government Policy