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Energy and Climate Policy

Bending the Technological Trajectory

image of Energy and Climate Policy

Technological innovation can lower the cost of achieving environmental objectives, so it is important to understand how environmental policy design and technological innovation are linked. This is particularly true in the area of climate change where the estimated future costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions are affected greatly by the technological trajectory of the economy. While we suspect that public policy can play an important role in accelerating the development and diffusion of climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies, empirical evidence in this area remains scant. This book presents a series of papers that explore the extent to which technological innovation can lower the cost of achieving climate change mitigation objectives.

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Foreword

Innovation is of key importance for climate change mitigation because it has the potential to lower the cost of achieving policy objectives. Whether this potential materialises will depend much on public policy. On the one hand, the economic costs of mitigation are likely to be very high, but will be critically influenced by the rate of innovation. In addition, the long-run nature of the climate challenge means that there is great variation in possible trajectories resulting from alternative innovation pathways. Public policy has a key role to play in both the rate and direction of innovation.

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