OECD Co-Authors Study on Invention and Transfer of Climate Change Mitigation Technologies

January 2009: Ivan Hascic and Nick Johnstone (Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) Environment Directorate) and Antoine Dechezleprêtre, Matthieu Glachant and Yann Ménière, CERNA, Mines ParisTech, have co-authored a new study entitled “Invention and Transfer of Climate Change Mitigation Technologies on a Global Scale: A Study Drawing on Patent Data.”

The study provides an in-depth analysis of the geographic distribution of climate mitigation inventions since 1978 and their international diffusion on a global scale. It uses statistics to suggest that the Kyoto Protocol has recently induced technological innovation, noting that between 1998 and 2003, innovation in climate mitigation technologies has been growing at a faster rate than other technologies, with an average annual rate of nine percent. This increase has taken place in Annex 1 countries that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol, but not in Australia or the US. In contrast, there is no visible effect of the Kyoto Protocol on technology transfer: international technology flows have been increasing in the recent period, but the growth rate remains at the average level.

The technologies considered in the study are seven renewable energy technologies (wind, solar, geothermal, ocean energy, biomass, waste-to-energy and hydropower), methane destruction, climate-friendly cement, energy conservation in buildings, motor vehicle fuel injection, energy-efficient lighting, and carbon capture and storage. The study uses the EPO/OECD World Patent Statistical Database (PATSTAT), which includes patents from 81 national and international patent offices, and considers 13 different classes of technologies with significant global greenhouse gas emission abatement potentials. [The Paper]