OECD Paper Discusses Climate-Related Technology Transfer and Innovation

December 2010: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has released a paper in its Environmental Working Paper series by Ivan Hašcic et al., titled “Climate Policy and Technological Innovation and Transfer: An Overview of Trends and Recent Empirical Results.”

The paper investigates connections between policy and the development and diffusion of climate change mitigation technologies based on a review of 35 years of patent submissions at the European Patent Office. The authors find that, with the inception of the Kyoto Protocol, innovation in many mitigation technologies increased, for example in wind power, solar power, biofuels, geothermal and hydroelectricity. However others, such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) showed reductions in innovation.

The authors state that, although the largest determining factor in mitigation technology innovation is a particular country's general innovative capacity, public policy, particularly in the form of research and development and targeted measures such as feed-in tariffs, plays an important role. Additionally, the paper underlines that the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has played a statistically significant role in transferring wind power from Annex 1 to non-Annex 1 countries. [The Paper]