Dechezlepretre, Antoine, Glachant, Matthieu, Hascic, Ivan, Johnstone, Nick and Meniere, Yann (2010) Invention and transfer of climate change mitigation technologies on a global scale: a study drawing on patent data. Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, 17. Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London, UK.
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This paper uses the EPO/OECD World Patent Statistical Database (PATSTAT) to provide a quantitative description of the geographic distribution of inventions in thirteen climate mitigation technologies since 1978 and their international diffusion on a global scale. Statistics suggest that innovation has mostly been driven by energy prices until 1990. Since then, environmental policies, and climate policies more recently, have accelerated the pace of innovation. Innovation is highly concentrated in three countries—Japan, Germany and the USA—which account for 60% of total innovations. Surprisingly, the innovation performance of emerging economies is far from being negligible as China and South Korea together represent about 15% of total inventions. However, they export much less inventions than industrialized countries, suggesting their inventions have less value. More generally, international transfers mostly occur between developed countries (73% of exported inventions). Exports from developed countries to emerging economies are still limited (22%) but are growing rapidly, especially to China.
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