Invention and Transfer of Climate Change Mitigation Technologies on a Global Scale: A Study Drawing on Patent Data
49 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2009 Last revised: 28 Aug 2012
Date Written: January 11, 2010
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.
Keywords: climate change, innovation, technology diffusion, technology transfer
JEL Classification: O33, O34, Q54
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation