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Literature Review of Recent Trends and Future Prospects for Innovation in Climate Change Mitigation

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  • Richard G. Newell

Abstract

The international discussion about global climate change now revolves around what the necessary set of policies and technologies will be needed to realize reduction goals. Stabilizing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations at 450 to 550 parts per million will require policy changes along with innovation and large-scale adoption of GHG-reducing technologies throughout the global energy system. Innovations will need to be supported by international cooperation and behavioral changes to further realize the benefits of technological advances. Much discussion has therefore focused on policies that target technology directly, including research and development (R&D) activities and technology-specific incentives, as well as policies and agreements that increase diffusion and adoption. This paper reviews the recent literature on trends and prospects for innovation in climate change mitigation, to identify the most important international and domestic actions necessary to technologically alter energy systems in a direction that can achieve GHG stabilization targets while also meeting other societal goals. It provides an overview of key technical issues associated with the development, diffusion, and adoption of technologies that mitigate climate change. It examines the role of environment and innovation policy measures to encourage innovation, and it outlines the conditions that trigger these advances. The review highlights that establishing a GHG emission price is essential from a technology perspective. Such a price should be coupled with public R&D support. The review discusses policy features that impact on environmentally oriented R&D, the diffusion of environmental innovations, their deployment in developing countries. In particular, the paper outlines the positive role of international technology-oriented agreements as part of the architecture of an international climate change policy. Le débat international au sujet du changement climatique porte maintenant sur les politiques et les technologies qui devront être mises en œuvre pour atteindre les objectifs de réduction des émissions. Pour stabiliser les émissions de dioxyde de carbone dans l’atmosphère entre 450 et 550 particules par million, il faut de nouvelles politiques mais aussi des innovations et l’utilisation à grande échelle, dans l’ensemble du système énergétique global, de technologies qui réduisent les gaz à effet de serre. L’innovation devra être encouragée par la coopération internationale et des changements de comportements, pour que les bénéfices des avancées technologiques se matérialisent. Aussi, une part importante du débat a porté sur les politiques qui soutiennent directement le développement technologique, notamment les activités de recherche et développement (R&D) et les incitations spécifiques, mais aussi sur les politiques et les arrangements qui encouragent la diffusion et l’utilisation des technologies. Ce document analyse la littérature récente sur les tendances récentes et à venir relatives à l’innovation pour lutter contre le changement climatique. L’objectif est d’identifier les actions prioritaires, au niveau national et international, pour changer les systèmes énergétiques d’un point de vue technologique, selon une trajectoire qui permettra d’atteindre les objectifs de stabilisation des gaz à effet de serre tout en atteignant aussi d’autres objectifs sociétaux. Le papier présente une synthèse des principales questions techniques liées au développement, à la diffusion et à l’utilisation des technologies qui contribuent à la lutte contre le changement climatique. Il analyse le rôle des politiques d’environnement et d’innovation pour soutenir l’innovation et il met en évidence les conditions qui stimulent le progrès technologique. L’analyse souligne que, d’un point de vue technologique, il est essentiel de fixer un prix pour les émissions de gaz à effet de serre. Ce prix doit être accompagné d’une politique de soutien à la R&D. Le papier présente les attributs des politiques qui ont un impact sur la R&D liée à l’environnement, sur la diffusion des innovations environnementales et leur utilisation dans les pays en développement. En particulier, le papier souligne le rôle positif des accords internationaux qui portent sur les technologies dans le cadre de l’ensemble des politiques internationales de lutte contre le changement climatique.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/218688342302
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Environment Working Papers with number 9.

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Date of creation: 17 Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:oec:envaaa:9-en

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Keywords: sustainable development; government policy; climate change; environment & development; green technologies;

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Cited by:
  1. World Bank, 2011. "Climate Change and Fiscal Policy : A Report for APEC," World Bank Other Operational Studies 2734, The World Bank.

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