What should we expect from innovation? A model-based assessment of the environmental and mitigation cost implications of climate-related R&D
This paper addresses two basic issues related to technological innovation and climate stabilization objectives: can innovation policies be effective in stabilizing climate? To what extent can innovation policies complement carbon pricing (taxes or permit trading) and improve the economic efficiency of a mitigation policy package? To answer these questions, we use an integrated assessment model with multiple externalities and an endogenous representation of the technical progress in the energy sector. We evaluate a range of innovation policies, both as stand-alone and in combination with other mitigation policies. Our analysis indicates that innovation policies alone are unlikely to stabilize global concentration and temperature. As for the benefits of combining climate and innovation policies, we find efficiency gains of 10% (6 USD Trillions in net present value terms) for a stringent climate policy, and 30% (3 USD Trillions) for a milder one. However, such gains are reduced when more plausible (sub-optimal) global innovation policy arrangements are considered.
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