Technology transfer plays a key role in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In this paper, we characterize the factors that promote or hinder the international diffusion of climate-friendly technologies using detailed patent data from 96 countries for the period 1995–2007. The data provide strong evidence that lax Intellectual Property regimes have a strong and negative impact on the international diffusion of patented knowledge. Restrictions on international trade and foreign direct investment also hinder the diffusion of climate-friendly technologies. Surprisingly, local technological capabilities tend to discourage transfers. While broad indicators of technology capabilities are expected to facilitate transfers, this latter result stems from our technology-specific definition of local capabilities, which makes it possible to capture a substitution effect between local and foreign inventions.


Dechezleprêtre, A., Glachant, M., Ménière, Y. February 2013. What drives the international transfer of climate change mitigation technologies? Empirical evidence from patent data. Environmental and Resource Economics, v.54, pp.161-178.

Keep in touch with the Grantham Research Institute at LSE
Sign up to our newsletters and get the latest analysis, research, commentary and details of upcoming events.