A new study conducted by the European Patent Office (EPO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) shows that inventions in climate change mitigation technologies have seen a fivefold increase worldwide between 1995 and 2011. Presented at the Sustainable Innovation Forum 2015 organised alongside the UNFCC COP 21 in Paris, the report finds that the number of inventions in climate change mitigation technologies (CCMTs) worldwide has risen steadily since the signing of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. This suggests that the implementation of climate change policies has helped stimulate innovation in CCMTs.
It also finds that Europe is a leading region for low-carbon inventions. Europe produces nearly one fifth of all low-carbon inventions in the world. Looking at “high-value” inventions (those with higher economic potential, for which patent protection is sought in more than one country), Europeans account for nearly two fifths. Six countries account for more than 80% of all European inventions in sustainable technologies: Germany leads, with almost half of Europe’s CCMT inventions, followed by France, the UK, Italy, Sweden and Spain.