IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change

3.4.3 Dynamics and drivers of technological change, barriers (timing of technology deployment, learning) Summary from the TAR

The IPCC-TAR concluded that reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is highly dependent on both technological innovation and implementation of technologies (a conclusion broadly confirmed in Chapter 2, Section 2.7.1). However, the rate of introduction of new technologies, and the drivers for adoption are different across different parts of the world, particularly in industrial market economies, economies in transition and developing countries. To some extent this is reflected in global emissions scenarios as they often involve technological change at a level that includes a dozen or so world regions. This usually involves making more region-specific assumptions about future performance, costs and investment needs for new and low-carbon technologies.

There are multiple policy approaches to encourage technological innovation and change. Through regulation of energy markets, environmental regulations, energy efficiency standards, financial and other market-based incentives, such as energy and emission taxes, governments can induce technology changes and influence the level of innovations. In emissions scenarios, this is reflected in assumptions about policy instruments such as taxes, emissions permits, technology standards, costs, and lower and upper boundaries of technology diffusion.