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Science, technology and innovation policies for net zero

9 November 2021

Achieving international climate goals such as net zero by 2050 hinges on dramatically scaling up clean energy technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And having those technologies ready in time hinges on  rapid accelerations in innovation. Recent years have seen tremendous progress in technologies such as solar photovoltaics, wind turbines and lithium-ion batteries, but the technological advances that are needed to achieve net zero demand a further step change in both the speed at which innovation occurs and the scale at which the resulting technologies are deployed.

Science, technology and innovation (STI) policies therefore are of pivotal importance in reaching net zero. Besides funding research and development (R&D) efforts in universities, public labs, and business firms, governments play a particularly central and wide-ranging role in setting overall national STI objectives and priorities for net zero, ensuring the flow of knowledge between different parts of the innovation system, investing in enabling infrastructure, and facilitating major demonstration projects.

As part of its work on science, technology and innovation (STI) policies, the OECD hosts a web portal on STI policies for net zero. It was developed in collaboration with the European Commission (EC) and supported by the IEA. It provides information on hundreds of STI policies that explicitly support the transition to net zero. The portal’s policy data has been collected via the EC-OECD STI Policy Survey and the IEA’s Policies and Measures Database (PAMS).

Acknowledgements

IEA contributions to the development of the OECD STIP Compass web portal on STI policies for net zero were made possible through the Clean Energy Transitions in Emerging Economies programme, which received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 952363.

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