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Technological innovation and adaptation to climate change

Abstract : Whilst a 2 or 3 degrees rise on earth appears inevitable, country's resilience to climate change has become a crucial issue. Whereas technologies may play a major role in the global effort to adapt to climate change, little is known about the development and diffusion of adaptation technologies. This thesis, made of four chapters presenting descriptive and econometric studies, attempts to fill this gap by analyzing both countries and firms innovation behavior in adaptation technologies over the last 30 years, relying on a unique patent database targeting adaptation technologies. The first chapter provides the first descriptive study of the global invention and transfer of adaptation technologies. The observations indicate that countries did not specifically direct their innovation efforts towards adaptation technologies over the last 25 years. These innovations are highly concentrated within a few countries and I find very limited international technology diffusion. Consequently, I highlight a mismatch between countries' adaptation needs and their access to technologies. In the second chapter, I assess the effectiveness of technologies as a tool to mitigate economic and human damages induced by tropical cyclones. This chapter shows that these technologies can reduce the number of deaths and economic damage induced by these events, and legitimizes the interest in technologies as a solution for climate change adaptation. The last two chapters detail the dynamics of the innovation in adaptation technologies following extreme weather events. These two studies, at the country level and then at the firm level, show innovators weakly react to these weather extremes, and they do not transfer their patents to countries affected by these hazards. Moreover, these chapters confirm that extreme events do not induce additional efforts of innovators towards innovation technologies, nor the implementation of innovation common to several countries. This worrying observation calls for the implementation of ambitious local, national and international policies in order to overcome the lack of innovation and access to adaptation technologies, and thus induce a real transition in innovation toward these technologies.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, March 16, 2022 - 4:21:11 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 28, 2022 - 11:12:17 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-03610832, version 1


Simon Touboul. Technological innovation and adaptation to climate change. Economics and Finance. Université Paris sciences et lettres, 2021. English. ⟨NNT : 2021UPSLM054⟩. ⟨tel-03610832⟩



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