Climate Change Imperial College Business School

Principal Investigator: Dr Ralf Martin

Funder: ESRC

Duration: April 2013 – September 2018

The Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP) was established in October 2008 between LSE and the University of Leeds to advance public and private action on climate change through rigorous, innovative research. Phase two began in 2013 and had five research themes, one of which included a sub-project for Imperial College Business School focusing on ‘Measuring and evaluating low-carbon innovation’.

Innovation is essential to responding to climate change yet there are challenges in evaluating policies for measuring that innovation and proposed metrics are problematic. Patent counts (Griliches 1990; Jaffe and Trajtenberg 2005) are easily available but not all innovations are patented and also don’t record failures to patent. By contrast, R&D spending is not widely available and may represent only a small fraction of actual innovation spending.

In that context, this project explored new ways of measuring low-carbon innovation. It exploited new datasets emerging from internet activity, such as Google search data and examined how to aggregate and scale raw events of online activity into a metric that is informative of (clean) innovation activity. Building on CCCEP phase one research on clean innovation using patent data, we studied the relationship between our new measures and the existing innovation metrics mentioned, to facilitate the evaluation of policies that promote the adoption of low-carbon innovation.

The overall CCCEP had five research themes in phase two which are: Understanding green growth and climate-compatible development; Advancing climate finance and investment; Evaluating the performance of climate policies; Managing climate risks and uncertainties and strengthening climate services; Enabling rapid transitions in mitigation and adaptation.

Key research questions:

  • How can CCCEP improving climate models? This research will develop state-of-the-art economic models for decision making under uncertainty, applying them to climate change.
  • What are the different routes to a global climate agreement and what alternatives to state-based governance exist?
  • Are there new methodologies that can bridge the gap between macro-scale simulation modelling and micro-scale, context specific approaches?

Research Partners

  • LSE
  • University of Leeds