Expand chart
Reproduced from IEA; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pace of new patenting for several categories of climate-friendly technologies has seen a "notable drop-off" since 2012, according to a July 11 analysis from the IEA and OECD.

Why it matters: While far wider deployment of existing tech can do a great deal to stem carbon emissions, the steep cuts needed to meet the Paris Agreement temperature goals will likely require substantial innovation.

What they did: The analysts explored the pace of patenting in several groupings of emissions-cutting tech (see chart above). They noted that several other fields — including health and IT — have not seen this drop-off.

  • "Some of this decline could be explained by the increasing 'maturity' of climate change mitigation technologies, and thus lower propensity to patent."

But, but, but: It's not all gloom and doom. Some areas have bucked the trend, such as "enabling" tech for integrating storage into power systems, and cleaner shipping.

The bottom line: The core finding is concerning despite some bright spots, the IEA and OECD analysts say, noting for instance that today's competitive costs for wind and solar are the fruit of R&D in past decades.

  • "The precipitous decline in patented innovation since 2011–2012 is a stark warning since there can be a long lag between innovation and cost reductions."

Go deeper

Former officer who shot Breonna Taylor indicted on wanton endangerment

A memorial to Breonna Taylor in downtown Louisville, Kentucky on Sept. 23. Photo: Jeff Dean/AFP via Getty Images

A grand jury has indicted Brett Hankison, one of the Louisville police officers who entered Breonna Taylor's home in March and shot her at least eight times, on three counts of wanton endangerment.

The state of play: None of the three officers involved in the botched drug raid will face charges related to the actual death of Taylor, such as homicide or manslaughter. The two other officers, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, were not charged at all. Hankison's bond was set at $15,000.

FDA chief vows agency will not accept political pressure on coronavirus vaccine

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn promised that "science will guide our decision" for a coronavirus vaccine at a Senate hearing on Wednesday.

Why it matters: More Americans are expressing doubt about a first-generation vaccine, despite President Trump's efforts to push an unrealistic timeline that conflicts with medical experts in his administration.

CEO confidence rises for the first time in over 2 years

Data: Business Roundtable; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

A closely-watched CEO economic confidence index rose for the first time after declining for nine straight quarters, according to a survey of 150 chief executives of the biggest U.S. companies by trade group Business Roundtable.

Why it matters: The index, which still remains at a decade low, reflects corporate America's expectations for sales, hiring and spending — which plummeted amid uncertainty when the pandemic hit.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!