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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

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can gather indoors without masks

Photo: Filip Filipovic/Getty Images

People who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can take fewer precautions in certain situations, including socializing indoors without masks when in the company of low-risk or other vaccinated individuals, according to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Monday.

Why it matters: The report cites early evidence that suggests vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection, and are potentially less likely to transmit the virus to other people. At the time of its publication, the CDC said the guidance would apply to about 10% of Americans.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
49 mins ago - Economy & Business

Ripple CEO calls for clearer crypto regulations following SEC lawsuit

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse tells "Axios on HBO" that if his company loses a lawsuit brought by the SEC, it would put the U.S. cryptocurrency industry at a competitive disadvantage.

Why it matters: Garlinghouse's comments may seem self-serving, but his call for clearer crypto rules is consistent with longstanding entreaties from other industry players.

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt will not seek re-election in 2022

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), widely seen as a member of the Republican establishment in Congress, will not run for re-election in 2022, he announced on Twitter Monday.

Why it matters: The 71-year-old senator is the No. 4-ranking Republican in the Senate, and the fifth GOP senator to announce he will not run for re-election in 2022 as the party faces questions about its post-Trump future.