This paper assesses the low-carbon economy in Asia, including how large it is today and how well it will fare in the future. Using patent and trade data, the authors analyze the potential of Asian economies to capture value from the design and export of low-carbon technologies, acknowledging that these are only two dimensions of a multidimensional low-carbon economy. They conduct country-level analysis to identify which technologies different countries can specialize in and potentially scale up. Their work shows that, overall, Asia has an innovation specialization and revealed comparative advantage in climate change mitigation technologies. Particular strengths include efficient lighting, photovoltaics and energy storage technologies. Further opportunities include nuclear and smart grids. However, within Asia, there are regional disparities, with countries such as the People’s Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea outperforming others. The authors highlight how the analytical framework they present can be used to strategically inform environmental policymakers and concludes with an overview of the green growth policy tool kit.
Asian Development Bank
1 January 2017