01 Nov 2005

Technology in a Post-2012 Transatlantic Perspective

Christian Egenhofer

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The EU and the US have found themselves supporting two polar views on which strategy is the most effective in achieving stabilisation of greenhouse (GHG) emissions: ‘market pull’ vs ‘technology push’. As an advocate of the latter, the US asserts that the principal emphasis should be on technology development, financed through typical public R&D programmes. In supporting the ‘market-pull’ approach, the EU argues that technological change is an incremental process emanating primarily from business and industry, induced by government incentives. This paper argues that these two opposing positions can be explained by the respective political economies in the EU and the US but that changes are afoot that can improve the prospects for cooperation. In order to foster the convergence of views, additional conditions need to be fulfilled in both the EU and the US.