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"Past as Prologue: An Innovation-Diffusion Approach to Additionality"

"Past as Prologue: An Innovation-Diffusion Approach to Additionality"

Journal Article, Climate Policy, volume 7, issue 3, page 230–239

December 2007

Authors: Ajay Mathur, Ananth Chikkatur, Former Associate, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, Ambuj D. Sagar, Visiting Scholar, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Energy Technology Innovation Policy; Environment and Natural Resources; Science, Technology, and Public Policy



The "additionality" criterion for the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) (which is key to ensuring that CDM projects lead to real and additional emission reductions) has been a topic of much analysis and discussion. A number of different approaches, including those based on financial, barrier and market-penetration criteria, have been suggested as a test for additionality. A simple test for additionality is proposed that draws on the framework of the diffusion of innovations, especially the risk-profile of adopters of new technologies or innovations. This approach has the potential to streamline the assessment for additionality, although it will require data on the rate of implementation of specific technologies or innovations.


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Full text of this publication is available at:

For Academic Citation:

Mathur, Ajay, Ananth Chikkatur and Ambuj Sagar. "Past as Prologue: An Innovation-Diffusion Approach to Additionality." Climate Policy 7, no. 3 (December 2007): 230–239.

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