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Technological Change and the Environment by Arnulf Grübler

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Chapter 7

Technological Change and Diffusionas a Learning Process

Nebojsa Nakicenovic

7.1   Introduction

Energy and carbon intensities of aggregate economic activities, as measured by the gross domestic product, have generally been declining since the onset of industrialization two centuries ago (Grübler and Nakicenovic 1996). This historical tendency can be observed for most countries, and for some throughout the industrialization process during the past two centuries, as will be shown for the United States (Nakicenovic 1996). This contrasts significantly with the perspective provided by disaggregated energy and carbon intensities of individual economic sectors and activities, and even with short-term intensity increases in some countries (Schmalensee ...

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