Sustainable green technology is an important contributor to creating a sustainable society by simultaneously promoting environmental protection and economic development. This study examines the determinants of sustainable green technology invention in China, with a focus on the differences in green technology development priorities in each five-year plan period. This study uses patent publication data in a patent decomposition analysis framework. We find that sustainable green patent publications increased due to efficiency improvements, the prioritization of sustainable green patents, an increased R&D expenditure share and economic growth, especially during periods of gradual economic development in China. Additionally, we find that the relative priority of R&D shifted from renewable energy technology to pollution abatement and other sustainable green technology in the 12th five-year plan. The different R&D priority trends for sustainable green technologies among the five-year plans can be used to formulate effective policies that promote sustainable green technology invention.
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