The U.N. Environment Program in a review of 400,000 patents selected from a pool of 60 million found a boom in green technological activity.
Achim Steiner, the executive director at UNEP, said the patent review provided a unique look at the field of clean energy technology.
"Far from being a drag on economies and innovation, international efforts to combat climate change have sparked technological creativity on low-carbon, resource-efficient green economy solutions," he said in a statement.
The world's leading economies must now look for ways to transfer that technology to the rest of the world, he added.
The review found that 80 percent of the patents filed for clean energy technologies came from Japan, the United States, Germany, South Korea, France and the United Kingdom.
"Patents play a key role in providing information about existing technologies, the level of their development and geographic spread," said Benoit Battistelli, president of the European Patent Office. "This information facilitates an informed debate on climate change."