International Economics and Economic Policy

, Volume 7, Issue 2–3, pp 267–290

Eco-innovation for environmental sustainability: concepts, progress and policies

Original Paper

Abstract

There is increasing scientific evidence that natural systems are now at a level of stress globally that could have profound negative effects on human societies worldwide. In order to avoid these effects, one, or a number of technological transitions will need to take place through transforming processes of eco-innovation, which have complex political, institutional and cultural, in addition to technological and economic, dimensions. Measurement systems need to be devised that can assess to what extent eco-innovation is taking place. Environmental and eco-innovation have already led in a number of European countries to the establishment of substantial eco-industries, but, because of the general absence of environmental considerations in markets, these industries are very largely the result of environmental public policies, the nature and effectiveness of which have now been assessed through a number of reviews and case studies. The paper concludes that such policies will need to become much more stringent if eco-innovation is to drive an adequately far-reaching technological transition to resolve pressing environmental challenges. Crucial in the political economy of this change will be that eco-industries, supported by public opinion, are able to counter the resistance of established industries which will lose out from the transition, in a reformed global context where international treaties and co-operation prevent the relocation of environmentally destructive industries and encourage their transformation.

Keywords

Eco-innovation Environmental sustainability Technological transitions Eco-industries Innovation policies 

References

  1. Aghion P, Veugelers R, Serre C (2009a) Cold Start for the ‘Green innovation machine’, Bruegel Policy Contribution, Issue 2009/12, November, Bruegel, Brussels, http://www.bruegel.org/uploads/tx_btbbreugel/pc_climateparvcs_231109.pdf, accessed April 8 2010
  2. Aghion P, Hemous D, Veugelers R (2009b) ‘No green growth without innovation’, Bruegel Policy Brief, Issue 2009/07, November, Bruegel, Brussels, http://www.bruegel.org/uploads/tx_btbbreugel/pb_climatervpa_231109_01.pdf, accessed April 8 2010
  3. Anderson D (1999) Technical Progress and Pollution Abatement:—an economic view of selected technologies and practices, mimeo, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, June 1999Google Scholar
  4. Anderson D et al (2001) Innovation and the environment: challenges & policy options for the UK. Imperial College Centre for Energy Policy and Technology & the Fabian Society, LondonGoogle Scholar
  5. Ashford NA (2005) Government and environmental innovation in Europe and North America. In: Weber M, Hemmelskamp J (eds) Towards environmental innovation systems. Springer, Berlin, pp 159–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Birkenfeld F, Gastl D, Heblich S, Maergoyz M, Mont O, Plepys A (2005) Product ban versus risk management by setting emission and technology requirements. The effect of different regulatory schemes taking the use of trichloroethylene in Sweden and Germany as an example. Universität Passau, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Diskussionsbeitrag Nr. V-37-05, October 2005Google Scholar
  7. Bleischwitz R (2004) Governance of sustainable development: co-evolution of political and corporate strategies. Int J Sustain Dev 7(1):27–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bleischwitz R (2007) Corporate governance of sustainability: a co-evolutionary view on resource management. Elgar, CheltenhamGoogle Scholar
  9. Carbon Trust (2002) Submission to energy white paper consultation process, Carbon Trust, LondonGoogle Scholar
  10. CEC (Commission of the European Communities) (2007) ‘Report of the Environmental Technologies Action Plan (2005–2006)’, Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, COM(2007) 162 final [SEC(2007) 413], May, CEC, Brussels. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2007:0162:FIN:EN:PDF, accessed August 27 2009
  11. EC (European Commission) (2006) ‘Eco-industry, its size, employment, perspectives and barriers to growth in an enlarged EU’, Final Report to DG Environment from Ernst & Young, European Commission, Brussels. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/enveco/industry_employment/pdf/ecoindustry2006.pdf
  12. EEA (European Environment Agency) (2006) Using the Market for Cost-Effective Environmental Policy: Market-based Instruments in Europe, EEA Report No.1/2006, EEA, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  13. Ekins P (2010) (forthcoming) System innovation for environmental sustainability: concepts, policies and political economy. In: Bleischwitz R, Welfens P, Xiang Zhang Z (eds) 2010 (forthcoming) International Economics of Sustainable Growth and Resource Policy. Springer, HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
  14. Ekins P, Venn A (2009) Assessing innovation dynamics induced by environmental policy. In: MacLeod M, Ekins P, Moran D, Vanner R (eds) 2009 Understanding the Costs of Environmental Regulation in Europe. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, pp 193–229Google Scholar
  15. Elzenga H, Ros J (2004) MEI-Energie: RIVM’s energiebesparingsmodel (MEI Energy: RIVM’s energy savings model). Kwartaalschrift Economie 1(2):168–189Google Scholar
  16. Foxon T (2003) Inducing innovation for a low-carbon future: drivers, barriers and policies, a report for the Carbon Trust, July, Carbon Trust, LondonGoogle Scholar
  17. Freeman C, Louça F (2001) As time goes by. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  18. Geels F (2002a) Understanding the Dynamics of Technological Transitions, Twente University Press, Enschede NL, published in revised form as Geels 2005Google Scholar
  19. Geels F (2002b) Technological transitions as evolutionary reconfiguration processes: a multi-level perspective and a case-study. Res Policy 31:1257–1274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Goldenberg S (2009) Oil lobby to fund campaign against Obama’s climate change strategy, The Guardian, August 14, http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/aug/14/us-lobbying
  21. Harmon J (2000) Experience curves of photovoltaic technology. Interim Report IR-00-014, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), LaxenburgGoogle Scholar
  22. Huppes G, Kleijn R, Huele R, Ekins P, Shaw B, Esders M, Schaltegger S (2008) Measuring eco-innovation: framework and typology of indicators based on causal chains. Final Report of the ECODRIVE Project, CML, University of Leiden. http://www.eco-innovation.eu/wiki/images/Ecodrive_final_report.pdf
  23. IEA (2000) Experience curves for energy technology policy. International Energy Agency, ParisGoogle Scholar
  24. Jaffe AB, Newell RG, Stavins RN (2002) Environmental policy and technological change. Environ Resour Econ 22:41–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Jänicke M, Zieschank R (2010) (forthcoming) ETR and the environmental industry’, Ch.12 In: Ekins P, Speck S (eds) 2010 (forthcoming) Environmental Tax Reform: A Policy for Sustainable Economic Growth. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  26. Johnstone N (2005) The innovation effects of environmental policy instruments. In: Horbach (ed, 2005), p 21–41Google Scholar
  27. Jordan A, Wurzel R, Zito A (eds) (2003) ‘New’ instruments of environmental governance?: National experiences and prospects. Cass, LondonGoogle Scholar
  28. Junginger M (2005) Learning in renewable energy technology development. PhD Thesis, Utrecht UniversityGoogle Scholar
  29. Kemp R (1997) Environmental policy and technical change: a comparison of the technological impact of policy instruments. Elgar, CheltenhamGoogle Scholar
  30. Kemp R (2000) Technology and Environmental Policy: Innovation Effects of Past Policies and Suggestions for Improvement. In: OECD, Innovation and the Environment, Paris, p 35–61Google Scholar
  31. Kemp R, Foxon T (2007) Typology of eco-innovation. Deliverable 2 of MEI project, April, UNU-MERIT, Maastricht, available at http://www.merit.unu.edu/MEI/deliverables/MEI%20D2%20Typology%20of%20eco-innovation.pdf
  32. Kemp R, Pearson P (2008) Policy brief about measuring eco-innovation. Deliverable 17 of MEI project, April, UNU-MERIT, Maastricht, available at http://www.merit.unu.edu/MEI/deliverables/MEI%20D17%20Policy%20brief%20about%20measuring%20eco-innovation.pdf
  33. Krozer Y (2002) Milieu en innovatie (Environment and innovation). PhD Thesis, Groningen University (http://irs.ub.rug.nl/ppn/241947103).
  34. McDonald A, Schrattenholzer L (2001) Learning rates for energy technologies. Energy Policy 29:255–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. MEA (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment) (2005) Ecosystems and human well-being: synthesis. Island, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  36. Mokyr J (2002) The gifts of Athena: historical origins of the knowledge economy. Princeton University Press, Woodstock (GB)Google Scholar
  37. Nill J, Kemp R (2009) Evolutionary approaches for sustainable innovation policies: from niche to paradigm? Res Policy 38(4):668–680CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) (2007) Instrument mixes for environmental policy. OECD, ParisGoogle Scholar
  39. OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) (2008) Environmental policy, technological innovation and patents. OECD, ParisGoogle Scholar
  40. OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) (2009) Indicators of innovation and transfer in environmentally sound technologies. ENV/EPOC/WPNEP/(2009)FINAL, Environment Directorate/Environment Policy Committee, June, OECD, Paris, available at http://www.olis.oecd.org/olis/2009doc.nsf/LinkTo/NT0000300E/$FILE/JT03267148.PDF
  41. OECD/ Eurostat (1999) The environmental goods & services industry, manual for data collection and analysis. OECD, ParisGoogle Scholar
  42. Oosterhuis F (Ed) (2006) Innovation dynamics induced by environmental policy. Final report to the European Commission DG Environment, IVM Report E-07/05, November, http://ec.europa.eu/environment/enveco/others/index.htm#innodyn
  43. Oosterhuis F, ten Brink P (2006) Assessing innovation dynamics induced by environment policy: findings from literature and analytical framework for the case studies, The Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM). Vrije Universiteit, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  44. Requate T (2005) Dynamic incentives by environmental policy instruments—a survey. Ecol Econ 54(2–3):175–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. RIVM (2000) Techno 2000; Modellering van de daling van eenheidskosten van technologieën in de tijd. Rapportnummer 773008003, April, RIVM, BilthovenGoogle Scholar
  46. ten Brink P (ed) (2002) Voluntary environmental agreements: process, practice and future use. Greenleaf, SheffieldGoogle Scholar
  47. TME (1995) Technische vooruitgang en milieukosten, aanzet tot methodiekontwikkeling (Technological progress and environmental costs, initiative for methodological development), February, TME, The HagueGoogle Scholar
  48. Touche Ross (1995) A cost-effectiveness study on the various measures that are likely to reduce pollutant emissions from road vehicles for the year 2010. Final report to the CEC, DG III, NovemberGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UCL Energy InstituteUniversity College LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations