‘Take My Breath Away’: Can Technical Fixes Make Cars Environmentally Friendly?

  • Alan Neale


This chapter aims to assess the extent to which the offence/defence/indifference/innovation model, presented by Tom Cannon (1994, pp. 229–30), is an accurate representation of the historical development of environmental policies in the car industry. According to Cannon, businesses react to environmental concerns firstly with offensive attacks on environmental critics, but then usually move on to defensive arguments (accepting that there are environmental problems, but counterposing these to the ‘greater’ problem of loss of competitiveness and jobs), or to indifference (ignoring environmental demands and hoping they will go away). A few, however, progress to innovative responses, adopting proactive strategies to capitalize on environmental concerns and convert threats into opportunities. Innovation, he suggests

is used to eliminate harmful products or processes and substitute safer alternatives.... Product development programmes of companies are linked increasingly to the demands for greener products and the opportunities these create for firms capable of matching capacity to need. (Cannon, 1994, p. 230)


Fuel Economy Carbon Dioxide Emission Road User International Energy Agency Corporate Environmental Responsibility 
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© Macmillan Press Ltd 1999

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  • Alan Neale

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