Consumption, innovation and the environment

Environmental Policy, Technological Innovation and Patents (2008)


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ISBN 978926404681-8
97 2008 06 1 P

179 pages

Technological innovation can help realise environmental objectives in a less costly manner than would otherwise be the case. Thus, understanding the role that technological innovation can play in achieving environmental objectives is important for policy debates. 

However, the relationship between environmental policy and technological innovation remains an area in which empirical evidence is scant. In an attempt to bridge this gap, the OECD has examined the relevant issues, using patent activity as a measure of technological innovation.  

Three case studies have been undertaken: abatement technologies for wastewater effluent from pulp production, abatement of motor vehicle emissions, and development of renewable energy technologies. On the basis of patent data, the nature, extent, and causes of innovation in each of these areas have been explored. While a particular focus has been placed on the role of environmental policy in bringing about the innovation documented, it is recognised that other factors play a key role in inducing innovation that has positive environmental implications.



Executive Summary
Chapter 1. Environmental Policy, Technological Innovation and Patent Activity (Nick Johnstone, Ivan Hascic and Katrin Ostertag)
Chapter 2. Environmental Regulation and International Innovation in Automotive Emissions Control Technologies (Frans de Vries and Neelakshi Medhi)
Chapter 3. Policy vs. Consumer Pressure: Innovation and Diffusion of Alternative Bleaching Technologies in the Pulp Industry (David Popp and Tamara Haffner)
Chapter 4. Renewable Energy Policies and Technological Innovation: Energy Source and Instrument Choice (Nick Johnstone and Ivan Hascic)
Chapter 5. Policy Conclusions and Further Work (Nick Johnstone)


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