National Government Interventions in a Global Arena
Edited by Frank Wijen, Kees Zoeteman, Jan Pieters and Paul van Seters
Chapter 7: Towards an Effective Eco-Innovation Policy in a Globalised Setting
213 tion and consumption. Technological development and innovation could be geared towards environment-friendly methods of production, distribution, and consumption. Often, it is not clear how science and technology are expected to achieve this; it is a ‘black box’ – or rather, a ‘green box’ – out of which will emerge the secret of long-term sustainable development.5 In order to understand how technology and innovation can contribute to sustainable development, we need to understand what is going on in this green box. An important driver of environmentally benign innovation (‘eco-innovation’) is government policy. With the growing experience with a variety of national environmental policies and innovation policies, much more can be said about the effectiveness of governments’ attempts at steering development and growth in a more sustainable direction. As highlighted in the next section, most advanced countries today have sophisticated national environmental policies. These policies focus increasingly on what may be called the ‘greening of technology’: the design of a wide variety of policies addressing particular features of the innovation process which may be central in reducing some of the negative environmental aspects of industrial production and consumption. The remit of such policies ranges from the development of new process or product technologies, and the particular role of technology in enforcing standards therein, to technology diffusion with various schemes of subsidies and/or taxes aimed at an accelerated uptake of more environment-friendly technologies by industry as well as consumers. The conclusion we draw, as elaborated in the third section, from examination of the by...
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