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Invention and Transfer of Environmental Technologies

image of Invention and Transfer of Environmental Technologies

Inducing environmental innovation is a significant challenge to policy-makers. Efforts to design public policies that address these issues are motivated by the fact that innovations can allow for improved environmental quality at lower cost. However, the relationship between environmental policy and technological innovation remains an area in which empirical evidence is scant.  Increased attention should be paid to the design characteristics of public policies that are likely to affect the ‘type’ of innovation induced.  The work presented in this book is brought together in five substantive chapters: environmental policy design characteristics and their role in inducing innovation, the role of public policies (including multilateral agreements) in encouraging transfer of environmental technologies, followed by three ‘sectoral’ studies of innovation in alternative fuel vehicles, solid waste management and recycling, and green (sustainable) chemistry. While 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 which has positive environmental implications.     

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Environmental Policy, Multilateral Environmental Agreements and International Markets for Innovation

Flexibility of the national policy framework and international policy co-ordination are two key factors that affect international transfer of environmental technologies. In this chapter, empirical evidence is provided that indicates that the degree of flexibility of national environmental policy regimes has a positive effect on technology transfer. Flexibility ensures that markets are not fragmented across different countries as would be the case with prescriptive regimes. In the second case, we also examine whether adherence to a series of international agreements on reducing SOX and NOX emissions has induced the transfer of technologies between signatory countries. Supporting descriptive and econometric evidence to this end is provided.

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