Industrial Innovation and Environmental Regulation: Developing Workable Solutions

By Saeed Parto; Brent Herbert-Copley | Go to book overview

Preface

Policy instruments to control industrial pollution are all based — implicitly or explicitly — on an assumption that public policy can alter the extent and direction of technological change in industry, either by promoting the diffusion of existing technologies, encouraging the development of new technological solutions or stimulating firms to engage in incremental improvements to products or production processes.

Yet it is only in the last few years that we have begun to amass a body of empirical evidence on the links between environmental regulation and innovation. This is true in both developing and developed countries. However, the efforts to synthesize and analyse the available empirical data have to date focused largely on issues of instrument choice, notably the debate over the relative merits of “command and control” regulations versus market-based instruments such as pollution charges and tradeable emissions permits. Policy makers in the environmental or innovation fields thus have little basis on which to assess the likely influence of regulation on the innovation process in particular firms and industries.

This volume approaches the issue from a different perspective. It examines the way in which environmental regulations interact with the characteristics of particular industrial sectors and firms in different socio-economic systems to influence the development of environmental technologies. The focus, in other words, is less on the design of optimal environmental policy measures and more on understanding how environmental regulations fit into an overall innovation system, complete with context-specific institutional landscapes. This volume explores the

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