Industrial Innovation and Environmental Regulation: Developing Workable Solutions

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

11
Conclusion

Brent Herbert-Copley and Saeed Parto

The chapters in this book have approached the interplay between environmental regulation and innovation at the firm and policymaking levels from different perspectives, in different contexts and at different scales of analysis. Yap et al.'s study of environmental policymaking in Taiwan finds that public policy has played a key role in facilitating the move by many firms to cleaner production. The government used the “win-win” arguments a la Porter (1996) and adopted a carrot-and-stick approach, or what Yap et al. call “balancing the yin and yang forces”, to motivate and steer firms toward meeting higher environmental protection standards. Over the course of its industrialization, Taiwan has managed to create the “right” types of formal institutions through which to effect change in firm behaviour. Furthermore, the government has demonstrated a capacity to be adaptive and take corrective structural measures to minimize environmental impacts of industrial activity. One such measure is the provision of technically trained civil servants who in turn train personnel from industrial firms in pollution-prevention techniques. A direct result of these efforts has been a relatively high degree of trust between the regulators and the regulated.

Yap et al.'s study of the evolution of environmental policymaking in Taiwan also underlines some important remaining challenges. For example, policymakers need to remain attuned to the fact that once the “lowhanging fruits” have been picked in moving toward cleaner production, firms will require additional incentives to incur costs aimed at further reducing their environmental impacts. Thus, innovation in environmental

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