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The Paradoxes of Environmental Innovations: The Case of Green Chemistry

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  • Romain Debref

Abstract

Current environmental impacts are leaching the sector of chemistry to modify his methods of production. A special attention has been given to the main role of the green innovations in the paradigm of green chemistry. They are led by public policies that call for a sustainable transition. But what are their peculiarities? This paper aims to show that the various definitions that appear in the economic literature are restricted to integrate the technosphere and the biosphere. First, we show the difficulty to distinguish generic innovations from environmental innovations from different perspectives. Secondly, we confirm these confusions in studying their applications to the green chemistry sector. We conclude that green innovations need a reconceptualisation. Indeed, technological expectations face irreversible physical processes and rebound effects because of the quest of eco-efficiency. JEL Codes: Q01, Q55, Q57, O14, O32, O33

Suggested Citation

  • Romain Debref, 2012. "The Paradoxes of Environmental Innovations: The Case of Green Chemistry," Journal of Innovation Economics, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(1), pages 83-102.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:jiedbu:jie_009_0083
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bauer, Fredric & Coenen, Lars & Hansen, Teis & McCormick, Kes & Palgan, Yuliya Voytenko, 2016. "Technological innovation systems for biorefineries – A review of the literature," Papers in Innovation Studies 2016/27, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    2. Chassagnon, Virgile & Haned, Naciba, 2015. "The relevance of innovation leadership for environmental benefits: A firm-level empirical analysis on French firms," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 194-207.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    green innovation; green chemistry; ecological industry; rebound effect; eco-efficiency;

    JEL classification:

    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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