Polluting emissions standards and clean technology trajectories under competitive selection and supply chain pressure
Based on a model of industrial dynamics, this paper examines the impact of polluting emissions standards on trajectories of clean technologies implemented by firms subject to competitive selection and supply chain pressure. The model incorporates a few stylised facts on the relationships between environmental regulation, innovation and diffusion. The main objective is to highlight the forces influencing the long term dynamics of an industry faced with evolving emissions standards in a ‘history-friendly’ way. The paper gives guidance to the conditions of dynamic efficiency of emissions standards taking into account the coevolution of technology, user requirements and market structure. We show that emission standards not only play a significant role in orienting research and innovation activities of supplier firms, but they are also likely to support the diffusion of environmental innovation in the supply chain. In some cases, emission standards lead to prevent both a situation of lock-in on the supply side and a situation of behavioural inertia on the user side. Standards may thus lead to preserve a certain form of technological and behavioural diversity. Based on the computer simulations, it will be shown that the efficiency of standards depends on the nature of performance standards (process or product), on the market structure and on the timing of intervention.
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