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Who will win the green race? In search of environmental competitiveness and innovation

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  • Sam Fankhauser
  • Alex Bowen
  • Raphael Calel
  • Antoine Dechezlepr�tre
  • David Grover
  • James Rydge
  • Misato Sato

Abstract

As the world considers greener forms of economic growth, countries and sectors are beginning to position themselves for the emerging green economy. This paper combines patent data with international trade and output data in order to investigate who the winners of this �green race� might be. The analysis covers 110 manufacturing sectors in eight countries (China, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, South Korea, UK and the US) over 2005-2007. We identify three success factors for green competitiveness at the sector level: the speed at which sectors convert to green products and processes (measured by green innovation), their ability to gain and maintain market share (measured by existing comparative advantages) and a favourable starting point (measured by current output). We find that the green race is likely to alter the present competitiveness landscape. Many incumbent country-sectors with strong comparative advantages today lag behind in terms of green conversion, suggesting that they could lose their competitive edge. Japan, and to a lesser extent Germany, appear best placed to benefit from the green economy, while other European countries (Italy in particular) could fall behind. However, the green economy is much broader than the few flagship sectors on which the debate tends to focus, and each country has its niches of green competitiveness.

Suggested Citation

  • Sam Fankhauser & Alex Bowen & Raphael Calel & Antoine Dechezlepr�tre & David Grover & James Rydge & Misato Sato, 2012. "Who will win the green race? In search of environmental competitiveness and innovation," GRI Working Papers 94, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
  • Handle: RePEc:lsg:lsgwps:wp94
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    Cited by:

    1. Fankhauser, Samuel & Jotzo, Frank, 2017. "Economic growth and development with low-carbon energy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86850, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Iyer, Gokul C. & Clarke, Leon E. & Edmonds, James A. & Hultman, Nathan E., 2016. "Do national-level policies to promote low-carbon technology deployment pay off for the investor countries?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 400-411.
    3. Patricia Laurens & Christian Bas & Antoine Schoen & Stéphane Lhuillery, 2016. "Technological contribution of MNEs to the growth of energy-greentech sector in the early post-Kyoto period," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 18(2), pages 169-191, April.
    4. Edward B. Barbier & Joanne C. Burgess, 2017. "Natural Resource Economics, Planetary Boundaries and Strong Sustainability," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(10), pages 1-12, October.
    5. Juliana Subtil Lacerda & Jeroen C. J. M. Van den Bergh, 2014. "International Diffusion of Renewable Energy Innovations: Lessons from the Lead Markets for Wind Power in China, Germany and USA," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(12), pages 1-28, December.
    6. Barbier, Edward B., 2016. "Is green growth relevant for poor economies?," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 178-191.
    7. Filippo Bontadini & Francesco Vona, 2020. "Anatomy of Green Specialization: Evidence from EU Production Data, 1995-2015," Sciences Po publications 21, Sciences Po.
    8. Perruchas, François & Consoli, Davide & Barbieri, Nicolò, 2020. "Specialisation, diversification and the ladder of green technology development," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(3).
    9. Efi Drimili & Ζoi Gareiou & Efthimios Zervas, 2020. "Public perceptions of the concept of green growth: application in Athens, Greece, during a period of economic crisis," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 22(7), pages 6053-6076, October.
    10. Yongrok Choi, 2015. "Intermediary Propositions for Green Growth with Sustainable Governance," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(11), pages 1-17, November.
    11. Lorena M. D'Agostino & Rosina Moreno, 2019. "Green regions and local firms' innovation," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 98(4), pages 1585-1608, August.
    12. Kuik, Onno & Branger, Frédéric & Quirion, Philippe, 2019. "Competitive advantage in the renewable energy industry: Evidence from a gravity model," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 472-481.
    13. Meckling, Jonas & Nahm, Jonas, 2019. "The politics of technology bans: Industrial policy competition and green goals for the auto industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 470-479.
    14. Fankhauser, Samuel & Kotsch, Raphaela & Srivastav, Sugandha, 2020. "The readiness of industry for a transformative recovery from COVID 19," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 106995, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    15. Sugandha Srivastav & Sam Fankhauser & Alex Kazaglis, 2018. "Low-Carbon Competitiveness in Asia," Economies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(1), pages 1-18, January.
    16. Alex Bowen, 2014. "Green growth," Chapters, in: Giles Atkinson & Simon Dietz & Eric Neumayer & Matthew Agarwala (ed.), Handbook of Sustainable Development, chapter 15, pages 237-251, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    17. Edward B. Barbier, 2020. "Greening the Post-pandemic Recovery in the G20," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 76(4), pages 685-703, August.
    18. Behuria, Pritish, 2020. "The politics of late late development in renewable energy sectors: Dependency and contradictory tensions in India’s National Solar Mission," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 126(C).
    19. Barbier, Edward B., 2020. "Is green rural transformation possible in developing countries?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 131(C).
    20. Zhaojun Yang & Jun Sun & Yali Zhang & Ying Wang, 2017. "Green, Green, It’s Green: A Triad Model of Technology, Culture, and Innovation for Corporate Sustainability," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(8), pages 1-23, August.
    21. Al-Maamary, Hilal M.S. & Kazem, Hussein A. & Chaichan, Miqdam T., 2017. "Climate change: The game changer in the Gulf Cooperation Council Region," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 555-576.
    22. Martijn van den Berge & Anet Weterings, 2014. "Relatedness in eco-technological development in European regions," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1413, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Jun 2014.

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