Nicolò Barbieri, Claudia Ghisetti and Marianna Gilli
University of Ferrara and SEEDS Ferrara
IRCrES-CNR, Milano, SEEDS Ferrara and OFCE-SciencesPo Sophia Antipolis France
IRCrES-CNR, Milano, SEEDS Ferrara and University of Ferrara
The achievement of strong decoupling between economic growth and environmental degradation crucially depends on technological improvements which reduce environmental pressure from production and consumption (Popp et al., 2010). Differently from other complementary forces which contribute to improved environmental quality – such as structural changes in production and consumption patterns towards cleaner sectors and products or a reduction in the scale of the economy –, technological change aimed at improving environmental quality and at decreasing environmental pressure also reduces the cost of meeting environmental targets for society as a whole. Therefore, environmental technological change may potentially lead to win-win situations in which improvements in environmental quality and economic growth coexist. This potential for win-win outcomes has attracted the attention of policy makers, who have devoted an increasingly larger share of government budget to stimulating the generation and diffusion of environmentally beneficial technologies (EEA, 2014).
Environmental technological change also plays a relevant role ...