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Conference on the Global Market for Environmental Technologies (27 September 2013)

On 27 September 2013, the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim will host a closing conference with the title "The Global Market for Environmental Technologies: Do We Need a New Pioneering Policy? (Der Weltmarkt für Umwelttechnologien: Brauchen wir eine neue Vorreiterpolitik?)". In the past, Germany's pioneering role in environmental policy making was set up on presumable first mover advantages. Against the backdrop of the experiences from the German solar industry, this theory has been called into question. Within the framework of the "Economics for Sustainability" funding priority of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), ZEW's project LEAD MARKETS examined concepts on first and second mover strategies. The findings of the case studies and the resulting policy strategies will be presented and discussed at the conference. Up to 40 interested persons may participate in the event (the conference language will be German). Participation is free of charge, registration deadline is on August 30, 2013.

Additional information and registration (in German)

The Global Diffusion of Environmental Innovations

Sustainable development can only be achieved by extensive innovation in environmental technology and its rapid international diffusion.  The crucial factors for this are the creation and extension of lead markets  since they provide a platform to gain experience on the basis of which technological achievement and international diffusion can be pushed forward. Currently, even newly industrialised countries are preparing to leapfrog into a position of technological leadership.
Given these circumstances, economies must take a strategic position. Global contexts require  the indication of lead market potentials for countries such as Germany or communities of states such as the European Union. However, these global contexts also call for the  integration of specific interests of rapidly developing economies. This also requires considering alternative strategies and options for first moving, an approach that has so far been neglected in the political debate.  Germany, for example, did not start off as a first mover but as an early follower in the field of wind energy, gradually lifting itself into the leading market position.  The BRIC states have also become competitors to be reckoned with. This holds for several sub sectors, e.g. China for electromobility, India for wind energy and Brazil for the bio mass energy sector. This rather aggressive approach differs significantly  from the classical behaviour of developing and newly industrialised countries, which are typically described as late followers (according to the pattern "later abatement = faster abatement = cheaper abatement").

This project is sponsored by the funding initiative “Economics for Sustainability” from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Begin of the project: October 2010
Running Time: 36 months


Dr. Klaus Rennings
Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung (ZEW) GmbH
L7, 1
D-68161 Mannheim

E-Mail: rennings@zew.de
Tel: +49 (0)621 1235-207
Fax: +49 (0)621 1235-226