2001/09 LEM Working Paper Series

Environmental Technologies in the European Chemical Industry
Roberta Arduini Fabrizio Cesaroni
Environmental Technologies, Clean Technologies, Green Industry, Chemical Industry, Patents

The chemical industry has often been accused of being highly responsible for environmental pollution, and chemical firms, before others, have been highly committed to solve environmental problems. In this respect, this paper assesses the contribution of the European chemical industry in developing and promoting the diffusion of environmental technologies, as composed by end-of-pipe, recycling and clean technologies. In so doing, it compares the competitive position of Europe with the US and Japan, and the relative position of European countries. By using different analytical tools (patent analysis, case studies, and Internet analysis), we show that the US have a higher innovative rate in such technologies compared to Europe, and Germany has a higher innovative rate compared to other European countries. We discuss the role played by the introduction of strict environmental standards, and of an articulated environmental policy in these two countries in this respect. The upsurge of a "green industry", with processes of division of labour at the industry level, is discussed as well.

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