Global economic growth, recently fuelled by Asia’s emerging economies, has greatly accelerated the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and boosted demand for scarce natural resources, including energy, food and mineral raw materials. These developments are pushing the planet close to its ecological boundaries.
Transforming the world economy towards sustainability, while ensuring decent levels of resource use for all global citizens, is the greatest challenge of our time. This book explores how innovation systems need to be adapted to successfully confront these challenges. The first chapter introduces the concept of sustainability-oriented innovation systems which highlights the systematic differences between systems that have developed along current resource-intensive technological trajectories and those that address the impending environmental mega-problems. The subsequent articles present case studies of sustainability-oriented innovations in a number of policy areas, including energy efficiency, electric mobility and generation of renewable energy, in China and India. These case studies confirm the specificities of innovation systems geared towards a green techno-economic paradigm.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Innovation and Development.