LOW CARBON INNOVATION AND DEVELOPMENT 43 cation of strategic missing links is

Low carbon innovation and development 43 cation of

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cation of strategic missing links is one of the tasks facing an intelligent innovation strategy. While many cases with great potential for the interlinking of knowledge fields present themselves, there is no existing mechanism to couple the fields. 2.4.2 More energy-efficient processes One of the reasons for the growing labour produc- tivity over past centuries is the constant increase in the cost of labour. We would argue that a similar effect on energy and resource productivity could re- sult from an ongoing increase in green taxes. While a steep increase would have the strongest immedi- ate impact on behaviour, it would need to be com- bined with a long-term incremental increase in or- der to shape a new trajectory where focus is moved from labour to energy and resource productivity. However, because of the need for improved energy access in large segments of the population in many low-income countries, lower green taxes may have to be implemented in these countries. The development of new capital goods for less energy-intensive production will require a combi- nation of innovation efforts. An important part of the strategy will be to locate and offer special at-tention and support to lead users. Learning to pro-duce and use low-energy equipment will require major effort. In many developing countries, there is a large scope for developing more energy efficient production, not just for environmental reasons but also to reduce production costs. Energy efficiency technologies may be promoted earmarked low in- terest loans to producers but larger systemic issues will also need to be addressed. Box 5 discusses this for the cases of Energy Efficiency technologies in cassava processing in Nigeria and maize processing in Kenya. 2.4.3 New longer-lasting and recyclable consumer products A challenge for public policy lies in interventions that can realise the objective of introducing more sustainable consumer products. Superficial forms of intervention could aim at sales efforts for the stimulation of consumers’ demand for the most re-cent model of a particular consumer product. An alternative would be to establish collaboration be-tween the enterprise sector and regulatory authori-ties, in which the producer is recognised as a green standard setter. A third possible avenue of action would involve consumers. Consumer organisations may be given a clearer mandate to rank products according to their energy requirements and environmental im- pact; governments may likewise set a threshold for acceptable minimum standards and exclude non- acceptable models from the national market. These innovation processes will require re-search and development as well as stronger inter-action with users. In some fields, users may actu-ally already be engaged in the innovation process, through either user panels or membership in con- sumer organisations. Where recycling and durabil- ity are concerned, upgrading consumers’ skills and insights through training and information may go hand in hand with producer certification.
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