Eco-Innovation a New Paradigm for Latin America?

Friday, July 18, 2014: 4:06 PM
Room: Booth 44
Oral Presentation
Patricia GRAF , Chair for Economic and Industrial Sociology, BTU Cottbus, Cottbus, Germany
Global phenomena of climate change on the one hand and not predictable technological risks of energy supply on the other hand are challenging not only Germany and the European Union but society, politics, science and industry worldwide. The answers to these challenges are very different. Some countries are screening their existing energy concepts and are searching ways of alternative energy, such as legislation on clean technologies, so-called eco-innovation. It is especially this shift to eco—innovation that catches our attention. It is not reserved for energy technologies, sustainable production can also be meant in other industries, such as textile. But in the ongoing of the energy turn policies promoting renewable energies increasingly subsumed the concept (Cooke 2010). In the last decades energy policy lived a process of securitization. The connotation of energy policy with the field of security policy automatically led to a change of steering with rather hierarchical modes of governance. The shift towards innovation policy therefore means not also a reorientation of concepts but also a shift of governance towards multi-level-governance (Kern und Bulkeley 2009) – so far the debate in Europe. How is this concept discussed in Latin America? While the shift towards renewable energy is a quite new debate for Europe, Brazil had already a share of 58,4% of renewables on total energy production in 1970 (Maihold und Müller 2012). Nevertheless compliance to renewable energy not always meant sustainable innovation. How is the concept of eco-innovation discussed in Latin America? And how far can we observe the above described shift? In order to shed first insight on these questions we analyze the innovation plans of Argentine, Brazil and Mexico with focus on the link between ecology, innovation and renewable energies. We use the software Atlas.ti to research the plans with a co-occurrence analysis.