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Unpacking the black box of cleaner innovation

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  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Geography


This paper scrutinizes the concept of cleaner technology, drawing on both a review of the literature and case study analysis of new data. By analysing the intentions behind innovations as separate from outcomes, a complex relationship between intentions and outcomes, as well as between different motives, is revealed. The paper argues that cleaner technology is not in fact a type of technology, that the concept obscures the role of underlying environmental motives and ambitions and that cleaner technology innovations do not necessarily deliver the economic gains they are normally understood to do.

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