Keywords: environmental innovation, technology forcing, technology steering, CFC ban, ozone hole, forced innovation, technological change
Innovation by disaster: the ozone catastrophe as experiment of forced innovation
In this paper, the process of adapting and replacing products and processes by new alternatives will be analysed. The paper will reflect upon effective means of stimulating environmental innovation by analysing the innovations that resulted from the ban on CFCs. The ozone hole catastrophe has been announced in two steps: first there was the land breaking paper of Rowland and Molina of 1974, which argued that CFCs destruct the ozone layer. As Rowland and Molina's paper was not based on any actual measurement of the ozone layer, there was much scope for debate whether this thinning of the ozone layer would actually occur. In 1985, Joe Farman claimed that there was a seasonal ozone hole over the Antarctic. Farman's paper triggered a new alert, leading to the Montreal protocol in 1987. The Montreal protocol (and the stricter amendments later) forced industries to innovate.