ترویج ICT سبز در چین : چارچوب مبتنی بر رویکردهای سیستم نوآوری
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|2302||2012||17 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Telecommunications Policy, Volume 36, Issues 10–11, November–December 2012, Pages 997–1013
Green ICT is a key enabler of a green economy. To aid policy makers in promoting green ICT at the national level, this paper proposes a comprehensive understanding of green ICT from the perspective of green innovation and develops an analytical framework based on innovation system approaches. Following the framework, policy makers can identify the critical system failures of a green ICT innovation system by assessing the key structural components of the system and, hence, formulate policies to solve them. The framework is used to analyze the green ICT innovation system in China. The findings indicate several critical system failures that hamper the development and diffusion of green ICT in China. Accordingly, policies are suggested to address the failures. This paper aids in the understanding of green ICT and contributes to the development of systematic approaches to formulating green ICT strategies. The Chinese experiences provide practical implications, which can be considered by other countries for reference.
Economic recovery and sustainable development are key challenges that all countries now face. The global economic crisis and the rising alarm on energy issues and climate change make it increasingly urgent to pursue a change in the growth pattern of the world economy. Under such circumstances, the idea of green economy has emerged as a solution to both environmental and economic problems and moved into the mainstream of policy discourse (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD], United Nations Environment Programme [UNEP] and United Nations Environment Programme [UNEP]). A green economy is defined as one that results in improved human well-being and social equality while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities (UNEP, 2011). It is compatible with the older concept of sustainable development,1 but with a greater focus on achieving environmental sustainability and economic growth simultaneously. A green economy not only subjects economic activities to strict environmental requirements but also provides significant opportunities for growth in wealth and jobs, with the growth driven by investments that improve environmental performance. With this understanding, many national leaders have high expectations of the green stimulus and are attempting to turn the green economy vision into reality (The Green Growth Race, 2009). In creating a green economy, the information and communication technology (ICT) industry has been identified as one of the key driving sectors. Based on many studies on the environmental impacts of ICT, ICT has been considered part of the global environmental problem but is also part of the solution (for example, International Telecommunication Union [ITU] and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD]). Accordingly green ICT, as a concept that aims to eliminate ICT-related environmental problems and drive positive externalities, is embraced by both the ICT industry and national policy makers. Governments and businesses worldwide have launched a wide range of initiatives and programs to implement green ICT (Asia-Pacific Telecommunity [APT] and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD]). The ICT industry regards green ICT as an emerging opportunity that would create a large market in the future (Gartner Research [Gartner], Gartner Research [Gartner], & World Wide Fund for Nature [WWF] and Gartner Research [Gartner], & World Wide Fund for Nature [WWF]). For national policy makers, green ICT can make economic processes and human activities more carbon-effective while stimulating growth (Fernando and Okuda, 2009 and World Economic Forum). Therefore, at the national level, green ICT has become a new policy area and has been included in the national strategies of many countries/regions including both developed and developing economies (Asia-Pacific Telecommunity [APT] and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD]). China is among the countries that are preparing to implement green ICT. The large but less-developed country is in a historic period for transforming its mode of growth and restructuring the economy. China's rapid development, with an average growth rate of over 9% in GDP in the past three decades (National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBSC), 2011a), has attracted worldwide attention. However, as China's economy continues to grow, its contributions to global warming and other environmental problems also increase. China became the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gas in 2006 when it contributed 20% of the global emissions, and the proportion increased to 25% in 2010 (Energy-ol, 2011). The energy efficiency of Chinese industries is poor. Although it improved 19% during the period of 2006–2010, the energy consumption per unit GDP remains over twice as much as the world average (NBSC, 2011b). Moreover, as the most populous country in the world, China suffers heavily from shortages of land, water, forest, and mineral resources in per-capita terms (The World Bank, 2007). The rapid economic growth, to a great extent, has been achieved at the expense of the over-exploitation of resources and environmental pollution. The increasingly reported environmental problems, such as soil erosion, desertification, air and water pollution, and the increasing number of endangered species, have caused large economic losses and seriously damaged public health (The World Bank, 2007). From a global perspective, China has become the largest source of pollution threatening the ecosystem of the planet (Grano, 2008). Under pressure from the international community and with consideration of its own prosperity, it is imperative for China to place green growth at the heart of its economic strategies. Energy efficiency and emission reduction has become a keyword of China's policies since 2009, when it made a commitment to the world that by 2020, its CO2 emissions per unit of GDP will be reduced by 40–45% from 2005 levels. In its 12th Five Year Plan (FYP), China has signaled its intention to shift from a policy of maximizing growth to balancing growth with social harmony and environmental sustainability (The Climate Group, 2011). The key measures to realize such a shift and achieve the emission reduction objectives include the following (The Climate Group, 2011; The PRC State Council, 2011): • Enforcing regulations and legislations for low-carbon economy and environmental protection. • Upgrading traditional industries by promoting the convergence between ICT applications and industrialization. • Investing in new energy sources and other energy-efficient technologies while reducing the use of fossil fuels. • Increasing the contribution of service industries and strategic emerging industries (SEIs) to economy. • Launching key projects in energy-saving, disposal of pollutants, and resources recycling. • Improving energy-efficiency in mining, manufacturing, building, transportation, agriculture, and public service sectors. • Introducing fiscal reform measures that use taxation and pricing in pursuit of environmental and energy goals. The ICT industry is one important part of the measures above (Hong, 2011). First, next generation information technology is one of the seven SEIs in the 12th FYP, which indicates that the growth of the ICT industry is critical to China's economic restructuring. Second, ICT application is considered as a powerful promoter in upgrading traditional industries. Third, ICT is an essential technology in improving the energy efficiency of many economic sectors. Finally, ICT provides effective technical supports for environmental monitoring, natural resource management and emission assessment. Thus, ICT should be converted to green ICT to achieve the environmental sustainability objectives. In addition, green ICT means a great opportunity for the ICT industry of China. Today, China tops the world in terms of the user scale of ICT products. However, its ICT industry lags behind in terms of technological innovation (Gao and Liu, 2012, Kshetri et al., 2011 and Zhang and Liang, 2009). Lack of domestically developed core technologies greatly weakens the competitiveness of Chinese ICT firms in the global market. As one of the SEIs, which are expected to become pillar industries in the economy and international leaders by 2030 (The Climate Group, 2011), the ICT industry of China must catch up or even leapfrog in the world technological race. Green ICT, as a group of new technologies, products, services and applications, provides a historic opportunity for such a leap. In sum, green ICT is significant to China and its ICT industry in (a) improving the innovation capabilities and international competitiveness of the ICT industry, (b) accelerating the economic transformation, and (c) promoting green growth. Therefore, China must formulate systematic green ICT policies at the national level. However, because green ICT is such a new topic, it is difficult to establish best practices for a country to follow safely. Even leading countries have not worked on green ICT strategies for more than 5 years. Furthermore, few academic studies currently address this issue. The current paper attempts to fill this gap by drawing on innovation system approaches. The paper is structured as follows. Section 2 discusses the rise of green ICT and the divergent views on this concept and proposes a comprehensive understanding of green ICT from the perspective of green innovation. Section 3 provides the theoretical foundations of the study and develops an analytical framework based on innovation system approaches. The structure and potential system failures of a green ICT innovation system are specified to provide guidelines for policy makers. In Section 4, the framework is used to analyze the green ICT innovation system in China and several system failures are identified. Accordingly, Section 5 provides policy implications of the findings. Section 6 concludes the paper and specifies its contributions to the literature and practice.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Aiming to develop systematic approaches and aid Chinese policy makers in promoting green ICT, the current study consists of the following two parts: the development of an analytical framework for policy formulation and assessment and the case study of China following the framework. It makes three contributions to the existing literature. First, this study aids in the understanding of green ICT. The literature includes many different definitions of green ICT. The lack of a consensus on the concept has resulted in confusion in practice and difficulties in research on this subject. This paper examines the divergence in the definitions and extracts common perceptions based on a thorough literature review. By introducing the perspective of green innovation, it proposes a broad-view understanding, in which green ICT can be regarded as green innovations of ICT and green innovations enabled by ICT. It highlights the linkages between ICT, sustainability, and innovation policy and, hence, provides valuable insights for green ICT practices. With this perspective, the conceptual framework, topology, theories and approaches developed in the field of innovation management and innovation policy can be applied to the green ICT field to enhance the theoretical foundations for future research. Second, the study contributes to the development of approaches to formulating policies to promote green ICT at the national level. An analytical framework is developed based on innovation system approaches. The framework provides guidelines for policy formulation and assessment, following the steps of defining a green ICT innovation system, assessing the structural components, identifying the potential failures and policy formulation and implementation. It is a general framework that can be used in different countries to help policy makers implement green ICT strategies. Third, the findings from the case study of China have important practical implications. The build-up of the green ICT innovation system in China is in the initial stage. Policies are required to remove several system failures to accelerate the evolution of the system. The critical system failures (see Table 4) and a few success factors identified in China can provide common implications for other countries. The findings that are particularly worth noting include: • Green ICT provides an opportunity for a synthesis of policies of different fields. It addresses multiple objectives of economic growth, environmental sustainability, technological innovation, and ICT development simultaneously. Policy makers should have a systematic and cross-sector perspective in formulating green ICT policies. • Government supports for green ICT are necessary, particularly in the developing countries. Persistent supports should be provided with greater attention to the cultivation of the e-waste recycling industry, improvement of innovation capabilities of related firms, formation of the green product market, and accessibility and quality of ICT infrastructure. • Poor understanding of the concept might be a key obstacle to implementing green ICT. Policy makers should provide directions in determining the focus areas of green ICT according to the practical national conditions. It should be emphasized that green ICT is not solely about energy saving and emission reduction. At the national level, a broad-view understanding of green ICT is suggested to drive ICT's potentially positive externalities. • Large equipment manufacturers and telecom network operators can take a lead in implementing green ICT. A keystone player can play an especially determinative role in converting the business ecosystem into a green ecosystem. Comparatively, more attention should be paid to enhance the interaction between the ICT and non-ICT sectors to promote green by ICT. Furthermore, the practices by Chinese telecom operators have proved that going green can generate economic gains and improve environmental performance. Firms should regard going green not only as a social responsibility but also as a great opportunity for new growth. Green ICT is a new subject that requires further academic research. The analytical framework can be extended and refined in the future. As green ICT practices progress, introducing functional dynamics into the framework and comparing the green ICT innovation systems in different countries may lead to more insightful findings.