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Environmental innovation is an essential part of a knowledge based economy, as environmental innovation makes economies more efficient by encouraging and facilitating the use of fewer material or energy inputs per unit of output. In this respect, environmental innovation replaces material inputs with knowledge. Environmental innovation should also result in fewer externalities, or negative environmental impacts, which affect the health and well-being, also in terms of global climate change. Technology shifts caused by technological breakthroughs, rapid changes in demand for resources, or environmental imperatives could also impel societies to invest more heavily in research on how to use energy and other resources more efficiently.
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