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Germany: a laboratory for green growth

Germany is successfully limiting the amount of carbon, energy and resources required to grow its economy. Though the public is generally satisfied with the level of environmental quality, the OECD’s Environmental Performance Review of Germany warns that challenges remain in areas like air and water quality, the protection of biodiversity, and de-carbonising energy production. It says that Germany will need more cost-effective policies to achieve its ambitious environmental objectives which, in some cases, go beyond those established in the European Union.

Stringent environmental requirements have helped to make Germany a leader in the environmental goods and services sector. Worth up to EUR 300 billion by 2020, ‘green’ is an important source of economic growth and jobs.

OECD Environment Director, Simon Upton said, “Today’s massive environmental challenges demand cost-effective solutions that promote innovation and avoid technological lock-in. New sources of green growth can play an important part in the recovery from the current economic and financial crisis. In this, Germany is leading the way.”

The report presents 29 recommendations including:
- Strengthen assessment of the impact of economic policies on the environment and the impact of environment-related policies on the economy.
- Design financial support for ‘green’ innovation to encourage private investment capital.
- Systematically assess the environmental impact of subsidies, with a view to phasing out those that are environmentally harmful and economically and socially inefficient. This includes adjusting subsidies for renewable energies.
- Tax energy in sectors not covered by the EU Emissions Trading System and provide a consistent carbon price signal across the economy.

by S. C.
31 may 2012, World News > Europe

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