Sectors

Industry tried to stop climate protection

The economist Veronika Grimm accuses industry and politics of having delayed the switch to a more climate-friendly economy. That can backfire now – financially too.

The Nuremberg economics professor and “economic wise” Veronika Grimm has accused German industry of deliberately slowing down the structural change towards more climate protection for too long. “One must not hide the fact that the industry has tried in part to stop this structural change. That can now take revenge if the crucial components for a more climate-friendly economy do not come from Europe,” said Grimm.

Politicians also have their share in this problem. “The structures favored this. Politicians, for example, have willingly supported the production of internal combustion engines again and again and thereby kept the pressure to initiate changes low,” said Grimm. “They thought too short-term and pursued conservation. That turned out to be not wise ex post,” emphasized the economic approach.

Grimm: Climate protection offers considerable growth potential

In transport, it has not yet been possible to reduce CO2 emissions since 1990. The tightening of the climate targets in the EU and Germany is now creating considerable pressure to act, even with a view to the year 2030. “We are facing major challenges in traffic in particular, ten years is actually nothing at all in relation to the vehicle fleet,” emphasized Grimm.

But one always has to consider that political decisions have to experience social acceptance. Last but not least, the climate movement of recent years has made a paradigm shift possible. Climate protection offers great industrial policy opportunities and holds considerable growth potential.

“Must strongly accelerate the change to climate-neutral technologies”

“That means that we really have to move consistently in the direction of future technologies,” said Grimm. It is particularly gratifying that the federal government made investments for climate protection possible in its Corona aid packages even during the crisis.

“We must now use the money that is on the table to accelerate the change to climate-neutral technologies and, in particular, to mobilize private capital,” said the economist. Since April she has been a member of the Economic Advisory Council, the most important economic policy advisory body to the German government.

Good prospects if Europe works together

According to Grimm, the interplay of the great technological competence in Germany and the good opportunities for generating renewable energies in southern EU countries opens up prospects for Europe. “We should create cohesion in Europe through joint investments in the future through the construction fund,” she said.

“It’s more difficult with digitization,” added Grimm. There is a lot of catching up to do here, for example in the health sector, education or the public sector. “The Corona crisis made us realize that a lot more could already be digitized here.”

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