Green industrial policy: managing transformation under uncertainty

Green industrial policy: managing transformation under uncertainty

Download PDF 874 KB

Lütkenhorst, Wilfried / Tilman Altenburg / Anna Pegels / Georgeta Vidican
Discussion Paper 28/2014

Bonn: German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

ISBN: 978-3-88985-653-1
Preis: 6 € (Druckvorlage)

This Discussion Paper presents a normative concept of green industrial policy, which is defined as encompassing any policy measure aimed at aligning the structure of a country’s economy with the needs of sustainable development within established planetary boundaries. The paper elaborates on the rationale of a green industrial policy, how it differs from conventional industrial policy, why it is faced with significantly bigger challenges, and how these can be met.

Production and consumption patterns today are largely shaped by markets. However, markets fail to solve many of the environmental challenges the world is facing. Therefore, governments have to intervene, thus reclaiming the primacy of public policy in setting and implementing societal objectives. While safeguarding the sustainability of human life on our planet makes green industrial policy a highly normative undertaking, there is also a strong economic case for green industrial policy – the success stories of such ‘green’ frontrunners as Germany and Denmark demonstrate the competitiveness potential of the new technologies. However, as shown by decades of discussion on industrial policy, government intervention almost invariably brings about risks of political capture and government failure. Green industrial policy is thus not only governed by ethical norms, but also by politics.

The risks of failure are magnified by the urgency and scale of today’s global environmental challenges, requiring particularly bold, comprehensive and well-orchestrated government intervention under high uncertainty. By highlighting lessons learned from practical cases of both success and failure, this paper shows how these risks can be, and have been, managed. This involves both the disruption of old pathways (with locked-in technologies and infrastructure as well as stranded assets) and the creation of new pathways responding to sustainability imperatives. The paper argues that a broad-based social vision needs to be forged – supported by change coalitions and coupled with policy process safeguards, openness to policy learning, and an alignment of green industrial policies with market mechanisms.

Über die Autoren

Altenburg, Tilman

Wirtschaftsgeograph

Tilman Altenburg

Pegels, Anna

Ökonomin

Anna Pegels
Georgeta Auktor (ehemals Vidican)

Weitere Expertinnen/Experten zu diesem Thema

Bauer, Steffen

Politikwissenschaftler 

Brandi, Clara

Ökonomin und Politikwissenschaftlerin 

Breuer, Anita

Politikwissenschaftlerin 

Haldenwang, Christian von

Politikwissenschaftler 

Hein, Jonas

Geograph 

Horstmann, Britta

Geographin 

Houdret, Annabelle

Politikwissenschaftlerin 

Koch, Svea

Sozialwissenschaftlerin 

Leininger, Julia

Politikwissenschaftlerin 

Mehl, Regine

Politikwissenschaftlerin 

Messner, Dirk

Politikwissenschaftler 

Never, Babette

Politikwissenschaftlerin 

Pauw, Pieter

Umweltwissenschaftler 

Mathis, Okka Lou

Politikwissenschaftlerin 

Keil, Jonas

Volkswirt 

Baumann, Max-Otto

Politikwissenschaftler 

Dick, Eva

Soziologin und Raumplanerin 

Haase, Maria-Theres

Stadtplanung 

Nowack, Daniel

Politikwissenschaftler 

El-Haddad, Amirah

Ökonomin 

Aktuelle Publikationen

Der UN-Gipfel zu Flucht und Migration: Warme Worte – und sonst?

Grävingholt, Jörn / Benjamin Schraven
Die aktuelle Kolumne, 26.09.2016

Assessing the costs and benefits of reducing fragmentation: coordination in European aid

Negre, Mario / Stephan Klingebiel
Externe Publikationen, 19.09.2016

Fragmentation: a key concept for development cooperation

Klingebiel, Stephan / Timo Casjen Mahn / Mario Negre
Externe Publikationen, 19.09.2016

South-South cooperation and fragmentation: a non-issue?

Bracho, Gerado / Sven Grimm
Externe Publikationen, 19.09.2016