German industry sabotages climate protection!?

I found some interesting news on “”, a German environmental homepage. It refers to the coming EU climate survey and says that it is almost too late for climate protection. If the temperature rises by 2.2 degrees, there will be a persistent drought in Portugal, in Italy and – I’m sorry my Spanish friends – in Spain. Around 100,000 people will die of heat, 100 billion Euro loss of income in their national tourism branches and entire countries or parts of them will be underwater.

Indeed the EU commission decreed its nations a 20% decrease of CO2 emission until 2020. If every county participates an effect will be perceptible with a delay of 20 – 30 years. Surprisingly for some, the German industry tries to “sabotage” this resolution and threatens the EU commission with a stop of investments, if German companies are compelled to do more for climate protection.

I guess, in their opinion, they have done enough in the past. Furthermore the corporations lost a little of their competitive advantage to foreign competitors. Perhaps, they want to see other countries’ industries follow or to go forward, in particular those which are affected first by disasters.

On one hand I can understand their querulousness, especially during the period when the German economy was in a crisis. Although this is really “short-term-thinking”, we have to consider that companies are threatened by closing down and thus, livelihoods are in danger. But on the other hand some countries have to take a leadership position, like we mentioned on Monday. Not in terms of taking the whole responsibility, but to act as a role model. And if the corporations cannot accept these arguments, there is another important reason for them: It is cheaper to conserve our environment, than disposing pollution.
And sooner or later they will pay!

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Posted in climate change
2 comments on “German industry sabotages climate protection!?
  1. adrian says:

    Environmental Protection is a good example for a so-called prisoners’ dilemma. In the long term all of us would be better off when we invested in environmental protection. But a country that spends money for it would lose its competiveness if other countries do not spend for it. In the end, thus, no country will do anything for environmental protection because it don’t want to be disadvantaged.

  2. Sven1 says:

    Yes, and this is exactly the issue we have learnt today (Thursday) in the lecture in terms of businesses: “Operating in ‘compliance’ (to environmental standards) mode, businesses look upon environmental protection as an unnecessary burden that reduces competitiveness.” (Module 3, slide 14)
    Fortunately, the example of Ray Andersons “Interface” disabused us and showed us opportunities of running a business above SD-average.
    Furthermore, it can reduce companies’ production costs, e.g. energy-saving machines or less polluting technologies. That way, SD can even become a competitive advantage.

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