Environmental protection is gaining importance as an economic factor, with more than 5 percent of German industrial goods production in 2007 accounted for by the environmental protection segment. Germany is a global leader in trade of environmental protection goods. Its effects are also felt on the labour market, a sector which is booming as nearly 1.8 million people earn their bread and butter in this industry - and the trend is growth.
The report proves that environmental protection makes economic sense, especially with regard to long-term rising energy and materials prices and their impact on the energy and material costs incurred by the manufacturing industry. Meeting environmental requirements is making businesses more innovative and thereby fit for the future. At the same time, environmental protection is a worthwhile investment in terms of the national economy, for it reduces damage to the environment, which in turn must be suffered by society. The prevented environmental damage secured by the Renewable Energies Act, for example, is already on a scale comparable to the additional costs incurred to the national economy. This figure will double in about ten years.
Incredible opportunities will open up for innovative businesses on the markets of the future. For German companies to be a global success in the long term, they must reckon in their business strategy that ecology is the new economy of the 21st century. Environmental politics today also means innovation policy, investment policy, employment policy, and provident industrial location policy. ”The environment and the economy are no contradiction in terms: securing long-term economic success means adapting early on to the new challenges of climate protection and ever scarcer natural resources. It is the job of environmental politics to accelerate this process by promoting environmental innovations and eliminating competitive distortions that place green products and technologies at a disadvantage”, commented the President of the Federal Environment Agency, Andreas Troge.