Klima und Exportstärke

BERLIN – Da hat die Euro-Krise gerade an Schrecken verloren, schon scheint Europa auf das nächste Desaster zuzusteuern: die vermeintlich explodierenden Energiepreise - als Folge allzu ambitionierter Klimapolitik, wie Kritiker sagen. Seit Anfang der 2000er-Jahre haben sich die Strompreise für die Industrie in etwa verdoppelt, sind damit deutlich stärker gestiegen als in den USA. Die Unternehmen zahlen im Schnitt heute doppelt so viel für Gas als ihre US-Wettbewerber. Werden Europas Versuche, das Klima über steigende Kosten für schmutzige Energie zu retten, also bald dazu führen, die industrielle Basis zu zerstören? Das wäre in der Tat ein schlechtes Geschäft.

Auf den ersten Blick scheinen die Zahlen jene zu bestätigen, die den Absturz nahen sehen. Wie könnten so große Preisunterschiede ohne Einfluss auf die Wirtschaftsstärke bleiben? Die Wirklichkeit scheint dennoch komplizierter. Wenn hohe Strom- und Gaspreise die Exportkraft stark beeinträchtigen würden – wie kann es dann sein, dass gerade Deutschland, wo die Klimapolitik so besonders ehrgeizig ist, in den vergangenen fünfzehn Jahren seine Exporte sogar atemberaubend verdoppelt hat – trotz fast ebenso eindrucksvoll hochgeschnellter Energiekosten?

Womöglich ist die Gleichung ja eine ganz andere. Die praktische Erfahrung deutet darauf hin, dass der Abbau von CO2-Emissionen in vielen Fällen sogar hilft, Unternehmen besser statt schlechter aufzustellen, sie mithin sogar wettbewerbsfähiger zu machen. Darin läge ein enormes Potenzial, den Klimawandel zu bekämpfen und Europas Wirtschaft langfristig zugleich robuster zu machen, so kurios das auch erst einmal klingen mag.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.


Log in

  1. Television sets showing a news report on Xi Jinping's speech Anthony Wallace/Getty Images

    Empowering China’s New Miracle Workers

    China’s success in the next five years will depend largely on how well the government manages the tensions underlying its complex agenda. In particular, China’s leaders will need to balance a muscular Communist Party, setting standards and protecting the public interest, with an empowered market, driving the economy into the future.

  2. United States Supreme Court Hisham Ibrahim/Getty Images

    The Sovereignty that Really Matters

    The preference of some countries to isolate themselves within their borders is anachronistic and self-defeating, but it would be a serious mistake for others, fearing contagion, to respond by imposing strict isolation. Even in states that have succumbed to reductionist discourses, much of the population has not.

  3.  The price of Euro and US dollars Daniel Leal Olivas/Getty Images

    Resurrecting Creditor Adjustment

    When the Bretton Woods Agreement was hashed out in 1944, it was agreed that countries with current-account deficits should be able to limit temporarily purchases of goods from countries running surpluses. In the ensuing 73 years, the so-called "scarce-currency clause" has been largely forgotten; but it may be time to bring it back.

  4. Leaders of the Russian Revolution in Red Square Keystone France/Getty Images

    Trump’s Republican Collaborators

    Republican leaders have a choice: they can either continue to collaborate with President Donald Trump, thereby courting disaster, or they can renounce him, finally putting their country’s democracy ahead of loyalty to their party tribe. They are hardly the first politicians to face such a decision.

  5. Angela Merkel, Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron John Thys/Getty Images

    How Money Could Unblock the Brexit Talks

    With talks on the UK's withdrawal from the EU stalled, negotiators should shift to the temporary “transition” Prime Minister Theresa May officially requested last month. Above all, the negotiators should focus immediately on the British budget contributions that will be required to make an orderly transition possible.

  6. Ksenia Sobchak Mladlen Antonov/Getty Images

    Is Vladimir Putin Losing His Grip?

    In recent decades, as President Vladimir Putin has entrenched his authority, Russia has seemed to be moving backward socially and economically. But while the Kremlin knows that it must reverse this trajectory, genuine reform would be incompatible with the kleptocratic character of Putin’s regime.

  7. Right-wing parties hold conference Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

    Rage Against the Elites

    • With the advantage of hindsight, four recent books bring to bear diverse perspectives on the West’s current populist moment. 
    • Taken together, they help us to understand what that moment is and how it arrived, while reminding us that history is contingent, not inevitable

    Global Bookmark

    Distinguished thinkers review the world’s most important new books on politics, economics, and international affairs.

  8. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Bill Clark/Getty Images

    Don’t Bank on Bankruptcy for Banks

    As a part of their efforts to roll back the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, congressional Republicans have approved a measure that would have courts, rather than regulators, oversee megabank bankruptcies. It is now up to the Trump administration to decide if it wants to set the stage for a repeat of the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008.