Soll die Höhe von Investitionszuschüssen an die Einführung von Umweltmanagementsystemen gekoppelt werden?

Economic policy has to reconcile a very complex set of objectives. Often, there is a trade-off between these policy targets. This paper focuses on objectives related to the improvement of the regional economic structure and the environmental protection. In Germany, regional policy is pursued among other things using investment grants within the Joint Task framework. At the federal state level, the Länder select and support sustainable investment projects. Some federal states have changed their investment support framework and aim for additional political targets such as environmental protection. Politicians in the Free State of Saxony discuss the option to offer an addition to the basic investment grant. This applies to plants that operate a certified environmental management system. Related to this current political debate this paper describes the effects of such regulatory measures. The article shows that under a particular set of circumstances the envisaged regulation actually could lower the overall level of supported investment and therefore would not stimulate the introduction of environmental management systems. Hence both political objectives would not be fully reconciled. The alternative way could be a direct support of environmental management systems as already introduced in selected other Länder.

15. March 2009

Authors Mirko Titze

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