Going green successfully
Effective policy for sustainable growth
One of the major challenges of our time is to achieve growth that does not harm the climate and the environment. Trade and industry policy has
an important role to play in this respect, since it can create clear frameworks and good conditions for trade and industry to develop sustainably. The question is how an effective policy should be designed.
This is the theme of this year’s Growth Facts. the major challenges of our time is to achieve growth that does not harm the climate and the environment. Trade and industry policy has an important role to play in
this respect, since it can create clear frameworks and good conditions for trade and industry to develop sustainably. The question is how an
effective policy should be designed. This is the theme of this year’s Growth Facts.
Growth Facts 2013 is primarily intended for people working to create conditions for a green structural change in Sweden. It is both a national priority and a global challenge to succeed in this while at the same time continuing to strengthen our global competitiveness.
In Chapter 1, Challenges and policy for a green structural change, we discuss some fundamental concepts and objectives: we create a platform for understanding today’s challenges and policy for a green structural change. The problems are extensive, as is the challenge of leaving a society where the major environmental problems have been solved for the next generation. And doing so in a way that at the same time creates new jobs and companies, increases export revenues and contributes to a better environment both at home and in the world around us.
In Chapter 2, Structural change in Swedish trade and industry today, we summarise some of Growth Analysis’ work in this area, which has also been reported in previous issues of Growth Facts. Since the 1960s, enterprise and business dynamics have tripled the resources for prosperity and consumption but have also harmed the environment and reduced our reserves. In order to avoid further environmental problems, the hundreds of thousands of new jobs that these dynamics create every year must be greener than the jobs that disappear. Growth Analysis has seen from a number of studies that success often lies in an innovative interaction between service and manufacturing companies, not seldom within the framework of global value chains. The new production processes, products and services are the result of millions of innovations, both great and small. Every step has taken us towards greater prosperity, not only at home but also in other parts of the world.
Once again we see the connection to the green transition: the innovations have not only given us more of what we want for a better life but also smarter and more resource-efficient solutions. But we most go much further. Regarding carbon dioxide for example, we still have a long way to go to attain the government’s goal of zero net emissions by 2050.
In Chapter 3, Policy for green structural change – what Sweden is doing, we take up in a more concrete fashion the measures that are being taken to realise this development. We briefly discuss important general measures such as taxes and emission rights trading. We then go on to study a substantial selection of the selective policy measures that are being applied to promote either the environment or growth.
Green structural change, however, requires us to attain both goals simultaneously. The chapter therefore discusses the great potential that lies in joining these two different types of measure into a single policy.
In Chapter 4, Policy for green structural change in other countries – what can Sweden learn? we give some examples from China, Japan, the USA and South Korea. These cover diverse areas from financing environmental technology companies and creating demand for environmental technology to creating completely new green business models. These global perspectives help us to think in new ways. They also remind us that structural change is taking place quickly on a global playing field and that the new solutions are often developed in international perspectives and collaboration.
In Chapter 5, Knowledge for green transition – learning continues, we summarise our own and others’ evaluations of effective policy for green structural change. There is much to indicate that today’s state support for enterprise, innovation and regional growth may come to play an increasingly important role in the future. If we then add the resources within the environmental and aid policy the potential is even greater. There are also clear recommendations that the EU’s structural funds are to emphasise green growth.
A great deal is thus already going on, but more needs to be done. The various measures must be continuously evaluated both individually and in a systems perspective to ensure that they really work. In this respect, Growth Analysis continues to execute its government assignments. But what determines success in practice is the extent to which those who work with environmental or growth policy measures set a green stamp on their practical implementation of programmes and projects.