Friday, May 20, 2011

Econ & environment in action

Interesting interview with Winfried Kretschmann, the governor of the German state Baden-Württemberg. A member of the "Realo" wing of the Green party, the guy actually wants to balance environmental wishes with economic growth. "Of course I want [economic growth], but not come what may. It must be sustainable. Unfortunately, regional governments can't do more than that. After all, I can't decide what will grow and what won't. But we can create the conditions in which the economy will grow in a certain direction. And that's what we plan on doing." and " Baden-Württemberg must remain an outstanding auto-industry location, but we must ensure that different types of cars are being produced. We want green product lines to be developed in all the traditional core areas of the industry. That will secure our prosperity because it is the only way to remain competitive in the global marketplace." The interviewer seems like a real jerk, but in spite of him Kretschmann manages to affirm a commitment to clear environmental regulation: "These sectors want a clear and predictable environmental regulatory framework that will enable them to capitalize on their know-how and their technological lead. Although we already have that, we must now speed things up and point all areas of industry in the right direction. I'm a firm believer in having clear regulatory policies within which entrepreneurship can unfold." An attempt at a realistic balance of environmental regulation with entrepreneurship and growth? Sure not something we get much of in this country!

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