The important elements of the new climate protection law in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) includes the binding goals to reduce greenhouse-gas emission by at least 25 % until 2020 and by at least 80 % by 2050 compared to 1990. Furthermore, the development of energy efficiency, energy saving and the expansion of renewable energies will be strengthened. This ambitious climate policy leads to new challenges for the economic and industrial structures in NRW.
This brief study shows the economic implications of the climate protection path for key sectors in NRW. It shows that the implementation of the ambitious reduction goals is associated with a transformation of the existing economic structures. On the basis of a literature analysis, scenarios and parameters for macroeconomic effects on climate protection are compared, employment effects and value-creation effects are addressed and growth trends are shown.
The transition to a low-carbon economy NRW should make use of the innovation potential in the existing economic as well as scientific structures. Opportunities are seen in the key sectors Automotive, Chemical Industry, Energy Industry and Research, Information and Communication Technology, Finance, Logistics, Mechanics and Plant Construction and the Construction Sector. They can master the transition through innovation processes within the sectors. They can derive growth opportunities and create jobs through their broad competence base and their technological know-how.
Through innovation processes across different sectors, so called cross-sector innovations, the companies can tap new markets, e.g. in the areas of steel, energy, chemistry to develop to products and processes for electro mobility. Future technological breakthrough will be based on the cooperation between companies, politics and science. The existing cluster structures in NRW show that the local economy is well positioned for the coming tasks and can benefit from the transition process, if it takes part in it.