In economic theory, market-based instruments (such as resource taxation, tradable certificates, differential VAT rates, subsidies and market-creating measures like Top Runners and investment grants) are awarded a set of advantages compared to regulatory measures in order to increase resource efficiency. Against this background, the research project "ÖkonRess" has the objective to support the development of precise economic instruments leading to higher efficiency in the usage of resources in Germany and the EU.
Therefore it is necessary to identify relevant fields of action and to analyse existing experience both nationally and internationally, based on which realisable measures can be developed and respective effects on the environment can be evaluated. A key element is the construction of a policy mix that combines these measures in the most efficient way.
- A structured review of barriers contributing to an inefficient use of resources will be compiled on the basis of available studies and policy documents (WP 1). Possible instruments in order to overcome these barriers will be illustrated and thereby resource-policy fields of action and requirements concretised.
- Subsequently, experiences with market-based regulations and instruments in different countries and policy fields (energy market etc.) will be investigated (WP 2) with regard to their usability for German and European resource policies.
- Building on precedent findings, 15 precise and realisable economic instruments will be developed that might lead to a significant improvement concerning resource efficiency in Germany and the EU (WP 3).
- In simulated calculations using the environmental-economic model PANTA RHEI, quantitative statements can be derived regarding environmental impacts and economic and social effects of the employment of different instruments. In this way the potential of every suggested instrument can be determined (WP 4).