Industrialised production and consumption patterns lead the world to its ecological limits. Climate change, ongoing poverty, food and water shortages, and the global economic recession are all driving forces of the Green Industrial Revolution. In Europe a transformation process of all important “old” as well as “new” economic structures has begun with a high potential for social conflicts. Therefore, a new approach to industrial policy by governments is essential to manage this fundamental change. Sustainable Industrial Policy is the key policy field to actively shape the green transformation.
The close interdependence of economic, social, and environmental issues calls for a sustainable approach to industrial policy to steer the needed change of production and consumption patterns. To master these challenges, while providing room for the opportunities of the green transformation, it is essential to avoid disruptive, unpredictable changes as far as possible.
Ecological imperatives to combat climate change, protect natural resources, and conserve biodiversity critically limit the scope of possible political action in the next 40 years while at the same time requiring a structural transformation that exceeds only marginal improvements. Having no industrial policy is therefore not a political option.