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Germany’s energy sector

Executive summary



This essay discusses various challenges the German energy sector is facing, considering the UN’s sustainability goals. Despite being the strongest economy in Europe, Germany have become highly dependent on fossil fuel in various parts of their society, threatening SDG 13 and 7. In an attempt to transform their energy sector to be sustainable, this effect has been reinforced, leading to high dependency on Russian oil and gas. Germany also faces challenges when constructing renewable energy plants, due to regulations.

To solve these challenges, three theoretical approaches have been applied. According to the economic nationalist view, Germany should look inwards to solve the challenges. The liberal perspective suggests a more outwards-looking approach to the issues, such as importing renewable energy. Lastly, the critical perspective’s environmentalist approach suggests implementing more radical solutions to the challenges. After each perspective has been accounted for, the perspective will be criticized. The conclusion of this study is that the liberal approach would be the most sustainable and easiest to perform.


Introduction


Germany is a powerful country, and its economy is among the greatest in the world. Political stability, membership in the EU and NATO, a large population and excellent infrastructure are amongst the reasons to why they have such a formidable economy. Regardless of their great economy, Germany is facing various issues regarding their energy sector and the SDGs that entails. This essay is divided in three sections. The first section will contain a PEEL analysis, which will be used to better understand Germany as a country and create the foundation for the remaining of the essay. Section 2 will discuss the different issues the German energy section is facing, regarding SDG 7 and 13. Section 3 will discuss possible solutions to the established challenges, from the viewpoint of three theoretical approaches: The economic nationalist, the liberal, and the critical.



Section 1 – PEEL Analysis

A peel-analysis examines the political, economic, environmental, and legal factors that characterizes the country.

1.0 Political

1.1 Germany as a state

Germany is structured as a parliamentary democracy and federal state, where the idea is that all government powers emerge from the people. As the power is separated between the legislature, executive and the judiciary power, power concentration is prevented. It also secures legal certainty. The country has two dominating parties, the center-left Social democrats (25,7% in 2021) and Christian Democratic Union (24,1% in 2021) (POLITICO, 2022). The head of the state is the federal president, a position which is currently held by Frank-Walter Steinmeier. However, the position which holds the most significant amount of power is the federal chancellor, which is Olaf Scholz ( Tatsachen Ueber Deutschland N/A.).

1.2 Political stability

Germany's political system is also characterized by the major powers being shared between its 16 states. According to ‘’The Global Economy’’ (2021) Germany had a score of 0,67 on the political stability index, which spans from -2,5, which is considered weak, to 2,5, which is considered strong. Historically, Germany has been among the more politically stable countries since World War II. However, there is a significant decline in political stability from 2013, when they scored 0,93, but an increase from the year 2019, when they scored 0,57. Germany is considered a very politically stable country, regardless of the recent decline (Make it in Germany, N/A.).

1.3 Relationships and plans

Furthermore, Germany is Germany a part of both EU and NATO, which grants them various allies. This enhances their ability to trade with its allied countries and further develop a political stable country. The country has a strong voice within RePowerEU, a plan made by the EU to reduce European countries dependency on Russian oil within 2030. The plan is an answer from the EU to make their stand against Russia’s invasion on Ukraine (EC Europa, 2022.). Germany is also invested in the climate goals produced by the EU, where the goal is to be climate neutral by 2050. The agreement is called Green Deal, which will be accounted for in debt during the “legal” section of the PEEL analysis.

1.4 To summarize the political section, Germany is a strong democratic country. Even with a fall within the political stability index in the recent years, are they are still a very political stable country. Political stability in a country is key for economic growth in any country. This allows investor to be more secure about their investment, with the knowing of the government is not on the verge of collapse. This is a reason for Germany´s steadily increasing GDP. Furthermore, Germany plays a vital role in the EU and has a big role throughout many different sustainability.

2.0 Economic


The German economy is a thriving economy, and is the richest country in Europe by far, worth a total GDP of $3,8 trillion and a GDP per capita of $50 800 (Destatis, N/A) . The country is ranked as the 4th richest in the world, only behind US, China and Japan (Global PEO services, 2022). For the economic section of the “Peel” analysis, the German economy will be explained through various UN sustainability goals, with inclusive issues.


2.1 SDG 8

SDG 8, decent work and economic growth, focuses on GDP per capita and unemployment rates. Germany has low unemployment rate at 3.8% in 2020. In comparison, Norway has 4,4%, the US: 8,1% and South Africa 29% (World population review, 2022). This number will probably rise as Europe are moving into a recession. In a recession we usually see a rise within unemployment, and a decline in the inflation. In October 2022 Germany reached a inflation of 10,4%, the highest since the 1950 decade, as illustrated in Figure 1. (Trading economics, 2022) . A rise within both inflation and unemployment rate equals a brace inflation in the economy. To counter this, the government is rapidly increasing their interest rate before the brace inflation hits. The rate went from 0% in June up till 2% in October, the highest rate since 2008 (Trading Economics, 2022)

Figure 1: Inflation 1950-2022 (Trading Economics, 2022)

The GDP per capita has been on a steady rise since the financial crash in 2008 with around a 2% increase yearly. Nonetheless, this does not reflect on every member of the society. “The top 1% of earners receive nearly as much as the bottom 50%” ( Rühleman. A, Staudt. E and Fleißer. R, 2022). There is a huge gap between the wealthiest people in Germany and the bottom tier.

2.2 SDG 5

SDG 5, gender equality have issues in Germany. There are women in important roles, such as Angela Merkel when she was head of state, but they are behind EU average of 35% of women in leader positions. Only 29% of executive leaders are women, and therefor position them self in the bottom third of gender equality in Europe. (Destatis, 2022.). Overall is the SDG 10 (reduce inequalities) not the best, and Germany should focus on reducing the differences. We will not be focusing on this SDG as we see it as irrelevant to the energy sector.

2.3 SDG 9

The 9th sustainability goal is industry, innovation and infrastructure and is described by the UN as” build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive industrialization, and foster innovation.’’ (UN, 2018)

The infrastructure in Germany is excellent and ranked number 8 in the world, according to Statista (Statista, 2019). The country is located centrally in Europe which makes it easy to trade with. Germany is easily reachable by plane, car, and boats. It has one of the biggest ports for containers in Hamburg and one of Europe's biggest vehicle ports in Bremerhaven (BLG logistics, N/A.). The Autobahn is also a key factor, as it makes it easy to transport, import, and export goods. One of Germany's biggest industries is the Automobiles. They have world known brands as Audi, Mercedes, Porsche, BMW and Volkswagen, and the car industry has been a key factor for the economic growth in Germany.

“ With a share of almost 20%, the global transport sector is the third largest contributor to Co2 emissions after electricity generation and industry" (Bermejo, C & Co, 2021.)

With the quote above in mind, Germany clearly has a responsibility as their automobile industry plays a vital role within transport. Many new cars today are electrified, which reduce the Co2 emission produced. On the other hand, will this cause a problem within the production as their sustainable energy isn’t sufficient. The issue with sustainable energy will be discussed in depth in section 2.

3.0 Environment


The environmental part is closely linked to SDG 6, 13 and 15 and will be used to describe the environment section. Germany´s energy sector in 2021 is made up by only 18,3% renewable energy. Oil and gas play a major part of their consumption with a staggering 58,5%. Coal power makes up 17,9% of their whole consumption. Nuclear power makes up 6.3% ( Appun, K & Haas, Y & Wettengel, J, 2022).

3.1 SDG 6 The 6th sustainability goal accounts for the country's access to clean water. According to the UN (UN Stats, N/A.), 98.8% of the German population had access to clean water in 2017. In other words, they score extremely high on this matter. Furthermore, 85% of Germany’s water is used for energy production, to cool down their powerplants. (Meza, 2022)

3.2 SDG 13

STG 13, climate action, can be considered highly relevant when discussing the energy sector. Especially regarding Germany, as ‘’Major challenges remain’’ in this area, with only moderate improvements ongoing. These major challenges revolve primarily around their CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion, cement production, and imports (Dashboards SDG Index,2022). Sustainability goal 13 contains action to reverse climate change and its impacts. According to the Climate Action Plan 2050, (Federal Ministry of Germany, 2016), Germany has ambitious goals to battle climate change. In 2016, the Federal Cabinet adopted The Climate Action Plan 2050, which manifest their strategy for the implementation of the Paris agreement, which is a legally binding treaty regarding climate change. It includes, among other points, the strive to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, and to keep global warming below two degrees, preferably below 1,5 Celsius. Climate neutrality means achieving zero greenhouse emissions.(UNFCCC, 2021) Furthermore, Germany was amongst the first countries to implement a long-term strategy to reduce greenhouse gases. This is strongly necessary as Germany has the highest emission of greenhouse gases in Europe. In 2019 Germany released 810 million tons of emissions. In comparison, the next European country on the list is France, with 436 million tons. Furthermore, 258 million tons of greenhouse gases originate from their energy sector. (Engel, H & CO, 2021).

3.4 SDG 14 & 15

Goal 14 is Life below water, and is explained as ‘’Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development’’ ( UN, N/A)

The German government has addressed multiple goals for the protection and preservation of the sea, such as regulating overfishing, and avoidance of water pollution. However, Germany has no current projects that address these goals. Furthermore, 45% of their total sea territories was under protection and supervision, which is the same as Australia, Chile and Norway (UN, N/A). Sustainability goal 15 reviews life on land, which includes sustainable use of ecosystems, sustainable management of forest territories, and reducing desertification (UN Stats, N/A). According to the SDG Dashboard, Germany is performing well on this point. Germany is doing well battling the deforestation, and also red list species survival. On the other hand, they experience major challenges within “Threats to terrestrial and freshwater species embodied in imports of goods and services.” (Dashboards SDG Index, N/A)

4.0 Legal


Germany is a member of EU, and thus does not have independent free-trade agreements (FTA). However, as they are a part of EU, they participate in the unions free-trade agreements. The FTAs are conducted at EU level, with specific trade policies for all its partners, and complies with the global rules on international trade, established by the World Trade Organization (Thoms, A & Looks, N, 2020).


Another important aspect of Germany’s obligations in relation to their energy industry, is the EU energy union. The energy Union strategy which was published on 25 February 2015, focuses on creating an energy union that gives EU consumers - households and businesses- secure, sustainable, competitive and affordable energy (Energy Union, N/A.). The union strategy is structured with five different interrelated dimensions, made to bring greater energy security, sustainability, and competitiveness.

  1. Energy security, solidarity, and trust - diversifying Europe’s sources of energy and ensuring energy security through solidarity and cooperation between EU countries. The Re Power Eu helps with this.

  2. A fully integrated internal energy market- enabling the free flow of energy through the EU through adequate infrastructure and without technical or regulatory barriers

  3. Energy efficiency - improved energy efficiency will reduce dependence on energy imports, lower emissions, and drive jobs and growth. Green deal is working on this

  4. Decarbonizing the economy - the EU is committed to a quick ratification of the Paris Agreement and to retaining its leadership around renewable energy

  5. Research, innovation, and competitiveness - supporting breakthroughs in low-carbon and clean energy technologies by prioritizing research and innovation to drive the energy transition and improve competitiveness (Energy Union, N/A.) for 1-5 listed above)

The EU commission presented the European Green deal in December 2019, committing to climate neutrality by 2050 (European Commission, N/A). In March 2020 they proposed European Climate law to transform the 2050 climate neutrality target into a binding legislation. In September 2020, the commission proposed another EU target, to reduce net emissions by at least 55% by 2030. These proposals were agreed upon in April 2021, which binds the EU members into making the targets a priority (Energy Union, N/A.). This leaves Germany and all the other members with a significant challenge in innovating their energy industry towards renewable energy.

4.1 Agreements


As established, Germany is highly reliant on being able to free trade with countries in Europe. This makes EU’s energy union and EU’s FTA’s vital to cover their energy import and export, their economy, and the welfare of the population. Fortunately for Germany, EU participates in several bilateral and multilateral advantageous agreements such as:

(Listing those of most relevance)

  • The European Economic Area Agreement This deal is relevant for Germany’s energy sector, as it brings Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein into the EU’s internal market, guaranteeing the freedom of movement for goods, services, people, and capital, as well as unified related policies regarding competition, energy, transport, etc. (European commission- 2, N/A)

  • Partnership and Cooperation agreement

Since 1997, EU’s trade with Russia have been based on this bilateral PCA with the Russian Federation. Up to the invasion of Ukraine, Russia has been one of EU’s main trading partners. This led to the EU initiating the Re power EU plan to restrictive measures against Russia, in response to their unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine. These measures worked as sanctions against Russia to weaken their economy, and position. (PCA) ( European commission- 3, N/A). Some of the economic sanction measures include.


1. Import ban on goods

2. Restrictions on trade and investments related to certain economic sectors and infrastructure projects

3. A ban on supplying tourism services


These recent legal sanctions have caused great challenges for Germany, as they are highly reliant on Russia’s Natural gas export, consisting of approximately 55% of Germany’s natural gas (European commission- 4, 2022). This will be discussed in depth below.



5.0 Section 2 – Main Sustainable Development Goals Challenges

5. 1 SDG 13


Germany is ranked 6th among the 163 countries accounted for in the SDG report, scoring 82,2 out of 100 possible in the SDG index. Yet, they have only fully achieved one of the 17 STGs, which is the goal of no poverty. 10 SDGs are still between major challenges and challenges remain without being on track for SDG achievement (Dashboards SDG Index, 2022). These studies shows that while Germany is doing relatively well in terms of achieving their sustainability goals compared to other countries, There are still ways to go to and achieve all of them, which is the ultimate goal.

31% of the energy consumption is covered by oil (Clean Energy Wire, 2022), and according to BMWK, 94% of Germany’s oil and gas needs are fulfilled by imports (Federal Ministry For Economic Affairs And Climate Action, 2022). This makes Germany highly dependent on oil imports, both for their energy consumption, as well as their industry. This has given them few other alternatives but to look to the east, the cheap Russian oil and gas. Germany’s transition away from nuclear power and coal has led to a further energy deficit, strengthening their need for other energy sources. To be self-sustained by renewable energy is the goal. However, there are difficulties regarding the expansions of this sector, which we will elaborate in the next section. These difficulties have made them even more reliant on oil and gas for their energy consumption.

This leads us to the next challenge, regarding STG 7 (affordable and clean energy).

5.2 SDG 7


An economy reliant on fossil fuels is creating drastic changes to our climate. Investing in solar, wind and thermal power, improving energy productivity, and ensuring energy for all is vital if we are to achieve SDG 7 by 2030 (United Nations Development Program, N/A). Germany’s performance in this SDG is promising, classified as challenges remain, but on track for SDG achievement. As 100% of the population has access to electricity, clean fuels, and technology for cooking. However, challenges remain as they still have a lot of CO2 emissions from fuel combustions per total electricity output, and their share of renewable energy in total primary energy supply is only at 15% (Dashboards SDG Index, 2022).

The expansion of renewable energy, and the downsizing of fossil fuels will have positive effects on STG 13, and parts of STG 7, increasing their share of renewable energy and reducing CO2 emissions for electricity output. Conversely, it can create conflicts with the other factors of STG 7. As studies show, the primary source of energy in German households relies on natural gas (Statista Research Department, 2022), which means that phasing out the use of fossil fuels, can negatively impact the population’s access to clean fuels for cooking, and electricity. To solve this gap in energy demand, they will have to immensely expand their source of renewable energy, which brings us to the next challenge.

While there is a need for continuous development of renewable and sustainable energy in Germany, they face a challenge in conserving the national nature and landscapes. Renewable energy requires the use of a lot of land compared to that of fossil or nuclear systems, and landscapes are legally protected according to §1 of the German Federal Nature Conservation Act in their “diversity, character, beauty and recreational value”. The implementation of renewable energy constructions is restrained by these legal protections. To surpass the legal protections, they need the goodwill of the general public which has shown to be problematic as there is an acceptance-problem among the local residents and the general public. They are on board generally with the energy transition, but not necessarily at the expense of big landscape changes (Ponitka, J, Boettner, 2020).

In summary, Germany performs badly regarding SDG 13, with their negative impact on climate change because of their high CO2 emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels, and imports. To solve this, they must look for renewable energy expansion. Their performance in STG 7, while challenges remain, is on track according to the SDG Index Report. This is mostly due to their access to natural gas, which enables households electricity and ways of cooking. However, oil and gas are not sustainable, and the demand of energy among the population is one of many factors making them highly dependent on Russian oil and gas imports. In order to sustain their performance in STG 7, and yet resolve the major challenges in STG 13, they need a tremendous amount of renewable energy. This is hindered by the unavailability of land, and regulations.


6.0 Section 3 – Solutions and perspectives

There are three main theoretical approaches to interpret observations, predict the future, and solve challenges regarding the economy: The economic nationalist perspective, the liberal perspective, and the critical perspective.

This section of the essay will discuss possible solutions to the challenges established in section 2, according to the three theoretical approaches. First, the approaches will be explained.


6.1 The economic nationalist perspective



This perspective focuses on the role of the state, and how the states and its inhabitant’s survival is above all. The economic nationalist interpretation of the world is similar to 15th century mercantilism, the view that the world contains a limited amount of wealth. The role of the state is to protect its markets and industries from the economic interests of other nations. They highlight the idea of zero-sum game, that one state cannot experience gain without another state experiencing loss. (O’brian & Williams, 2020, p. 7)

Although economic nationalists recognize the usefulness of firms and companies, the state is considered most important. Every economic policy should be used to strengthen the power of the state. Furthermore, the global economy is subordinate to the international political system, and the state of the global economy is connected to the interests of the states with the most power. They also believe conflict as inevitable, as relations between states are pictured as unending pursuit of power.

When it comes to production, the view is that the state should not become dependent on resources. This is because when the inevitable conflict arises, the resource will not be available (O’brian & Williams, 2020, p. 8-9)

It is noteworthy that most western countries (including Germany) do not practice a fully economic nationalistic approach to society, although protectionism is not uncommon.

As we established earlier, the main sustainability challenge connected to the energy sector is SDG 13 ‘’Climate action’’. Germany consumes large amounts of oil and gas, which is not renewable, nor sustainable.

German society is very dependent on oil and gas, both for electricity, industry and households. Furthermore, the oil and gas are to a large extent imported from Russia. This contradicts the economic nationalist view, where the state should not be dependent on resources because of the risk of conflict. However, Germany is highly dependent on Russian gas. This has proved to be an issue this last year with the ongoing war in Ukraine. Russia holds considerable power over Germany due to this. For example, Germany is very cautious in supporting Ukraine with weapons. (New York Times, 2022). This might be due to their fear of Russia shutting the gas lines. If the German government practiced an economic nationalist approach to trade and economy the last 20 years, this may not have been an issue. An economic nationalist response to this issue would therefore be to decrease the dependency of the resource. On the other hand, this will be difficult because of Germanys low natural access to oil and gas. The solution would be to look inwards, and construct a society where oil is less important. But again, this would be a long and costly process.

A short time economic nationalistic solution would thus be to import oil from an ally, such as NATO-member Norway, instead of Russia, which has historically been opposed to the west and NATO. This would reduce the risk of the dependency having negative effects in the event of conflict. Furthermore, Germany is a larger and stronger power than Norway, both military and economic, which further reduces the loss of political power in such an approach.

Another economic nationalist approach could be to synthetically produce oil, and slowly phase down their dependency on oil. Firstly, this would reduce the dependency of import in the event of a conflict. Secondly, it may reduce the effects that a total halt in oil import would have on the society, such as inability to cook with gas.

Using electricity for cooking would therefore also help in transforming the industry to be less oil dependent. Furthermore, measures must be taken to expand the renewable energy sector to reach both SDG 13 and 7. The solution would again be to look inwards, according to economic nationalist viewpoints. Outsourcing would thus not be an alternative.

However, most of the world abstain from the economic nationalist perspective, as it is often associated with command economy and the Soviet Union. Nonetheless, we see evidence of a more economic nationalist perspective in these recent years, through protectionism. An example of this is the US implementing tariffs on imported aluminium 2018 (BBC, 2019).

These solutions are therefore not totally unrealistic to push through, although it might be difficult to justify to the public. Furthermore, one can argue that in order to solve the issue of climate change, cooperation is key, rather than isolation. One must also consider the fact that these theoretical perspectives were worked out long before climate change was a subject, which may make their reliability questionable.

A liberal approach to the challenges may be more justifiable, as Germany and most other countries currently have a more liberalist view on society. This brings us to the next section.


6.2 The liberal perspective



Unlike the economic nationalist perspective, the liberal perspective emphasizes cooperation between nations, and within a nation. They practice the principle of ‘’positive-sum game’’ where one party does not win at another's expense. Their view is that free trade and international markets generate wealth for everyone. They also view the state with suspicion, unlike the economic nationalists. The state’s role is to facilitate trade and establishment of firms, and not control it. The idea is that different parts of society (Firms, NGOs etc) and the government should work together to create a better lifestyle for everyone. It is also their view that international trade is a source for peace and prosperity, opposing their economic nationalist counterparts. (O’Brian & Williams, 2020, p. 11-14)

As opposed to the economic nationalists, liberals would suggest looking outwards to the market to solve sustainability goal 13. Importing more renewable energy would thus be a solution. For example, they can import more hydroelectricity from Norway.

Another solution would be to ensure that the government facilitates foreign companies investing in the expansion of the renewable sector. According to liberalists, this will produce the most cost-effective result with the highest quality.

When discussing the dependency on oil and gas, a liberalist would not land on the same conclusion as the economic nationalist. From a liberal perspective, importing oil and gas from Russia would not be seen as a weakness to German security. On the contrary, it can be seen as a way to ensure peace between the two countries, as their view is that two countries that are dependent on each other have more to lose, thus reducing the risk for conflict. However, Russia is not really dependent on any German resource, other than a large income from their gas sales. It does therefore not supply the same safety as a liberal would strive for. A solution would be to import oil and gas from a country that depends on Germany, until the renewable energy sector is sufficient. Norway is a candidate for this. According to World top exports, Germany is one of Norway's main trading partners, and has good access to oil and gas (World’s top exports, 2022)

Importing from them would ensure the mutual dependency that liberalists strive for. However, this would not solve SDG 13. However, importing renewable energy from Norway, as well as seeking aid from Norway to expand Germanys own renewable energy sector would be a good liberalist approach to solve SDG 13.

When discussing the difficulty of expanding the renewable sector in light of preserving natural landscapes, a liberalist solution would be to extend the market, investing in foreign countries.

It is our view that the liberalist approach would be the most sustainable. Firstly, it would be the easiest to justify to the public. Secondly, it would decrease the dependency on Russia, and instead create a mutual dependency by importing gas and renewable energy from Norway. Lastly, it would better the relationship with the EU and neighbouring countries by extending trade, which will cause security and prosperity.


6.3 The critical perspective


The critical theorists are associated with Marxism. They wish to change the world, and challenge established organizational structures. (O’brian & Williams, 2020, p. 17). Although there are various directions within this perspective, we will focus on the environmentalists, as they are most relevant for our case. We separate between light green approaches, and dark green. The light green perspective is reformist, accepting of capitalist society, seeking to solve environmental challenges without sacrificing economic growth and industry. The dark green perspective can be considered more radical, where the main objective is to promote environmental change, even if it means stepping on the toes of industrialisation and economic growth. (O’brian & Williams, 2020, p. 290)

In order to not endanger economic growth, a light green critical would have to approach the issues of SDG 13. One solution would be to take inspiration from Denmark, constructing an offshore energy wind island. When finished, Denmark’s energy island will produce 10 gigawatts of power, enough to supply millions of households (Danish Energy Agency, 2021).

If Germany initiate a similar project, it will have many positive consequences. Firstly, it will supply a big part of the population with clean, renewable energy. This would reduce the dependency of gas for use in household activities such as heating and cooking, ensuring SDG 7. Secondly, it avoids the difficulty the land regulations are creating for construction of renewable energy on land, as it is offshore. Lastly, it would decrease unemployment rates due to the need of manpower, which is good for the economy.

A dark green approach could be more radical, as environmental preservation is their main objective. A solution would be to expand the hydrogen sector. Hydrogen is very expensive, but this will not be an issue in the dark green approach. If produced with renewable energy, hydrogen is a good substitute for gas, oil and lignite as it releases oxygen into the atmosphere during the production ( Statkraft, N/A.).

Another dark green solution would be to look to the degrowth theories, which explains how the economies should shrink, rather than grow, and thereby reducing the individual’s environmental footprint. Growing your own food and using empty houses instead of growing new ones are examples of this approach. (World Economic Forum, 2022). This would, as the name suggests, reduce economic growth in favour of sustainability, which fits well into the dark green environmentalist perspective.

The dark green approach would be very hard to justify to the public. Regardless of the current view on sustainability in todays world, it is out view that people would not accept the significant harm the reforms would cause the economy, especially with the worsening economy and instability we see in the world today.


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