Title: The challenge to industry and commerce posed by the environmental crisis

Authors: Wilhelm Korff

Addresses: Federal Republic of Germany

Abstract: What are the implications for industry and commerce of the environmental crisis? The framework conditions necessary to safeguard the environment cannot be set by industry and commerce. The drawing up of these conditions genuinely falls within the jurisdiction of the state. The autonomy of industry within a free-enterprise culture is only a relative autonomy. If nature dies, companies die too. If industry is to operate in the long term, it will rely on environmental compatibility. Legislation to protect the environment does not impose passivity on industry. On the contrary, industry is afforded an active and creative role. Environment-friendly production methods are not invented in ministries, but in factories and companies. This is why the planned economies have failed so badly to meet the environmental challenge. Without doubt, mankind can achieve more than he has already achieved. But there is no progress that does not exact its price. Arriving at the right environmental solutions will only be possible if we optimise the various competing objectives. Needless to say, this will not be possible without an element of compromise.

Keywords: commerce; economic development; economics; environmental protection; ethics; industry; environmental crisis.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGEI.1991.063681

International Journal of Global Energy Issues, 1991 Vol.3 No.3, pp.142-149

Published online: 18 Jul 2014 *

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