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Industrial Policy

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Our experts help governments decide when it makes sense to employ sustainable industrial policy and what tools to use in pursuing it. 

Governments are increasingly seeing the green economy as a driver of future economic growth, as well as a contributor to urgent environmental objectives such as combating climate change. As such, many of them are using or considering various types of industrial policies, employing subsidies, tax policies, export promotion and other measures to build up competitive domestic low-carbon sectors. IISD is keenly interested in three questions:

  • Is it possible to do this sort of industrial policy well, and if so in what circumstances? What is best practice?

  • What are the global (environmental) benefits and the global costs (in terms of trade and investment diverted from trading partners)?

  • What are the implications for trade law and policy, particularly in the areas of subsidies and intellectual property rights?

The constraints faced by governments are both economic (what sectors are ripe; what are tools effective?) and legal (what are the challenges imposed on governments by international trade and investment law?). IISD's analysis includes in-country work that focuses on the unique and common challenges faced by particular policy-makers, and by more cross-cutting work that tries to find general themes of value to those policy-makers from across a number of countries and research efforts.

  • Commentary
    Climate Investment, Low-Carbon Innovation and Green Industrial Policy

    Climate Investment, Low-Carbon Innovation and Green Industrial Policy

    IISD President-CEO Scott Vaughan offers up a timely commentary on climate investment, low-carbon innovation and green industrial policy,  ahead of COP21 in Paris.

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  • Paper
    Assessing Green Industrial Policy: The India experience

    Assessing Green Industrial Policy: The India experience

    This report is one in a series that considers the lessons for green industrial policy that can be learned from policies in the renewable energy sector.  The aim of the series is to provide policy-makers with research to support the development of cost-effective, well-targeted policies for the development of green industries.  

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  • Paper
    Stable Policies, Turbulent Markets-Germany's Green Industrial Policy: The costs and benefits of promoting solar PV and wind energy

    Stable Policies, Turbulent Markets-Germany's Green Industrial Policy: The costs and benefits of promoting solar PV and wind energy

    This report is one in a series that considers the lessons for green industrial policy that can be learnt from policies in the renewable energy sector. The aim of the series is to provide policy makers with research to support the development of cost effective, well targeted policies for the development of green industries. 

    Read More