№ 28/2011 from Feb 01, 2011
Prof. Dr. Martin Jänicke, professor of political science and founding director of the Research Centre for Environmental Policy at Freie Universität, has been appointed as an expert adviser in the Study Commission of the German Parliament on “Growth, Prosperity, Quality of Life – Toward Sustainable Development and Social Progress in the Social Market Economy.” By the end of the legislative period in 2013, the study commission is expected to determine the importance of growth in the economy and society with the aim of developing a holistic well-being and progress indicator.
The study commission consists of 34 members: It has 17 members of parliament and the same number of external experts, appointed by the political groups according to the majority.
“Industrialized countries such as Germany often try to solve structural problems with an increase in economic growth, which is ultimately just a myth as is the belief that public policy could in the long term produce significantly higher economic growth,” said Jänicke. These futile efforts also have a heavy price, such as useless subsidies, the relinquishment of public and private income, or the failure to pass measures to preserve natural resources. Jänicke continued, “Rather than attempting to solve structural challenges such as employment, debt reduction, and social protection with growth policies, it is time to start solving them by dealing with their causes.”
For more than 30 years, Martin Jänicke has been involved in the area of tension between academics, policy advice, and active political work, for example, as a planning consultant to the German Federal Chancellery and as a member of the Berlin House of Representatives. From 1986 to 2007 he was the director of the Environmental Policy Research Centre (FFU) at Freie Universität Berlin. From 1999 to 2008 Jänicke served on the German federal government’s Advisory Council on the Environment and was the deputy chairperson of this council from 2000 to 2004. Since 2003, he has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the German Federal Environmental Foundation. Internationally Jänicke is active as a policy adviser and has contributed to several publications of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He has published academic studies in several languages on such topics as government failure, ecological modernization, conditions required for the success of environmental policy, and the green industrial revolution. In 1998 he was awarded the annual prize of the Berlin Conservation Foundation (Stiftung Naturschutz Berlin).