Nearly one-third of businesses operating in Germany are moving some of their operations out of the country in response to its green agenda, research has found. (Photo by Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images)


One-third of German businesses relocating over ‘green’ agenda


Almost a third of businesses operating in Germany are moving operations out of the country in response to its “green” agenda, research has found.

Polling conducted by the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) showed that the current progressive government’s climate-transition programme is causing serious difficulties for businesses, with problems regarding energy security causing numerous enterprises to relocate abroad.

According to the data, 52 per cent of companies said they have either been negatively affected or very negatively affected by the green reforms, which have seen Germany move away from nuclear and gas power towards hydrogen and other renewable technologies.

Some 32 per cent of the organisations now say they are either planning to relocate at least some of their operations abroad over the climate rules, are actively in the process of relocating or have already done so.

Only 13 per cent said they had been positively affected in any way by the green transition, with just 4 per cent reporting the changes had been very beneficial to their enterprises.

“While companies previously also saw opportunities in the energy transition, the risks to the economy now outweigh the benefits,” the DIHK’s Deputy Managing Director Achim Dercks said regarding the findings.

“Large parts of our economy are concerned about a lack of energy supply in the medium and long term,” he added. “Overall, this is a worrying development that we should all take very seriously.”

Dercks also noted that three in four of the 3,572 companies polled said they were rolling back their investment plans, starving the economy of cash that was now needed to make the green transition work.

He went on to call on the government to take “countermeasures … as quickly as possible” to help restore German competitiveness.

The DIHK has made a number of suggestions to the German Government regarding ways it could improve the situation, such as increasing the total energy supply in the country and making the German energy market more reliable.

It also suggested that ministers make an effort to reduce bureaucracy in the country, with the large amount of red tape businesses must tackle said to “hinder entrepreneurial creativity and limit existing potential”.

Many within the government now appear to agree with that assessment, with Germany’s economy minister Robert Habeck putting a proposal to the Cabinet on August 29 to have paperwork requirements for businesses slashed.

Habeck also wants to see bureaucracy levels reduced at the European Union level, claiming that increasing European regulations were now “a real barrier to investment”.

German justice minister Marco Buschmann agreed, backing Habeck’s calls for Brussels to start cutting its regulatory requirements for companies.

“We will keep what makes Europe strong,” he said. “What weakens us belongs in the shredder.”