Why Saarland needs a transformation fund

Dhe economic structural change towards climate neutrality by 2045 is a tour de force for Germany, which is caused by the Russian war of aggression against the Ukraine potentiated. Russian gas was previously thought to be a cheap and safe source of energy for the transition, but has proven expensive and unsafe. This energy price shock makes the path to climate neutrality more expensive and accelerates it. Many energy-intensive production processes come under the economic test bench earlier. Either they are redesigned to be climate-neutral through massive capital investment or they lose their future viability.

This development affects all federal states. But that Saarland is particularly affected as a classic industrial country, as current studies by the DIW and the Ifo Institute show. The automotive industry and the metal trades - including the steel industry - must reinvent themselves in the transformation. And it is precisely in these two sectors that the employment shares in Saarland are significantly higher than in any other federal state.

The proportion of employees in the automotive industry in Saarland is 120 percent higher than the national average. The classic automotive states of Baden-Württemberg, Lower Saxony and Bavaria follow in the next places, but they are only about 70 percent above the national average. In metal processing, Saarland's share of employment is similarly singular, well ahead of the other leaders Thuringia, North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg.

Structural change in the Saarland litmus test for all of Germany

The intensity of transformation is therefore greatest in Saarland in a national comparison and the structural change in Saarland is a litmus test for the whole of Germany. If structural change succeeds in Saarland, it can succeed anywhere. And that it succeeds everywhere is a declared task in the national interest and necessary to ensure equal living conditions. No region may be detached.

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