Green Energy

German environmental policy is labouring under the delusion that it can reduce the worldwide supply of oil and gas by avoiding emissions and lowering demand. But what happens if the owners of these resources decide not to play along? After all, they are under no obligation to sell us their oil and gas, and can just as easily trade with countries that have not signed the Kyoto protocol and which produce 70% of global CO2 emissions. By downwardly pressuring energy prices in the global market with our frugality, we are subsidising consumption by the Americans and the Chinese, who then drive in a more gas-guzzling manner and build polluting factories. On this web page Hans-Werner Sinn examines the dangerous flaws in Germany’s environmental policy and shows its current influence on our energy prices. If we wish to save out climate, blind politicking has to stop and a global strategy to limit the supply of raw materials needs to be found.



Cover Image Europe's Green Unilateralism "Europe's Green Unilateralism", EEA, Institute of International Economic Studies, Stockholm University, August 23rd, 2021.



“How to Fight Climate Change: Economic and Technical Challenges”, London School of Economics, 22 January 2018.



Media Coverage

Professor Sinn is cited as saying the only 61 countries signed the Paris agreement. Professor Sinn instead said that of the 191 countries signing only 61 had committed to quantitative emissions constraints.

German Economics expert Sees 6 Formidable Problems with Germany’s Green Energy Push,, June 12th, 2022.

TV Lectures

The Green Paradox - Theses on Climate Change - Information Page

Current Policy Contributions

Maya Norman, Wolfram Schlenker, „An Empirical Test of the Green Paradox for Climate Legislation“, final version published in NBER Working Paper Series, No. 32405, May 2024.

"Kohlemotoren, Windmotoren und Dieselmotoren: Was zeigt die CO2-Bilanz?" (together with Ch. Buchal andn H.-D. Karl), ifo Schnelldienst 72 (08), 2019, 40–54

“Buffering Volatility: A Study on the Limits of Germany's Energy Revolution”European Economic Review 99, October 2017, pp. 130-150; CESifo Working Paper Nr. 5950, June 2016 and NBER Working Paper, No. 22467, July 2016.

“13 Theses on the German Energy Transformation”, July 8th, 2014 (in German).

Refereed scientific monographs

The Green Paradox, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 2012, 288 pages. (Revised and updated translation of Das grüne Paradoxon). To Amazon.




Articles in refereed journals

Decarbonizing Mobility. Thoughts on an Unresolved Challenge (together with Ch. Buchal), The European Physical Journal Plus, (2019) 134: 599.

"The Fossil Episode" (together with John Hassler), Journal of Monetary Economics 83, August 2016, pp. 14-26; CESifo Working Paper No. 4016, 2012; (Download, 707 KB).

"Introductory Comment: The Green Paradox: A Supply-side View of the Climate Problem"Review of Environmental Economics and Policy 9 (2), 2015, pp. 239-245 (Download, 1.73 MB)CESifo Working Paper No. 5385, June 2015 (Download, 108 KB).

"Public Policies against Global Warming: a supply side approach“, International Tax and Public Finance 15 (4), 2008, pp. 360-394; (Download, 413 KB); CESifo Working Paper No. 2087, August 2007; (Download, 397 KB).

"Green Tax Reform and Competitiveness" (together with E. Koskela and R. Schöb), German Economic Review 2, 2001, pp. 19-30; (Download, 1.5 MB).

"Pollution, Factor Taxation and Unemployment" (together with E. Koskela and R. Schöb), International Tax and Public Finance 5, 1998, pp. 379-396; (Download, 163 KB)CESifo Working Paper No. 151, 1998; (Download, 139 KB).

"Pigou and Clarke Join Hands"Public Choice 75, 1993, pp. 79-91; (Download, 1.05 MB) .

"Surprise Price Shifts, Tax Changes and the Supply Behaviour of Resource Extracting Firms", (together with N.V. Long), Australian Economic Papers 24, 1985, pp. 278-289; (Download, 494 KB).

"The Theory of Exhaustible Resources“, Zeitschrift für Nationalökonomie 41, 1981, pp. 183-192; (Download, 576 KB).

Academic papers in conference volumes

"Green Tax Reform, Structural Unemployment, and Welfare" (together with E. Koskela and R. Schöb), in: H. Chernick, ed., Proceedings of the 91st Annual Conference on Taxation, National Tax Association: Washington D.C. 1999, pp. 52-56 (Download, 1.5 MB)CESifo Working Paper No. 176, 1998; NBER Working Paper No. 6922, February 1999.

Policy Contributions in Journals and Academic Volumes

"The Green Paradox"CESifo Forum 10 (3), 2009, pp. 10-13; (Download, 198 KB).

Short Policy Contributions and Newspaper Articles

"COVID as a Natural Experiment for Climate Policy", Project Syndicate, June 14th, 2023.

"Kein Alleingang in der Klimapolitik" ("No Unilateralism in Climate Policy")Neue Züricher Zeitung, February 19th, No. 42, p. 28.

"Will Germany’s Energy Policy Lead to Economic Failure?"The Guardian (ref. "Is Germany Sick Again?", Project Syndicate, November 25th, 2022), November 25th, 2022 and "Is Germany sick again?", The Jordan Times, November 28th, 2022.

"Europe's Green Unilateralism"Project Syndicate, July 23rd, 2021, The Japan Times.

"Germany's Ineffective Green Unilateralism"Project Syndicate, May 20th, 2021.

"Europe's Green Dirigisme"Project Syndicate, September 24th, 2020.

"The EU's EV Greenwash"Project Syndicate, November 22nd, 2019, The Guardian (UK).

"Germany's Dangerously Flawed Energy Policies", Project Syndicate, May 24th, 2019.

"The Green Paradox", The World Financial Review, May – June 2012, p. 51.

"How to resolve the green paradoxon"Financial Times, August 27th, 2009, No. 37.090, p. 7.

"Food or Fuel?" (ref. Project Syndicate November 2007), Daily Times (Pakistan), Börsen Zeitung (Germany), Luxemburger Tageblatt (Luxembourg).

"The Green Paradox" (ref. Project Syndicate June 2007), Journal of Turkish Weekly (Turkey), Les Nouvelles (Madagascar), Les Echos (Mali), Standard Times (Sierra Leone), South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), The Financial Express (India), The Korea Herald (South Korea), Business World (Philippines), The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka), The Nation (Thailand), Die Presse (Austria), L’Echo (Belgium), Borsen (Denmark), Aripaev (Estonia), Vilaggazdasag (Hungary), The Times of Malta (Malta), Danas (Serbia), Stabroek News (Guyana), Jordan Property (Jordan), Al Raya (Qatar), Al Eqtisadiah (Saudi Arabia), Duowei Times (USA).

Interviews and Discussions (since 2002)

"Prof. Hans-Werner Sinn: Energy Price, Green Paradox, CO2", Eduard Heindl EnergyTalks, August 2nd, 2023, app. 73 minutes.

"Quando il verde non basta", Tempi, May 30th, 2012, No. 21, p. 22.

Ifo Viewpoints

Ifo Viewpoint No. 154: Putin and Flickering Power, Mar 17, 2014.

Ifo Viewpoint No. 131: Requiem for Germany’s feed-in tariffs, Feb 28, 2012.

Ifo Viewpoint No. 106: The Green Paradox, Jun 16, 2009.

Ifo Viewpoint No. 98: Nuclear Power: Wrong-Way Driver Germany, Jul 22, 2008.

Ifo Viewpoint No. 89: How the Upswing Came About – Six Hypotheses, Nov 15, 2007.

fo Viewpoint No. 88: Should We Run Our Cars on Food?, Oct 16, 2007.

Ifo Viewpoint No. 85: The Green Paradox, Jul 9, 2007.

Ifo Viewpoint No. 36: E.ON, Ruhrgas and Consumer Protection, Jul 17, 2002.

Ifo Viewpoint No. 30: Save our Coal!, Nov 23, 2001.

Ifo Viewpoint No. 14: The Battle with OPEC, Sep 20, 2000.

Unpublished Discussion Papers

„Pareto Optimality in the Extraction of Fossil Fuels and the Greenhouse Effect: A Note“CESifo Working Paper Nr. 2083, 2007; (Download, 279 KB), NBER Working Paper Nr. 13453, 2007.