Why “Green Growth” Is an Illusion

From the Institute for New Economic Thinking:

“Obama is not the only optimist in town; others have highlighted similar trends:

  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) argues that global carbon emissions have decoupled from economic growth from 2014-16 (IEA 2016); the IEA 66% below 2°Cpathways are based on steady-state rates of potential output growth from 2014-2050 of 2% for the U.S., 1% for the E.U. and .5% for Japan (OECD 2017, p. 171);
  • The World Resources Institute reports that as many as 21 countries (mostly belonging to the OECD) managed to reduce their (territory-based) carbon emissions, while growing their GDP in the period 2000 to 2014 (Aden 2016);
  • The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate (2018) speaks about a “new era of economic growth” that is sustainable, zero-carbon and inclusive—and driven by rapid technological progress, sustainable infrastructure investment and drastically increased energy efficiency and radically reduced carbon intensity;
  • International Monetary Fund economists Cohen, Tovar Jalles, Loungani and Marto (2018) find some evidence of decoupling for the period 1990-2014, particularly in European countries and especially when emissions measures are production-based; and finally
  • The OECD argues, in its 2017 report “Investing in Climate, Investing in Growth,” that the G20 countries can achieve “strong” and “inclusive” economic growth at the same time they reorient their economies toward development pathways featuring substantially lower GHG emissions.

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Posted by at 9:41 AM

Labels: Energy & Climate Change


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