Emissions and Growth: Trends and Cycles in a Globalized World

Author/Editor:

Gail Cohen ; João Tovar Jalles ; Prakash Loungani ; Ricardo Marto

Publication Date:

August 30, 2017

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Summary:

Recent discussions of the extent of decoupling between greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and real gross domestic product (GDP) provide mixed evidence and have generated much debate. We show that to get a clear picture of decoupling it is important to distinguish cycles from trends: there is an Environmental Okun's Law (a cyclical relationship between emissions and real GDP) that often obscures the trend relationship between emissions and real GDP. We show that, once the cyclical relationship is accounted for, the trends show evidence of decoupling in richer nations—particularly in European countries, but not yet in emerging markets. The picture changes somewhat, however, if we take into consideration the effects of international trade, that is, if we distinguish between production-based and consumption-based emissions. Once we add in their net emission transfers, the evidence for decoupling among the richer countries gets weaker. The good news is that countries with underlying policy frameworks more supportive of renewable energy and supportive of climate change tend to have greater decoupling between trend emissions and trend GDP, and for both production- and consumption-based emissions.

Series:

Working Paper No. 17/191

English

Publication Date:

August 30, 2017

ISBN/ISSN:

9781484316702/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2017191

Price:

$18.00 (Academic Rate:$18.00)

Format:

Paper

Pages:

58

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