Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Is there green growth in OECD countries?

Pasche, Markus (2018): Is there green growth in OECD countries?

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Taking the Ecological Footprint (EF) as a broad measure of environmental impact of economic activity, there is substantial progress in decoupling economic output from environmental impact. However, this progress has been too slow to compensate the negative environmental impact of economic growth. But since mid of 2000s the EF declines in the OECD countries, and the global EF increase is driven by emerging countries, i.e. China. However, the decline could be mainly explained by a GDP growth slowdown. To achieve a significant reduction (comparable to the goals of the Paris Agreement) a further slowdown could be necessary. Moreover, the paper investigates the role of globalization because the greening of production in OECD countries could be due to a shift of dirty industries to non-OECD countries. Thus OECD countries are net importers of the EF embodied in traded goods. However, the amount of net EF imports is too small and not correlated with the eco-productivity of production. As ecological productivity is strongly correlated with enforced environmental policy, globalization could be used as a vehicle to promote eco-productivity also in non-OECD countries.

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