There is often said to be a trade-off between growth and decarbonisation, but the evidence shows that advanced economies can combine large emissions cuts with continuing economic growth.
Policy on greenhouse gas emissions reductions is often framed as a trade-off between greater emissions reductions and greater economic growth. However, while emissions clearly can’t be reduced to zero immediately, faster emissions reductions can be accompanied by robust economic performance. The clearest example of this is the UK. Since 1990 the UK has cut its total greenhouse gas emissions much more rapidly than other G7 countries, while growing its economic output per capita more than the average.
…policy has certainly also played its part. UK policy has successfully targeted relatively low cost emissions reduction, notably reducing coal use in the power sector. Above all the Climate Change Act (2008) has provided a consistent and rigorous policy framework. And whatever the reason, one thing is clear. Cutting emissions more can accompany growing the economy more.