Turning point: decoupling greenhouse gas emissions from economic growth

The transformation of economic growth towards a lower dependency on fossil fuels and related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is essential for the feasibility of a successful global climate strategy. The year 2014 was the first in decades that saw worldwide economic growth and a reduction of energy-related GHG emissions. This study attempts to explore these developments and illuminate the drivers through descriptive data analysis, a review of empirical research and a regression analysis. The assessment covers data for the period 1990 to 2014 and includes economic growth, energy-related GHG emissions, energy consumption and energy carriers for 34 countries. Particular emphasis is put on the often-cited examples of China, the US and Germany, which are then compared with the OECD aggregate, India and the worldwide picture.