Strong economic growth can be achieved without increasing emissions.
A long term approach to avoiding emissions growth is essential to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Changes are needed across policy and finance, especially in emerging economies. While difficult and complex, a focus on transitioning these areas to a more sustainable model can achieve economic growth, social development outcomes and environmental stability.
Emerging economies are uniquely placed to skip fossil fuel technologies that have traditionally been associated with rapid growth. Costs for very low or zero emission technologies such as renewables are dropping rapidly. Significant improvements in ‘smart grid’ technologies are enabling electricity to be transported and used more efficiently. Finally, protecting and restoring forests presents a potential economic opportunity in a world where emissions will increasingly face a real or implied carbon price.
This report examines:
- The role of emerging economies in mitigating climate change
- How economic growth can be achieved without an equivalent growth in emissions
- Why decoupling economic growth from emissions is important to achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals
- The value of mid-century pathways
- The role of finance in achieving transitions
- Why unique approaches based on country context is essential.