21 countries decouple economic growth from emissions

21 countries from Austria to the United States have cut their greenhouse gases emissions while growing their economies in the past 15 years. This proves that decoupling economic growth and greenhouse gases emissions is feasible. 

To a new study by the World Resources Institute, this is already a reality for :

  • 13 Western Europe countries : Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom;
  • 6 former Eastern European countries : Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine;
  • The United States;
  • and Uzbekistan.


On a global scale, we have seen previously that globally our greenhouse gases emissions have reached a tiping point. The International Energy Agency doubled down in March on these great news :

Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) – the largest source of man-made greenhouse gas emissions – stayed flat for the second year in a row, according to analysis of preliminary data for 2015 released today by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

“The new figures confirm last year’s surprising but welcome news: we now have seen two straight years of greenhouse gas emissions decoupling from economic growth,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol. “Coming just a few months after the landmark COP21 agreement in Paris, this is yet another boost to the global fight against climate change.”

CO2 energy 2016 IEA


Now this new study from the WRI proves that G20 countries can really cut deep their pollution – like UK or Germany – while providing sustained economic growth. This should be top news everywhere to spur further efforts in this direction.

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