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Digital Decoupling Collection
Collection site for digital decoupling class
class  decoupling  digital 
2 hours ago by jeffreyrforester
The case for “conditional optimism” on climate change - Vox
Limiting the damage requires rapid, radical change — but such changes have happened before.
1.5degrees  decoupling  climatepolicy  green.growth  degrowth  tectoeconomics  factors  TFP 
10 weeks ago by zesteur
Is Decoupling GDP Growth from Environmental Impact Possible?
The argument that human society can decouple economic growth—defined as growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP)—from growth in environmental impacts is appealing. If such decoupling is possible, it means that GDP growth is a sustainable societal goal. Here we show that the decoupling concept can be interpreted using an easily understood model of economic growth and environmental impact. The simple model is compared to historical data and modelled projections to demonstrate that growth in GDP ultimately cannot be decoupled from growth in material and energy use. It is therefore misleading to develop growth-oriented policy around the expectation that decoupling is possible. We also note that GDP is increasingly seen as a poor proxy for societal wellbeing. GDP growth is therefore a questionable societal goal. Society can sustainably improve wellbeing, including the wellbeing of its natural assets, but only by discarding GDP growth as the goal in favor of more comprehensive measures of societal wellbeing.
september 2018 by zesteur
The Socio-Economic Metabolism of an Emerging Economy: Monitoring Progress of Decoupling of Economic Growth and Environmental Pressures in the Philippines - ScienceDirect
In many Asian developing countries, policy makers face tension between the needs of economic growth, human development and environmental sustainability. In a similar vein, the new global agreement on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) calls for the harmonization of economic and environmental goals. To shed light on the relationship between the economy and natural resources, our research investigates the case of the Philippines, employing a material flow accounting approach based on national statistical sources. We analyze domestic extraction, trade of materials and economic development from 1980 to 2014. We also explore differences between territorial (production) and footprint (consumption) accounts. We find that the Philippine economy managed to grow while reducing material intensity because of an increasing share of services sector activities. From net resource trade dependence in the 1980s, the Philippines become a net resource provider in 2014 because of increased extraction and exports of metal ores. Overall, the material requirements grew over the past two decades at lower rate than GDP, signifying relative decoupling. The new data and indicators we present are aimed to inform the national policy agenda. They may help to formulate policies that integrate economic and environmental priorities and guide the Philippines towards achieving the SDGs.
september 2018 by tonyyet
Why Growth Can’t Be Green – Foreign Policy
A team of scientists led by the German researcher Monika Dittrich first raised doubts in 2012. The group ran a sophisticated computer model that predicted what would happen to global resource use if economic growth continued on its current trajectory, increasing at about 2 to 3 percent per year. It found that human consumption of natural resources (including fish, livestock, forests, metals, minerals, and fossil fuels) would rise from 70 billion metric tons per year in 2012 to 180 billion metric tons per year by 2050. For reference, a sustainable level of resource use is about 50 billion metric tons per year—a boundary we breached back in 2000.

The team then reran the model to see what would happen if every nation on Earth immediately adopted best practice in efficient resource use (an extremely optimistic assumption). The results improved; resource consumption would hit only 93 billion metric tons by 2050. But that is still a lot more than we’re consuming today. Burning through all those resources could hardly be described as absolute decoupling or green growth.

In 2016, a second team of scientists tested a different premise: one in which the world’s nations all agreed to go above and beyond existing best practice. In their best-case scenario, the researchers assumed a tax that would raise the global price of carbon from $50 to $236 per metric ton and imagined technological innovations that would double the efficiency with which we use resources. The results were almost exactly the same as in Dittrich’s study. Under these conditions, if the global economy kept growing by 3 percent each year, we’d still hit about 95 billion metric tons of resource use by 2050. Bottom line: no absolute decoupling.

Finally, last year the U.N. Environment Program—once one of the main cheerleaders of green growth theory—weighed in on the debate. It tested a scenario with carbon priced at a whopping $573 per metric ton, slapped on a resource extraction tax, and assumed rapid technological innovation spurred by strong government support. The result? We hit 132 billion metric tons by 2050. This finding is worse than those of the two previous studies because the researchers accounted for the “rebound effect,” whereby improvements in resource efficiency drive down prices and cause demand to rise—thus canceling out some of the gains.
decoupling  economics 
september 2018 by zryb

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