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Title Vol. 24 Trends and Implications of Decoupling of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and GDP in Major Countries (English edition)

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  • Date
    2020-09-29

 


• OECD countries' gross domestic product (GDP) is 2.6 times higher than it was in 1990. However, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have gradually decreased since 2007, resulting in a level similar to that of 1990 in 2017.
• The phenomenon of decreasing GHG emissions while the economy continues to grow is called decoupling.
• A comparison of the decoupling trends in GDP and GHG emissions of major OECD countries shows that the total amount of GHG emissions has been on a decline since 2000 despite the increase in GDP.
• Analysis using the Decoupling Index (DI) shows that the entire OECD, the UK, Germany, Japan, and the US entered the strong decoupling phase in the 2000s.
• Countries in the strong decoupling stage can be classified as a country that changes its economic structure to be service-industry-centered or maintains a manufacturing base while converting to a low-carbon economy.
• Korea has entered the weak decoupling stage, where the growth rate of GHG emissions is lower than the economic growth rate, but Korea still produces huge GHG emissions compared to the size of its economy.
• OECD countries have already entered the strong decoupling stage where GHG emissions are decreasing, established long-term climate change response strategies, and promoted a global transition to a low-carbon society.
• As Korea's added value in the manufacturing industry accounts for a whopping 30% of GDP, it should consider a decoupling strategy such as that of Germany that does not alter the share of the manufacturing industry.

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