Handbook on Green Growth
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Handbook on Green Growth

Edited by Roger Fouquet

Economies around the world have arrived at a critical juncture: to continue to grow fuelled by fossil fuels and exacerbate climate change, or to move towards more sustainable, greener, growth. Choosing the latter is shown to help address climate change, as well as present new economic opportunities. This Handbook provides a deeper understanding of the concept of green growth, and highlights key lessons from the experience of green transformations across the world following a decade of ambitious stimulus packages and green reforms.
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Chapter 5: Long-term productivity growth and the environment

Alex Bowen

Abstract

The natural environment provides crucial inputs and services for economic development, but its role for productivity growth is insufficiently explored. Environmental scarcities can pose a drag on productivity growth and a risk for its sustainability. At the same time productivity growth is often seen as the solution to environmental challenges. Methodological problems abound, and overall the literature suggests that environmental issues are a potentially important risk factor. Theoretical models tend to focus the role of resource-augmenting technical progress in the long run, in light of environmental constraints. Macroeconomic studies suggest the contribution of the natural environment to productivity growth has been modest overall. Microeconomic studies focus on partial equilibrium impacts, which in many cases have been found larger than expected. Finally, case studies of historical civilisation collapses suggest the risks may be significant.

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