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Is Decoupling GDP Growth from Environmental Impact Possible?

Ward, James D; Sutton, Paul C.; Werner, Adrian D; Costanza, Robert; Mohr, Steve H; Simmons, Craig Trevor


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...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2016
Type: Journal article
Source: PLOS ONE (Public Library of Science)
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0164733
Access Rights: Open Access


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