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Green Growth Indicators 2014

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The OECD Green Growth Strategy supports countries in fostering economic growth and development while ensuring that natural assets continue to provide the resources and environmental services on which well-being relies. Policies that promote green growth need to be founded on a good understanding of the determinants of green growth and need to be supported with appropriate indicators to monitor progress and gauge results.

This book updates the 2011 Towards Green Growth: Monitoring progress. It presents the OECD framework for monitoring progress towards green growth and a selection of updated indicators that illustrate the progress that OECD countries have made since the 1990s.

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The environmental and resource productivity of the economy

A central element of green growth is the environmental and resource efficiency of production and consumption, and how this changes with time, place and across sectors. Understanding these trends, together with the underlying factors, is an essential part of monitoring the transition to green growth. Progress toward green growth can be monitored by relating the use of environmental services in production to the output generated. Environmental services include natural resources and materials, including energy, and pollutants and other residuals with their implied use of environmental services like the atmosphere. Tracking trends in decoupling of inputs to production from economic and sectoral growth is an important focus for monitoring. Relative or absolute decoupling from a production perspective in some OECD countries can partly be offset by displacement effects, particularly when imported pollution- or resourceintensive goods or services are substituted for those produced domestically. The net effect at the global level may or may not imply decoupling. The limitations in production-based measures can be addressed by analysing the pollution generated and resources consumed from a demand perspective. The OECD Green Growth indicators in this area focus on: ?? Carbon and energy productivity, which characterises, among other things, interactions with the climate system and the global carbon cycle as well as the environmental and economic efficiency with which energy resources are used in production and consumption, and which informs about the results of policies that promote low carbon technologies and cleaner energy. ?? Resource productivity, which characterises the environmental and economic efficiency with which natural resources and materials are used in production and consumption, and which informs about the results of policies and measures that promote resource productivity and sustainable materials management in all sectors. Important resources and materials include mineral resources (metallic minerals, industrial minerals, construction minerals); biotic resources (food, feed, wood); water; and nutrients, which among other characteristics reflect interactions with nutrient cycles and food production systems. ?? Environmentally adjusted multi-factor productivity to give a more complete picture of the productivity of an economy by accounting for inputs from natural resources and for the generation of pollution. Other issues of importance include consumer behaviour, household and government consumption patterns, and societal responses. Examples of related response indicators are given as complements to illustrate their link with environmental and resource productivity indicators.

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