Carbon dioxide emissions have been commonly modelled as rising and falling with total output. Yet many factors, such as energy-efficiency improvements and shifts to cleaner energy, can break this relationship. We evaluate these factors using US data and find that changes in energy efficiency of consumption goods explain a significant proportion of emissions fluctuations. This finding also implies that models that omit energy efficiency likely overestimate the trade-off between environmental protection and economic performance.
This paper adapts climate-economy models that have been applied in other contexts for use in climate-related scenario analysis. We consider illustrative scenarios for the global economy that could generate economic and financial risks. Our results suggest there are significant economic risks from climate change and the move to a low-carbon economy.