Green Growth, Price Pressures and Productivity

Turner, Karen (2021) Green Growth, Price Pressures and Productivity. Discussion paper. University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

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    Abstract

    'Green growth' through the net zero transition is possible, and could deliver many benefits across multiple sectors, and the wider economy, to offset the costs of decarbonisation. Nonetheless, 'green growth' is like any other form of economic expansion: where opportunities need to be exploited particularly in the context of constrained labour markets, producer costs and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) should be expected to increase, even where we enjoy net gains in GDP, investment, and employment. This type of pressure adds to but is different to the challenge of how decarbonisation costs may be recovered through the prices of goods/services, energy bills and/or taxation. In either case, a crucial key to unlocking more affordable routes to delivering net zero lies in identifying and delivering on sources of productivity and efficiency gains both in how we produce the goods and services that peoples' lives and businesses rely on, and in how we use them. This is a key focus for debate and decision making going forward, alongside building recognition and understanding that 'net zero' is ultimately a societal and public policy challenge more than it is a technological one.