Is it Possible to Decrease CO2 Emissions Without Negatively Impacting Economic Growth?


Climate change is an overt problem to society that begs the question: can we decrease carbon emissions without harming or impacting economic growth? As the consequences of climate change become increasingly more tangible each day, policy centered around reducing the interdependence of economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions has become a widespread discussion. This paper will provide two separate analyses on the relationship between environmental regulation and economic growth. The first analysis will look at this relationship in 264 countries and the second will look on a smaller scale within the 50 United States; the results and averages from these two studies will later be compared. Using global panel data on gross domestic product (GDP) per capita as the primary measurement of economic growth and carbon (CO2) emissions with the incorporation of data on the advancements of renewable energy technology, environmental spending and environmentally-related tax revenue, this study aims to discover whether investing in the advancement of emission reducing technology and increasing incentives to reduce emissions have minimized the problematic relationship between economic growth and CO2 emissions on both the international level and the U.S. national level.

First Advisor

Matt Warning

Date of Completion

Spring 3-13-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Economics

Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2021