Economics has traditionally seen the challenge as one of managing difficult trade-offs between the pursuit of
economic growth and the cost of cutting GHG emissions. On the surface, it seems that emissions reduction has
consistently lost out to the pursuit of economic objectives, with global emissions continuing to rise.
The reality is more interesting and more hopeful, and it more fundamentally suggests the need to revise our
basic economic perspective. Along with rising climate impacts, the last decade has seen radical developments in
low-carbon technologies once assumed to be very costly and/or too limited. Such developments not only open the door to reducing global emissions relatively cheaply, they challenge the use of traditional economic appraisals when we pursue goals of transformational change.
This report is not only about the promise such technologies hold for the clean energy transition, but
about the lessons we can draw from such examples. It is about how we think, and often fail to recognise or
understand the opportunities that arise from innovation and transition in major technologies and systems.
Read the report