Energy in econmic growth - is faster growth greener?

A seminar by Gregor Semieniuk from SOAS on 'Energy in Economic Growth: is Faster Growth Greener?'

Energy in economic growth – is faster growth greener?

You are invited to a seminar by Gregor Semieniuk from SOAS, on ‘Energy in economic growth – is faster growth greener?’

All welcome! Refreshments will be provided for participants in the seminar. This is a joint seminar between the Economics Division & the School of Earth and Environment. 


An influential theoretical hypothesis holds that if aggregate productivity growth accelerates, then so does the decline in energy intensity. Whether faster growth is greener in this sense is key for modelling global economic output and energy demand, but empirical evidence is lacking. This paper characterises the global, long-run historical relationship between changes in energy intensity and labour productivity growth rates. Basing estimates on an unbalanced panel of 180 countries for the period 1950-2014 and the world as a whole, it captures a significantly larger historical window than previous studies. The paper finds a stylised fact whereby the rate at which energy intensity changes is constant or even increases as labour productivity accelerates. Faster growth is not greener. This provides important new information for calibrating integrated assessment models, many of which make a greener growth assumption in near term projections.

For further information, please contact Helen Greaves at

About the speaker


Dr Gregor Semieniuk is a lecturer in the SOAS Department of Economics. His research focuses on economic growth, energy demand and structural change towards low-carbon sectors, in particular how policies and portfolio decisions by different private and public investors influence the rate and direction of innovation. He also studies how macroeconomic trends can affect social inequality. Gregor has been a consultant to BEIS, is a lead author of the 2018 UNEP Emissions Gap report’s chapter on innovation and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at UCL’s Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, where he helps steer the Green Innovation strand. Gregor holds a Ph.D. in economics from the New School for Social Research (New York).