Different Paths to Decarbonization: The Role of Foreign Demand for Export-Led Countries’ Firm-Driven Decarbonization

Anna Hehenberger

Decarbonizing economic growth has become a policy priority across the globe. Simultaneously, an increasing number of countries are shifting their growth models towards foreign demand to foster export-led economic growth. However, the relationship between export-led growth and decarbonization remains underexplored. While export-led growth tends to build on more emissions-intense manufacturing sectors, export-led growth models also profit from manufacturing capabilities that provide fertile ground for the creation of green industries and, therefore, green growth. In exploring this relationship comparatively in three case studies, the dissertation project pursues the shift of global demand towards promoting green industries and shows that demand for green growth has been met differently by export sectors in different economies. By tracing the shifts in global demand on firm-level, the project goes beyond common conceptions of decarbonization that focus on either intentional, policy-driven, or unintentional deindustrialization-driven processes and opens up the nascent growth models perspective to system-level dynamics.

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