As a rule of thumb, economic growth is closely related to growth in energy consumption because the more energy is used, the higher the economic growth. However, it is possible to decouple energy consumption and economic growth to some extent.. More efficient use of energy may entail economic growth and a reduction in energy use. Energy efficiency may very well be an economic driving force. With an increasing use of sustainable energy sources, the link between energy use and greenhouse gas emissions may be decoupled as well.
The old “rule” saying that pollution is an unavoidable side effect of energy use, which again is a prerequisite for economic growth, is not valid where decision makers have a will to think differently.