A low-carbon economy (LCE), low-fossil-fuel economy (LFFE), or decarbonised economy is an economy based on low carbon power sources that therefore has a minimal output of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into the biosphere, but specifically refers to the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. GHG emissions due to anthropogenic (human) activity are the dominant cause of observed global warming (climate change) since the mid-20th century. Continued emission of greenhouse gases may cause long-lasting changes around the world, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.Shifting to low-carbon economy on a global scale could bring substantial benefits both for developed and developing countries. Many countries around the world are designing and implementing low emission development strategies (LEDS). These strategies seek to achieve social, economic and environmental development goals while reducing long-term greenhouse gas emissions and increasing resilience to climate change impacts.Globally implemented low-carbon economies are therefore proposed by those having drawn this conclusion, as a means to avoid catastrophic climate change, and as a precursor to the more advanced, zero-carbon economy.
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