Put simply, productivity improvements reduce carbon. If less activity is needed to do the same or more, it means that less carbon is needed to do the same or more.
Paul Krugman, the 2008 Nobel Prize Winner, once said:
“Productivity isn’t everything, but, in the long run, it is almost everything. A country’s ability to improve its standard of living over time depends almost entirely on its ability to raise its output per worker.”
Improving standards of living throughout the world means we must act, and productivity plays a central role. However, at the time the quote was made, the link between the choices we make to improve productivity and the longer-term impact on climate change were not on the global agenda