Definition: Relative decoupling
Decoupling can be either absolute or relative. Absolute decoupling occurs when the relevant environmental pressure is stable or decreasing while the economic driving force is growing. Decoupling is relative when the growth rate of the environmentally relevant variable is positive, but less than the growth rate of the economic variable.
Eurostat, "Economic activities and their pressure on the environment 1995-2001", Statistics in Focus, Environment and Energy, 2/2006, Luxembourg, 2006