Ongoing globalisation combined with the rapid pace of technological change have generated significant growth in economic activities and have improved the welfare and living standards of many people around the world. The opening up of the world economy has also led to unprecedented surges in international trade and has fundamentally transformed the way that goods and services are produced, exchanged and consumed. In addition, the increasing separation of production and consumption activities has been accompanied by an increase in energy, resource and carbon content embodied in international trade. In general all economic activity requires the use of energy, which has a variety of environmental impacts. This dissertation examines how the relationship between energy use and economic growth evolved in high-income countries from 1970 to 2014 and the role of trade in this. The approach involves looking at the factors driving the change, how the importance of these factors has changed over time and how it differed across countries.