The planet as an area of influence

This research focus analyzes the ethical and geopolitical tensions that have emerged around environment protection issues. Insofar as these issues can generate inertia and thus hinder the transition, it is essential to understand what lies at their core and to unravel the mechanisms that feed into them.

Equity issues

In this field, we will look closely at organizations, political instruments, financial mechanisms, and the rules, procedures and norms that govern the global processes of climate and biodiversity protection. We propose to investigate how global goals are constructed and implemented. This examination is vital in order to understand the technical, economic, social and political conditions associated with the different goals adopted, and in particular those related to stabilizing temperatures.

A discussion of the breakdown of global goals at different scales is also crucial. This requires looking at the distribution of reduction efforts, and at the questions of different responsibilities and fair contributions to decarbonization. Behind these questions lie ethical issues related to managing resources and engineering practices and, at a more political level, issues of environmental justice, property, and value sharing, which must here be interconnected with climate physics constraints. In particular, a true low-carbon transition requires considering not only the point of view of developed countries, but that of emerging countries that may have substantially different visions and models. Issues around using indicators as a governance information system are crucial (issues of influence and responsibility; issues concerning agreements used; issues of managing data and involvement of the private sector).

Competition and geostrategy

Although the transition is part of a vision and a global context, it takes place at local scale and thus comes up against diverse realities and competition issues. This requires taking a close look at questions of sovereignty and autonomy of resource supplies. The transition can also generate economic competition (development, technological position, patents, etc.) between different economic actors: technological issues, via patents, technological progress, deployment of industries, standards, etc. Thus influence strategies that concern the climate challenge can crystalize rivalries. The ambition to take up a position of power on the climate question put forward by several regions, including the EU-27, China and the United States, involves a reorganization of international power relationships, leading to not just new forms of cooperation but new rivalries, including for the control of resources. These relative positions are factors that must indispensably be integrated into reflections to draw up a true low-carbon transition.

Lead researchers:

  • Séverine BOYER | CEMEF, Mines Paris – PSL (severine.boyer(at)
  • Cathy DESCAMPS-LARGE | ISIGE, Mines Paris – PSL (cathy.descamps-large(at)
  • Charbel MOUSSA | CEMEF, Mines Paris – PSL (charbel.moussa(at)
  • Bruno SCALABRINO | GÉOAZUR, Université Côte d’Azur (scalabrino(at)
  • Sandrine SELOSSE | CMA, Mines Paris – PSL (sandrine.selosse(at)

You will find a summary of the research carried out in this area soon in our “Resources” section.

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