Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)

Revue

Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

The End of Cheap Oil. Why the Data about the Reserves Are so Unreliable and Controversial

The world economy cannot function without oil, notably because the transport sector relies so heavily upon it. Yet the forecasts of supply and demand for hydrocarbons differ widely depending on the expert source consulted.
Even though they are not much discussed in the institutional publications, major controversies surround the estimates of the total reserves that could be extracted in future. The most optimistic forecasts are based on the fact that the amount of proven reserves has never stopped growing over the last 50 years, thanks above all to technological progress and the exploitation of new, deep-sea fields; the optimists assume that past trends will continue and they reckon that there is no reason to fear shortages for another 40, if not 80, years.
By contrast, the most pessimistic experts argue that oil is a finite resource and the main oil-producing regions were discovered long ago. Since consumption rates now exceed discovery rates and technical progress has its limits, they calculate on the basis of discovery rates in the past that conventional and unconventional oil production might reach a maximum of 90 million barrels per day by 2015-2030, but after that it will decline inexorably.
Jean Laherrère, an expert on oil reserves, sums up the present situation and the forecasts of likely future changes in world oil reserves. His approach is rather pessimistic, stressing that the published figures on reserves tend to be highly political and must be viewed with caution, above all because there are no agreed definitions of what is being evaluated. He presents the various estimates of final hydrocarbon reserves (i.e. total production plus known reserves plus estimates of undiscovered reserves), and the range of factors affecting the forecasts. His conclusion does not beat about the bush: we must quickly check oil consumption (if necessary by raising prices significantly) if we are to satisfy our future energy needs.

Bibliography

Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Perspectives agricoles de l’OCDE et de la FAO 2006-2015 (Synthèse)

Cette 12e édition des Perspectives agricoles fournit une évaluation des perspectives des marchés des produits agricoles tels que les céréales, les oléagineux, le sucre, les viandes et les produits laitiers pour la période 2005-2015. Cette évaluation est basée sur des projections découlant d'une série d'hypothèses sur les politiques agricoles et commerciales qui représentent un scénario possible pour ces marchés pour les 10 ans à venir. Selon ces projections, la production agricole mondiale devrait connaître une croissance régulière durant ...

(327 more words)

Bibliography

Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Rapport fait au nom de la MIES

Ce rapport débute par un cri d?alarme du président de la MIES, Jean-Yves Le Déaut : le changement climatique constitue la plus grande menace du XXIe siècle. Les activités humaines sont largement en cause. Les émissions excessives de gaz à effet de serre ne s?arrêtent pas aux frontières. Le réchauffement prévisible au cours du XXIe siècle (qui pourrait être de 5° C, ce qui est considérable) est un phénomène mondial. Une réponse, pour être efficace, doit donc être mondiale ...

(710 more words)

Revue

Entreprises, travail - Recherche, sciences, techniques - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Where Should We Look for Ways of Coping with the Greenhouse Effect?

As is clear from reading most of the articles in this special issue, all the scenarios for stabilizing or reducing emissions of greenhouse gases to "acceptable" limits require a real effort to tackle the growth of energy consumption. As Véronique Lamblin emphasizes here, all possible means of increasing energy supplies (especially by improving yields or lowering the costs of production technologies) are to be welcomed; nevertheless, this approach alone will probably not be sufficient, given the current concerns about climate change.
Consequently, after highlighting the crucial importance of dealing with the energy problem, she presents here some possible ways of reducing energy consumption in the industrialized countries: production technologies involving a lower carbon content, cutting back demand for electricity and energy for transport, intelligent devices for detecting and reducing waste, management of energy use in housing, industry and vehicles, substitution between products and services, etc. Unfortunately, despite many possibilities that already exist or are in prospect, tackling energy consumption remains a taboo subject, especially because it is too often wrongly understood as holding back economic growth, and it does not attract the amount of effort (in terms of technological or socio-organizational research, for example) needed to match the stakes involved.
This is one of the major failures of both governments and business, in France, in Europe, and throughout the world. It is obvious that if active measures are not taken soon to improve matters, stabilizing the greenhouse gas emissions and thus limiting global warming will remain merely pious hopes.

Bibliography

Géopolitique - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

European Energy and Transport - Trends to 2030

La Commission européenne a mis à jour son étude de 2003 sur l'énergie et les transports à l'horizon 2030, European Energy and Transport : Trends to 2030. Ce rapport est à la fois un outil de suivi et un bilan des politiques européennes dans les domaines de l'énergie et du transport. Il met en avant les difficultés actuelles et à venir de l'Union européenne (UE) à respecter ses différents engagements, notamment ceux concernant les énergies renouvelables et ...

(334 more words)

Bibliography

Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Water Scenarios to 2025

Les scénarios du WBCSD (World Busines Council for Sustainable Development), réseau qui rassemble plus de 180 entreprises internationales engagées pour le développement durable, portent sur le rôle des entreprises par rapport à la question de plus en plus prégnante des ressources mondiales en eau. Sont d'abord identifiés les facteurs de changement : les hommes (la croissance démographique, l'urbanisation, les modes de vie...), la planète (l'écosystème, la diminution de la biodiversité, le réchauffement...), l'héritage du passé (les infrastructures ...

(413 more words)

Revue

Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Effet de serre : quelques scénarios

Patrick Criqui, an expert in the prospects for energy and the environment, examines some of the recently proposed scenarios for energy needs and production and for global emissions of greenhouse gases. He thus points out that "between the pressure of demand, the upstream limits on resources and the downstream limits on emissions, devising long-term energy scenarios is an exercise in squaring the circle".
He summarizes here a range of scenarios including those of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), those carried out as part of the study of Greenhouse Gas Reduction Pathways, and the Factor 4 scenarios (which aim to cut carbon emissions to a quarter of existing levels, notably in France). Among these scenarios, some are considered "policy free" (i.e. they do not set targets to aim for); others set targets expressed in precise figures for stabilizing or reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Patrick Criqui describes them in detail, showing what can be learned from each one, the controversies they stir up and their possible implications for public action, in particular. Lastly he discusses the policies that might be adopted in order to promote "virtuous" scenario outcomes (stabilizing emissions), with regard to technological innovations, economic incentives and in structural terms.

Revue

Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

The Outlook for Energy and the Reality Principle

An energy crisis threatens: while scientists disagree about when it will happen, most of them agree that a shortage of fossil fuels is likely to occur before the end of this century. Faced with this threat, some propose to trust in technology to come up with new solutions on the production side (using hydrogen, improving nuclear methods, etc.): "technological utopias", according to Benjamin Dessus. Others try to think of ways in which lifestyles might be changed - and hence consumption - in order to bring them into line with existing resources within varying time-scales (a systemic approach), and so showing how much room for manoeuvre there is.
Benjamin Dessus, who has long argued strongly in favour of policies to check energy consumption, outlines the main points in the debate about energy prospects and ways of limiting CO2 emissions. The worst outcome (rampant climate change), he says, is likely but not unavoidable. There is an alternative: not the development of new production methods that are supposed to be less damaging for the environment, though sometimes utopian, but the mobilization of the whole population in support of a change in patterns of consumption and - why not? - in the longer term, of a transformation of production methods.

Bibliography

Entreprises, travail - Recherche, sciences, techniques - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Recherches et technologies du futur : quelles orientations pour la production et la consommation d’énergie ?

Le monde s'oriente-t-il vers un avenir énergétique durable ? La poursuite des tendances actuelles laisse penser que non. Le Conseil économique et social, se plaçant à l'horizon 2050, dresse le panorama du mix énergétique raisonné et équilibré qui devrait prévaloir à cette date. Aucune source d'énergie ne peut être exclue a priori, selon cet organisme. Les recherches doivent être activement poursuivies dans tous les domaines. Le XXIe siècle verra se développer une production décentralisée, notamment dans certains espaces ...

(162 more words)

Bibliography

Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

World Agroforestry into the Future

L'agroforesterie, un système agricole associant les arbres (ou autres plantes ligneuses vivaces) et cultures sur une même parcelle agricole, est porteuse de nombreux espoirs pour les pays en développement. Depuis une trentaine d'années, la recherche agricole met à l'honneur cette technique pourtant traditionnelle chez les agriculteurs des pays tropicaux et subtropicaux. Aujourd'hui, environ 1,2 milliard de personnes subsisteraient grâce aux pratiques agroforestières. Le rapport World Agroforestry into the Future a été publié par le World ...

(231 more words)

Revue

Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Accepting the New Century

This article by Pierre Radanne summarizes in a few pages the key challenges raised by the third energy crisis that has been affecting the world for the past year or so. He first offers a brief description of the cyclical nature of energy and then goes on to describe how this recent crisis developed, stressing the way that concerns about climate change have put the present oil shock on a very different plane to previous ones. The challenge now is at a much broader level, relating to how people live: Western lifestyles cannot be adopted by the whole planet; consequently it is imperative that the industrialized countries seek new patterns of behaviour that reduce energy consumption. Pierre Radanne argues that public authorities, especially in Europe, must rank their priorities and establish long-term strategies, involving a certain "re-regulation" of the energy sector. He concludes that it is essential to be equipped to make a success of the 21st century by using the energy sector as a vector for tackling the problems of climate change and an approach to creating a new form of civilization for the whole planet.

Bibliography

Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Agriculture, environnement et territoires. Quatre scénarios à l’horizon 2025

Face aux enjeux soulevés par la régulation entre agriculture et environnement, et devant le constat d'un déficit d'analyse à long terme sur la question, les ministères de l'Agriculture et de l'Environnement et le CNASEA (Centre national pour l'aménagement des structures des exploitations agricoles) ont uni leurs efforts pour lancer une démarche d'analyse prospective spécifique à ce thème, mobilisant un groupe de travail ad hoc, intitulé « groupe de la Bussière » (groupe d'experts représentatifs de ...

(833 more words)

Chapitre Ressources...

Ce chapitre est extrait du Rapport Vigie 2016 de Futuribles International, qui propose un panorama structuré des connaissances et des incertitudes des experts que l'association a mobilisés pour explorer les évolutions des 15 à 35 prochaines années sur 11 thématiques.