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 - Société, modes de vie

Changement climatique : le film catastrophe. À propos du film Le Jour d’après

The first film about the possibility of catastrophic climate change affecting the whole planet was released in France in May 2004. The Day after Tomorrow, an American spectacular, develops the scenario of a violent change in the climate causing terrible destruction all over the world: floods, tornadoes, unprecedentedly high temperatures... André Lebeau, former president of the French Meteorological Society, watched the film for Futuribles. Here he offers his analysis of the film, especially with regard to the scientific plausibility of the disaster scenario and its likely impact (in the longer term) on public opinion. As he stresses, unless there is a rapid growth of awareness of the embryonic dangers of climate change, we run the risk of ultimately not being able to cope with them.

Bibliography

Économie, emploi - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

« La libéralisation agricole : des effets ambigus sur les pays en développement »

Le protectionnisme et l'interventionnisme agricoles des pays du Nord sont souvent accusés de bloquer le développement du Sud. De ce point de vue, certains organismes, dont la Banque mondiale, considèrent qu'une libéralisation pourrait avoir un effet très bénéfique. Les simulations menées au CEPII conduisent à nuancer sensiblement ce point de vue. Les données qu'elles utilisent prennent en compte les préférences commerciales et les réformes récentes des politiques agricoles. Les simulations tiennent compte aussi du fait que les ...

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Forum

Institutions - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Charte de l’environnement : pour le principe de précaution

As a follow-up to the discussion forum on the draft Charter for the environment that the French President would like to include in the French Constitution, Olivier Godard provides us with a more detailed analysis of one of the most controversial aspects of the Charter, set out in article 5: the application of the precautionary principle. Godard is an acknowledged expert on this matter who has often written for us in the past. Here he examines the arguments of those who are opposed to the application of the principle as envisaged in the current version of the Charter - i.e. in a proportionate manner which can be altered over time as knowledge of the issues increases - and shows why their objections are not valid.
In the first place, according to Olivier Godard, the precautionary principle is the outcome of a perfectly rational approach, as he shows by taking the example of the epidemic of bird 'flu earlier this year. Moreover, including the principle in the Constitution does not detract from its relevance in any way: just because a norm may have accidental effects or be misused - and the risk that will happen cannot be ruled out completely - is no reason for it to be invalidated. Lastly, Godard demonstrates that the principle of proportionate precaution does well on the "reflexivity test", in other words, when applied to itself, the precautionary principle remains a guarantee of a balanced decision over the longer term.
In conclusion and in order to clarify certain controversial points, Olivier Godard proposes several amendments to article 5 of the Charter, as well as a detailed reformulation of the article.

Forum

Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Charte de l’environnement : enjeux et controverses

In his campaign to win the 2002 presidential election in France, Jacques Chirac made a commitment "to give the principles of protecting our environment the same level of importance as the rights of man and of citizens in 1789, and the economic and social rights set out in the preamble to the 1946 Constitution", and to make environmental protection a higher cause that carries greater weight than ordinary laws. In line with this commitment, the French President has had a "Charter for the environment" drawn up, which is to be added as an annexe to the Constitution and is mentioned in the preamble as "one of the essential principles of our times".
Responsibility for drawing up this charter was given to a commission which consulted almost 200 lawyers, scientists, philosophers, experts, and four focus groups. The draft constitutional amendment, adopted by the Council of Ministers on 25 June 2003, is scheduled to be debated in parliament this spring but is generating considerable controversy.
Some people feel that the document is not sufficiently ambitious: a petition called "Better no Charter for the Environment than one without the precautionary principle" criticizes the fact that the version of the precautionary principle included in the draft is allegedly so minimal as to "exclude health issues and to target institutions but exclude private individuals". The signatories also regret that the principle of "the polluter pays" has been replaced by a "contribution towards reparation" that they consider inadequate.
For others, on the contrary, the Charter goes too far. François Ewald fears "three major consequences: an unending growth of legal intervention in social relations combined with the abandonment of the presumption of innocence, an infringement of public freedoms, and democracy handed over to professionals specializing in threats". The business lobby group Mouvement des entreprises de France for its part reckons that it is "extremely dangerous" to include the precautionary principle in the Constitution. It alleges that "the application of this principle in law and in the courts could deter some research projects from being undertaken in France" and would therefore limit the country's capacity for innovation.
Dominique Bourg, Olivier Godard and Jean-Charles Hourcade reply to these criticisms, drawing a clear distinction between the precautionary principle and the search for "zero risk". They express their surprise that anyone could be afraid that this principle might undermine scientific research or technical innovation when in fact it is an incentive to greater efforts in these areas. In recommending the adoption of "proportionate and provisional" measures aimed at warning of dangers without trying to eliminate all "scientific uncertainties", the precautionary principle is a perfectly rational approach.

Revue

Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

L’observation de l’environnement

In accordance with the commitment that he made during his election campaign in 2002, the French President is proposing now to include the protection of the environment as one of the fundamental principles laid down in the preamble to the French Constitution and to add a charter for the environment as an annexe: see page 59 of this issue.
At the same time, however, the French government is intending to abolish the Institut français de l'environnement (IFEN), an independent public agency providing monitoring and information about the environment, or, more exactly, to make the agency depend directly upon the ministry, thereby depriving it of its independence and of many of the desirable features that it has had until now. Jacques Varet argues that this odd and paradoxical decision is, to say the least, a worrying warning sign.

Bibliography

Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

« Shared Oceans, Shared Future »

Constatant que l'homme n'a qu'une connaissance limitée des océans et tend généralement à surestimer leur capacité de résistance aux pressions en tous genres (pêche, déchets...), Global Issue consacre son numéro d'avril 2004 à l'avenir des océans qui, rappelons-le, représentent plus de 70 % de la surface du globe. Comme cette revue est une émanation du département d'État américain, la plupart des articles ici réunis regardent la question du point de vue des institutions américaines concernées ...

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Revue

Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

L’énergie, talon d’Achille de la croissance chinoise

China is now an important economic power, having enjoyed a high rate of economic growth for several years and attracted many Western firms. Its spectacular growth has allowed it to start to become an industrialized country from being a developing one. The transition period will probably last for some while; however, a certain number of problems may well emerge, in particular with regard to energy issues.
It will indeed be difficult for China to produce the energy it needs to maintain its current rate of growth and to meet the needs of its people as they adopt gradually more Western lifestyles, especially the automobile. It will be even harder if this development is to be "sustainable".
In this article Rémi Perelman elucidates the Chinese energy situation, describing the massive increase in energy demand, the shortfall in domestic energy resources despite ambitious infrastructure programmes, and hence the risks of a growing dependence on energy supplies from abroad. In his view the key question is whether, in the medium to long term, China's energy requirements will lead the regime to open up even more to the outside world and, as a consequence, this will bring about substantial political changes as well.

Bibliography

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

« Perspectives sur la communication en temps de crise et la communication du risque »

Ce numéro spécial de l'IPTS Report s'intéresse à la communication en temps de crise qui touche les domaines des sciences et de la technologie. Pour gérer une crise spécifique et afin de mieux réagir au risque en général, les citoyens doivent pouvoir s'en remettre à une information honnête et opportune, centrée sur les questions qui les préoccupent et issue de sources crédibles. Or la confiance en ces renseignements influence la plupart des aspects de la communication du ...

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Revue

Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Vers des alternatives végétales

We may be about to enter a new era in farming, perhaps indeed a new "bio-economy" driven both by concern for the environment (especially climate change) and by the amazing growth of biotechnologies that enable us to exploit the "plant cell factory" more systematically.
Marc Chopplet and Daniel Thomas argue that, in addition to enhancing the value of the non-food element of farm output, real "plant alternatives" are beginning to emerge and a new alliance is developing between research, industry, agriculture and the environment.
The first thing that comes to mind, obviously, is the contribution of biomass to energy production and the major efforts being made both by European countries and the United States, in line with the ambitious goals they have set themselves. The authors argue that, in addition to energy production, we could see the growth of "clean technologies and the emergence of new and different products that prefigure a new bio-economy" which would make the most of the extraordinarily rich properties of plants in a wide range of fields.
Marc Chopplet and Daniel Thomas describe these new prospects, the factors that could promote or hold back this revolution, and outline its technological, political, economic and social dimensions.

Bibliography

Économie, emploi - Recherche, sciences, techniques - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

The Future of Genetically Modified Crops. Lessons from the Green Revolution

Cette étude enquête sur les circonstances scientifiques, économiques et politiques qui ont favorisé le développement des organismes génétiquement modifiés (OGM). Elle dresse également une liste de comparaisons possibles entre ce que l'on a appelé la « révolution verte » des années 1960-1970 et ce qui pourrait être une « révolution génétique ». Selon les auteurs, si les deux événements ont accru le rendement et la qualité des cultures, la révolution génétique risque bien de ne pas avoir lieu à cause des barrières imposées ...

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Bibliography

Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

The GEO-3 Scenarios 2002-2032. Quantification and Analysis of Environmental Impacts

Dans la lignée du rapport GEO-3 (Global Environment Outlook-3), une équipe de modélisateurs s'est attachée à quantifier et à approfondir l'analyse de l'impact environnemental des scénarios développés dans le rapport précédent. Ces équipes sont souvent les mêmes pour ce qui concerne les exercices de scénarios environnementaux mondiaux : GIEC (Groupe intergouvernemental d'experts sur l'évolution du climat), Vision mondiale pour l'eau et World Water Assessment Report, Global Scenario Group, CESR (Center for Environmental Systems Research) de ...

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Bibliography

Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Climate change projections for Finland during the 21st century

On the basis of fifteen global model simulations of future climate, using the SRES emissions scenarios for greenhouse gases and aerosols, we have constructed national-scale seasonal and annual climate change scenarios for Finland during the 21st century. In approximate terms, the annual mean temperature is projected to rise by 1-3 °C and the annual mean precipitation by 0%-15% by the 2020s, relative to the baseline period 1961-1990. The corresponding increases by the 2050s are 2-5 °C (temperature) and 0 ...

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Bibliography

Économie, emploi - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

La Situation mondiale de l’alimentation et de l’agriculture 2003-2004

La Situation mondiale de l'alimentation et de l'agriculture 2003-2004 examine dans quelle mesure les biotechnologies agricoles - notamment les cultures transgéniques - peuvent contribuer à satisfaire les besoins des plus démunis. La conclusion de la FAO est que les biotechnologies agricoles sont capables de réduire la dépendance à l'égard de produits chimiques toxiques employés en agriculture, de réduire les coûts de production pour les agriculteurs, d'améliorer la teneur nutritive des aliments et d'améliorer l'efficacité de la ...

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Bibliography

Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Prospective sur l’énergie au XXIe siècle

Ce rapport, préparé par l'Académie des technologies, constitue un document synthèse des études thématiques de la Commission énergie-environnement (CE&E) sur l'avenir en matière énergétique. Dans cette étude, quatre groupes de pays ont été examinés : l'Amérique du Nord, les pays de l'OCDE (Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques) hors de l'Amérique du Nord, les grands pays émergents (Chine, Inde et Brésil), les pays pauvres (Afrique, Asie du Sud et Amérique du Sud). L'objectif final ...

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Bibliography

Géopolitique - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

AGRIBLUE. Sustainable Territorial Development of the Rural Areas of Europe

AGRIBLUE fait le point sur le rôle de la prospective pour les régions à dominante rurale qui doivent se moderniser et diversifier leur économie.

Bibliography

Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

How Much does a 30 % Emission Reduction Cost ? Macroeconomic Effects of Post-Kyoto Climate Policy in 2020

L'objectif européen de réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre en 2020 est une diminution de 30 % par rapport au niveau de 1990, pour limiter le réchauffement planétaire à 2 °C. En partant de cet engagement politique, ce document technique met en avant tant les conséquences macroéconomiques que les incertitudes sous-jacentes. Les effets macroéconomiques dépendent initialement de trois facteurs : l'objectif de réduction, les développements économiques sans politique de réduction et la mise en œuvre de la ...

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Bibliography

Entreprises, travail - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Sulphur and nitrogen oxides emissions in Europe and deposition in Finland during the 21st century

This paper describes the development of European scenarios of sulphur and nitrogen oxide emissions and resulting depositions in Finland during the 21st century, based on the IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios. The work is a part of the FINSKEN project, which aimed at developing consistent long-term scenarios of global change for Finland. The derivation of emission scenarios for European countries and the calculation of environmental loading scenarios based on them presented in this paper is analogous to the estimation ...

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Revue

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

Sur les nanotechnologies

Gérard Blanc discusses a report commissioned by Greenpeace on nanotechnologies, artificial intelligence and robotics. The author, Alexander Arnall of Imperial College London, a recognized authority on these matters, provides an overview of the current state of knowledge of nanotechnologies and their potential applications in the medium and long term, as well as an assessment of their likely impact on health and the environment.
After presenting the technical and financial issues relating to nanotechnologies in the industrialized countries, Gérard Blanc discusses the possible developments in the field. He stresses that in the short run, nanotechnologies will probably remain in the research phase, but in the longer run (at least 5 to 10 years hence) they may give rise to more practical applications in areas such as the food industry, electronics, medicine, energy, etc. However, he thinks that initially most of their applications will be in the military sphere.
As Gérard Blanc says, the main significance of the report is that it was produced independently of industrial interests, thus allowing Alexander Arnall to highlight some of the risks that have been poorly evaluated with regard to the potential impact of various applications on human health and the environment. What is therefore important is for the scientific community now to acknowledge these risks, so as to be able to decide which applications to develop first without endangering the future of our descendants.

Bibliography

Économie, emploi - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Perspectives économiques en Afrique 2003-2004

Cette troisième édition des Perspectives économiques en Afrique présente une évaluation des évolutions économiques du continent, en s'appuyant principalement sur l'analyse approfondie de 22 pays qui, dans leur ensemble, représentent environ les deux tiers de la population de la région et les trois quarts de son PIB (produit intérieur brut). Le continent africain a retrouvé en 2003 un taux de croissance moyen de 3,6 %, soit le plus élevé des quatre dernières années, et notablement supérieur aux 2 ...

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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.