Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement
Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
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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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.
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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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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Le GEO (Global Environment Outlook) Year Book 2003 est le premier rapport d'une nouvelle série annuelle publiée par le PNUE. Il présente les questions environnementales clés et attire l'attention sur les progrès majeurs de l'année aux niveaux mondial et régional. Il comporte une rubrique spéciale sur l'eau (Feature Focus on Water) et sur le rôle clé qu'elle joue dans la réalisation des objectifs définis au niveau international, entre autres ceux de la Déclaration du millénaire ...
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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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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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AGRIBLUE fait le point sur le rôle de la prospective pour les régions à dominante rurale qui doivent se moderniser et diversifier leur économie.
The basic ideas of scenario planning are to provide analyses of potential future trends and the preparations for the changes brought about by those future trends. Thus the FINSKEN project has developed new integrated scenarios that analyse the potential changes in environmental and socio-economic factors for Finland in the 21st century. This article provides long-run socio-economic scenarios for Finland as a contribution to the FINSKEN project. Its aim is to present and analyse future scenarios of Finland's population and ...
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Né de la prise de conscience collective des enjeux que porte la diversité du vivant et des menaces qui pèsent sur elle, le concept de biodiversité s'est imposé au monde à la faveur du sommet planétaire de Rio de Janeiro, en juin 1992. Dix ans plus tard, à Johannesburg, les exigences d'action étaient rappelées et l'engagement était pris de freiner l'érosion de la biodiversité à l'horizon 2010. L'objectif de ce rapport est de présenter ...
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Venu présenter son rapport "INRA 2020 alimentation, agriculture, environnement : une prospective pour la recherche", Bertrand Hervieu a commencé son exposé en soulignant les vertus pédagogiques certaines d’un tel exercice de prospective. Destiné à préparer les mutations à venir, le rapport permettra, selon lui, de mettre en place des dispositifs évolutifs pour ne pas subir les changements scientifiques, culturels et économiques mais pour les apprivoiser.
Entre 1,4° C et 5,8° C à l'horizon 2100, c'est la fourchette des simulations du réchauffement climatique dans le monde réalisées par les experts du GIEC (Groupe intergouvernemental d'experts sur l'évolution du climat). Aucun modèle ne prévoit une baisse ou simplement la stabilisation des températures futures, l'écart entre les estimations correspond à différentes hypothèses sur l'évolution de la population, celle des techniques et les choix énergétiques possibles. Ce dossier spécial de Science ...
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The major advances in research into the basis of life, especially over the last two decades, threatens to lead - as discoveries and/or inventions are made and, as a result, patents are taken out - to a process of private acquisition and hence commercialisation of the world's gene stock.
Pierre-Benoit Joly and Bertrand Hervieu first outline the dangers inherent in these developments and then go on to discuss the various "innovation regimes", in particular how we have shifted from agricultural research shaped mainly by public bodies and the farming community to genome -soon to be post-genome- research dominated by multinational firms, that incite moves to strengthen intellectual property considerations.
Rather than making the argument one of public versus private control, the authors favour seeking a third way. They begin by analysing the reasons behind patent laws (whose purpose is to encourage research while fostering the spread of innovations), while at the same time they emphasize the problems in practice, especially where life-forms are involved, and the benefits and drawbacks that may arise when patent laws are applied too rigidly.
They then show that other ways of protecting inventions exist which make it possible to share financial resources and genetic material (as has happened in the case of cattle). With these precedents in mind - for which they also sketch the advantages and disadvantages- they make a plea for a European model based on sharing resources, with references to successful initiatives of this kind in both the United States and Europe.
Having first defined and recalled the (recent) origins of this concept, Cyril Adoue and Arnaud Ansart demonstrate the value of industrial ecology, backed up with examples. Taking as their starting point some concrete examples of European, American and Asian eco-industrial arrangements, the authors show how a symbiotic relationship can be created among firms in the same region, with the waste from one industry being used as productive inputs for others. In order to achieve such synergies, they argue, the key factor is an analysis of "industrial metabolism" based on the principle of keeping materials within the system concerned. This is a great help in decision-making to promote truly sustainability.
The authors stress that industrial ecology can, however, be much more than just a matter of basic -if still all too rare- industrial symbiosis, by extending to other aspects, such as minimizing dispersed emissions, the "dematerialization" of some economic activities, the use of non-carbon energy sources, improved eco-efficiency, etc.
Finally, although they are well aware of what a tiny part industrial ecology plays in modern economic systems, Cyril Adoue and Arnaud Ansart emphasize the crucial role that it might well acquire in the future, if the powers-that-be were to decide to promote the necessary legislative and economic incentives -in other words, if they were to move on from grand statements of intent to real action in favour of sustainability.
"Unlike other committees, we are not a group of experts whose role is to take part in government policy. Instead, we are a kind of independent and attentive laboratory of ideas applied to sustainable development and democracy. Because they consider that this independence, freedom of thought and action are being undermined, most of the active members of the CFDD feel that they have no choice but to resign." With these words, in a letter to the French Prime Minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, in May 2003 Jacques Testart explained why he was resigning as chairman of the CFDD, along with most of its active members.
In what way were this independence, freedom of thought and action being undermined? The answer is given in this damning document, which demonstrates how far the debates necessary for any meaningful policy of sustainable development are systematically made to vanish into thin air. Reading this account makes one realize that it is more difficult than ever in France to promote independent forums for democratic discussion of the key questions relating to the future, and yet "sustainable development makes no sense without the invention of new forms of democracy".
Firms are increasingly obliged to be accountable for the impact of their activities on the environment. Anticipating this need, many firms have begun to include this requirement in their annual reports, sometimes even producing a report specifically concerned with sustainable development. How worthwhile are these early initiatives?
Thierry Lavoux and Patrice Grégoire have examined a study of the 2001 annual reports of 150 French firms conducted by the French Institute for the Environment (IFEN). They issue a warning: environmental reports have been produced by few firms, especially those whose activities involve considerable risks to the environment, and they should be treated with caution. These reports tend to provide few facts, especially long-term data, but plenty of general ideas.
Moreover, their findings are corroborated by several international surveys whose results they summarize. Sustainable development is clearly a matter of increasing concern so that firms have to give an account of what they are doing in this regard. Yet much progress remains to be made before this concern becomes fully integrated in management thinking and firms produce plausible reports of their efforts to act responsibly towards the environment.
In this article we present scenarios of wind power development in Finland up to the year 2025. We asked 14 experts to describe probable and preferable futures, through the means of a questionnaire and interviews. The 28 cases were grouped using cluster analysis, and the emerging five clusters were complemented into scenarios by qualitative analysis of the interviews. Wind power production grows in all scenarios but there were differences in the order of magnitude of ten The growth rate of ...
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Just over ten years ago Michel Albert published an influential book Capitalism against Capitalism (Capitalisme contre capitalisme, Paris: Seuil, 1991) in which he contrasted two models of capitalism: the "neo-American" model, geared to individual success and profit, and the "Rhineland" model, which emphasized collective success, consensus and concern for the long term.
Since then, Michel Albert has often had things to say about the decline of the Rhineland model, and the retreat of "social market economics" in favour of the Anglo-Saxon model of capitalism. But now suddenly he is arguing that firms -making up for the shortcomings of the state- are paradoxically starting in the United States to embody a new style of social market economics...
He is now arguing that there are two contrasting models of the firm: one is concerned only with maximizing profits for shareholders, whereas the other is motivated by the ideal of broad-based partnerships, seeking to reconcile the interests of customers, shareholdersand employees as well as both short- and long-term demands.
And, somewhat surprisingly, Michel Albert reveals that this new style of firm, which is both socially responsible and a highly efficient business, is coming from the United States to show us what to do.
In December 1997, the leaders of 168 countries agreed in Kyoto to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases which are suspected of disturbing the climate by 5.2% before 2012.
Four years later, the United States withdrew from the agreements. Why? Pierre Bonnaure tries to explain the American position and to demonstrate that ultimately the United States perhaps does more for the environment than the European countries...
Leaving aside George Bush, André Lebeau replies that we are, for the first time, confronted with a truly global challenge, a challenge that requires humanity to act globally. The fact that the United States is the leader of the world means that it has a duty to act in the best interests of the future of humankind. It is therefore altogether regrettable that the United States is more concerned to protect its own interests rather than to lead global action in the face of the threats looming over the Earth.
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.