Based on standard bibliometric methods, TSE is first European research center in environmental economics. In particular, it is much involved in the public debate related to climate change . The highly reputed researchers in the field have published important papers in the best scientific journals. This scientific output has been used to contribute to the shaping of public policies, either at the international level (Conference of Copenhagen), and at the national level (carbon tax, choice of the discount rate to evaluate environmental policies,…). In preparing the international negotiation in Copenhagen in December 2009, the French government has based its position on a report to the French Council of Economic Advisors (CAE) by Jean Tirole on the economics of climate change. In 2008, Jean Tirole had already published a paper in the Rivista de politica economica on "Some economics of global warning".
Previously, several TSE researchers have also contributed to the Report requested by the Ministry of ecology in preparation of the national convention called the "Grenelle de l'environnement" in 2007.
Two areas of research pursued by TSE researchers in this field should be mentioned. First, they contribute to the promotion of a clever use of cost-benefit analysis in the determination of the best strategy to fight climate change. Many of the existing green technologies are still not mature enough to recommend their large scaled implementation, given their high cost compared to the social benefits that they generate. In addition to these normative analyses, we pursue in parallel a wide spectrum of researches on the best policy instruments to efficiently decentralize the myriad of acts in favour of the environment: taxes, permits, socially responsible funds, norms, ecological labels,… Fighting climate change is a noble aim, but it could destroy rather than create social value if one does not organize our society efficiently in the face of this peril.
Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) facing climate change challenges
Under the auspice of the French Presidency of the European Union in September 2008, TSE has organized an international conference where the best SSH experts (sociologist, demographers, political scientists, economists, psychologists,…) in the world expressed their view on the frontier of their knowledge in their field in relation to climate change. . Participants in this conference confronted their view on various policy recommendations, and on some crucial concepts such as “sustainable development”, “corporate social responsibility” and “precautionary principle”, which often have different meanings in different disciplines of SSH.
The building blocks for the conference were the following:
An Evaluation of Stern's Report on the Economics of Climate Change
Imagine the social consequences of an event that would reduce the world GDP now and forever by 10%. Our governments should be made responsible to act quickly by implementing any policy eliminating the chance of such an event if its recurrent yearly cost would be less than 10% of GDP. The recent report by Sir Nicholas Stern, a former chief economist at the World Bank and a highly respected researcher, suggests that this nightmare is not a pure fiction. According to Stern, if we don’t act quickly to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases, global warming will be damaging our economies by as much as 35% of GDP by the year 2200.
The Economics of Energy Markets: June 15-16, 2011
This conference will focus on academic topics such as “smart grids”, renewables,retail competition, carbon market, incentive regulation, ...A round-table will also present the UK energy market reform.
Conference on The Economics of Energy markets
28-29 January 2010
The 7th conference on Energy Markets brought together in Toulouse top researchers and practitioners, in order to facilitate exchanges between these two communities on recent advances in the economics of electricity and natural gas industries. During two plenary sessions and six parallel sessions, speakers addressed a variety of questions on wind power and energy storage, asset divestiture, exclusive contracts, pipelines regulation, financial transmission rights, polluting emissions, etc. On this occasion, Jean Tirole also presented "Climate change Policy: a new international architecture", extract of his report to the Conseil d'Analyse Economique.
7th Toulouse Conference on Environmental and Resource Economics
June 18-19, 2009
The focus of this 7th Toulouse conference on environment and resource economics was on the equity and distributional impacts of environmental regulations and natural resources management such as water, fisheries, forest, oil, biodiversity,… . Topics included intergenerational justice and discounting, axiomatic fairness in resource sharing, political economy of environmental regulations, distributional impacts of environmental taxes and natural disasters, the international sharing of costs and benefits of global warming. The conference brought together leading researchers in the axiomatic theory of justice such as Geir Asheim, Walter Bossert, William Thomson with environmental economists from Europe, the US and India as well as researchers from TSE.