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[Symposium] Toward a low-carbon economy

On June 7, 2019, during the international symposium on sustainable development hosted by l'X, Jean Tirole, Anna Creti, Jean-Marc Jancovici and Benoît Leguet will discuss the effect of climate change on our economic system and its transition.

The climate directly affects the habitability of our planet. As such, it is one of the most precious of humanity’s collective shared assets. Today, this asset is being threatened by the divergent interests of two main groups on the international playing field: long-established industrialized countries and emerging countries.

In 1990, formerly industrialized countries were responsible for the majority of the world’s cumulative greenhouse gas emissions. In the present day, emerging countries (China, India, Brazil and South Africa) are emitting the same amount. Which of the two groups must shoulder the largest share of humanity's “carbon debt” ?

For we no longer need to prove that human-produced CO2 impacts the average rise of global surface temperatures through the greenhouse effect. Since 1750, human activity has been responsible for the emission of close to 2000 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, half of which has been emitted between 1970 and the current day.

The latest IPCC report examined the potential consequences of a 1.5°C rise in the average global temperature compared to the temperature before the industrial revolution, and demonstrated that this figure would be significantly less damaging to ecosystems than a rise of 2°C. The challenge of not exceeding the 1.5°C increase would mean cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

Such ambitious objectives would require a complete overhaul of our energy systems and the way we think about production, consumption, transportation, labor division within a globalized economy, and even urban planning.

In what way can this transition take place and how can we prepare for it? Could a carbon tax be the magic remedy? Is our economic system sufficiently flexible and socially just in order to accommodate such an upheaval?

Friday, June 7, 2019 - from 11am to noon

>Find out more on the symposium, here

Jean Tirole
Laureate of the 2014 Sveriges Riksbank prize in economic sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel, 2007 CNRS gold medal, Jean Tirole is honorary chairman of the Jean-Jacques Laffont - Toulouse School of Economics Foundation and chairman of the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse. He is also affiliated with MIT, where he holds a visiting position, the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, and the Institut de France. Professor Tirole’s research covers industrial organization, regulation, finance, macroeconomics and banking, and psychology-based economics. Published in English in 2017, his latest book entitled Economics for the Common Good is accessible to a wide audience and available in a number of other languages.

Anna Creti
Anna Creti is professor of economics at the University of Paris-Dauphine, Dauphine Laboratory of Economics and the Center of Geopolitics of Energy and Raw Materials. She was responsible for the «Energy and CO2 Price Modeling» axis of the Paris-Dauphine Foundation «European Electricity Markets» Chair. She is also the Scientific Director of both the Paris-Dauphine Foundation «Economics of Natural Gas» and the Europlace Institute of Finance (IEF) «Climate Economics» Chairs. Anna Creti’s latest research focuses on environmental regulation, the carbon market, energy transition and renewable energy.

Jean-Marc Jancovici
Member of the French High Council for the Climate under the Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Jancovici is a graduate of École Polytechnique (Year of Entry: 1981) and ENST. He is the developer of the Bilan Carbone (carbon accounting) assessment tool. In 2007, he co-founded Carbone 4, a consultancy firm specializing in carbon strategy. Jancovici is also the president of The Shift Project think tank, which he founded in 2010. He has been a professor at Mines ParisTech since 2008, and chaired X-environnement, a group that organizes conferences for scientific outreach, from 2000 to 2017.

Benoît Leguet
Benoît Leguet is the Managing Director of I4CE, Institute for Climate Economics a think tank devoted to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy. He is a member of several panels of experts, including the French High Council for the Climate, the Economic Council for Sustainable Development, the Scientific Committee of the GoodPlanet Foundation. He chairs X-environnement, a group that organizes conferences for scientific outreach since 2018. Benoît Leguet is a graduate of École Polytechnique (Year of Entry: 1997) and ENSTA ParisTech (2002).