DS0105 -

Transition Toward a Greener Economy: Environmental Policies and Societal Adaptation – GREEN-Econ

Submission summary

This collaborative project analyzes the transition process toward a greener economy by studying the potential consequences of, and reactions of our societies to, environmental changes. This topic being very broad, the project mainly focuses on two important objects of analysis, which are emblematic of issues related to environmental changes: pollution (as a main cause of environmental changes) and aquatic resources (which are severely impacted by changes in the environment). The project will benefit from complementary methodologies developed by GREQAM and LAMETA researchers, and from their integration within networks of interdisciplinary collaborations. The analysis of these two objects are tackled by relying on three work packages (WPs) which correspond to the required stages of a comprehensive economic analysis of environmental issues: (i) the identification of the issue and its assessment in economic terms (ii) the definition of short to medium-term solutions by developing dynamic environmental regulatory instruments and (iii) the study of the society's long term adaptation capacity to sustain an environmentally friendly development process.

The first step of the analysis (WP1) is to provide a quantitative estimate of the costs resulting from pollution and of the costs and benefits related to the management of aquatic resources. Specifically, we focus on four main issues: (i) the assessment of the consequences of atmospheric pollution on human health, in particular the monetary gain obtained by the reduction of a long term exposure (ii) the benefit (on human health) from the change in the energy mix proposed by ADEME, (iii) the operational problems generated by the valuation of aquatic ecosystem services and (iv) a methodology to assess the costs and benefits related to the management of invasive species in aquatic ecosystems.

The second step (WP2) is dedicated to the design of appropriate regulatory instruments to correct, in a short to medium term, the related environmental externalities. We not only focus on market-based instruments (curbing individual behaviors) but also on new institutional designs (definition of appropriate property rights, or new management methods exploiting spatial features) which all take into account the dynamic nature of the problem. A particular emphasis will be put on: (i) the regulation of the interaction between a polluting industry and the pollution abatement sector, (ii) the spatially-dynamic regulation of air pollution (iii) the dynamic regulation of common resources (mainly fisheries), and (iv) the management of invasive species which endanger ecosystems and economic activity.

The third step (WP3) adopts a long term perspective. Since policy instruments remain short to medium term adjustment rules to environmental problems, it is thus crucial to understand how a society improves its own resilience to environmental changes and may reach a sustainable development path. This requires to identify ways to “green” the production process and raises the issue of sustainable growth under environmental goals. In the context of the present project, we focus on (i) the incentives that induce, in the agricultural sector, to adopt organic farming or at least less pollution-intensive modes of production (less use of polluting inputs such as fertilizer and pesticide), (ii) the problem of waste management and recycling, and the choice of an energy mix, (iii) the sustainable management of aquatic resources accounting for the threats raised by long-term environmental changes due to potential regime shifts (affecting the availability of these resources or their spatial distributions) or by the emergence of invasive species.

Project coordination

Hubert Stahn (Groupement de Recherche en Economie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


LAMETA Laboratoire Montpelliérain d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée
GREQAM Groupement de Recherche en Economie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille

Help of the ANR 351,499 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: September 2016 - 42 Months

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