November 30 – December 1st, 2007
In public opinion and often, in policymakers’ views, economic and financial considerations are perceived as antinomical to environmental concerns. Is this opposition constitutive or is a beneficial partnership between these two concepts possible?
Shouldn’t it be possible to reconcile these two major trends of the century, economic development and growth on the one hand, and questions on the viability of the planet and its resources on the other hand? At a time when sustainable development has entered an action phase, answers to the considerable environmental and social challenges we face must rely on the efficiency of economic systems.
In academia, the economic analysis of environmental problems has made considerable progresses during the last decades. The growing concerns over sustainable development, and more particularly environment and climate change, have put an emphasis on this body of research. Efficient and innovative approaches have been developed to tackle problems as diverse as urban congestion, carbon emissions or the optimal use of scarce resources. Financial tools such as emission markets, known only to specialists twenty years ago, are today fully integrated in the environmental approach; many policies and several international agreements make a systematic use of these tools.
The objective of the conference is to take stock on these developments, and study how these can find their place in the midst of the economic and financial industry, in a global perspective, but also with a particular focus on the Mediterranean.
The conference will be organized over two days. The first day will provide researchers with an opportunity to summarize recent findings on specific issues. As a general introduction, Professor Edmund Phelps, laureate of the Nobel Prize of Economy 2006, will speak on the theme “How should economists model the future”. Three workshops will then focus on specific areas: climate change and insurance, marine biodiversity, and energy. These subjects will be addressed from a multi-disciplinary perspective. The second day, drawing on the conclusions of the workshops, will be open to political and institutional decision makers. As a general introduction, Roger Guesnerie, Professor at the Collège de France, has accepted to provide a general presentation, in line with his recent report to the Conseil d’analyse economique, under the theme “Economic Design of Climate Policies”. Then, Sir Nicholas Stern, Professor at the London School of Economics, will present the main conclusion of his recent report to the British Prime Minister, under the heading “The Economic Analysis of Environmental Risks”. Oxford Professor Sir Anthony Atkinson will introduce the discussion.