Antoine Teixeira, “Carbon footprint of materials: a blind spot of national low-carbon strategies”
National GHG Net-Zero Emissions (NZE) strategies are spreading following the Paris climate agreements of 2015. They focus on reducing direct territorial emissions in key sectors: energy supply, transport and buildings (industrial processes to a lesser extent). However, they ignore emissions embodied in imports and the possible feedback effect of high carbon materials embodied in infrastructures and equipment. Overall, the carbon footprint of materials is a main blindspot of national low carbon policies, in particular for developed countries experiencing carbon linkages such as European countries, Japan, and the USA. Based on a representative case study in France, we first estimate and map the current carbon footprint of materials across types of material and consumption goods and services. Although territorial emissions from materials supply only stand for 17%, the carbon footprint of materials embodied in domestic final demand amounts to 203 MtCO2e, i.e. 3tCO2e/cap and one-third of total carbon footprint, and is embodied in all types of final consumption: transportation, housing, durable goods and services. In that respect, it should be a main focus of climate policies. Second, we assess the impact of the French NZE strategy on territorial GHG emissions and the carbon footprint highlighting the role of materials. The NZE strategy only reduces carbon footprint by 39% by 2050 compared to current policies and materials represent 59% of remaining embodied GHG emissions. Finally, we propose several policy options to solve this issue: (i) supporting imports of clean industrial products at the national level, (ii) fostering low-energy demand policies, (iii) relocating low-carbon industrial productions based on circular economy policies.
Auriane Meilland, “Mapping national development priorities under the Sustainable Development Goals framework – a systematic analysis”
In this study, we provide a new analysis on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework by systematically mapping, based on the 2030 Agenda, the national development priorities displayed by 123 countries in their long-term national development plans and visions. The aim here is primarily to check whether the SDGs provide a good mapping of development priorities as expressed by countries or not. We thus categorize each development priority under its related SDG(s) in order to create a typology of the documents, along with a visualization tool. This work also provides insights on the way SDGs are prioritized across countries. We show that some priorities fit under several SDGs, but only a few exceptional development goals do not fit under any SDG – notably goals related to defence and population growth. Moreover, some SDGs are largely more covered than others in the development documents, and there are many documents in which not all SDGs tend to appear. This enables us to discuss the relevance and aimed universality of the 2030 Agenda framework, in the light of its connections with national priorities.
Emmanuel Faure, “The Economics of Rewilding”
Rewilding, presented as a way to restore self-sustaining ecosystems with minimal human intervention (eg. through large mammal reintroductions), is gaining momentum in conservation science. From low-cost management to wildlife-based tourism, associated opportunities are supposedly pervasive across the European continent, facing land abandonment and carnivore comeback. However, despite repeated calls, programmatic studies lack to help tackle rewilding under the lens of economic science. Here, building on a systematic, semi-quantitative literature review, and on a set of selected study cases, we propose to elucidate conceptual as well as methodological causes of such a gap. We screened existing literature addressing both ‘economics’/’economy’ and rewilding (ca. 200 references), which helped us characterize the temporal trends in studies’ scope and economic treatment of rewilding. We then addressed economic factors of rewilding success by an in-depth analysis of local rewilding projects (Knepp Estate, Rewilding Europe) and opportunities (safaris, hunting stays) across Europe. We conclude by setting priorities for future economic research on rewilding, along policy recommendations to foster its proper implementation.
Claire Lepault, “Is urban wastewater treatment effective in India?”
Wastewater treatment is a major challenge in developing countries. In this paper, I study the effect of sewerage infrastructure on ambient river water quality and infant mortality (work in progress) in India. I use the 2020-21 national inventory of sewage treatment plants that I match to in situ measures of water quality spanning 1986-2019 using a geo-referenced network of Indian rivers and to child births using watershed boundaries. Preliminary results indicate that, while pollution by coliform bacteria far exceeds the national standards for bathing, the construction of wastewater treatment plants led up to now to a significant but temporary decrease in fecal coliforms levels in downstream areas.