Ecological and Energy Transitions in Southern Countries (Coursera)

Ecological and Energy Transitions in Southern Countries (Coursera)
Free Course

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Ecological and Energy Transitions in Southern Countries (Coursera)
This MOOC is at the junction between the development of Southern countries and sustainable development. It has: 1) a macroeconomic and financial dimension, developed by Gael Giraud and Alain Grandjean; 2) an ecological and climatic dimension, developed by David Claessen and ENS speakers; and 3) a focus on Southern countries, developed by AFD speakers.

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Here are the learning goals for the entire training program:

Goal 1: Be able to understand the relationship between the energy transition, the ecological transition, the role of energy in our economy, our economic development model, and financing issues.

Goal 2: Know how to advocate for and lobby on issues and on the need to change reality in order to implement strategies and action plans.

Goal 3: Be able to make a link between the Energy transition and financing solutions, and between comprehension and action.

No one questions the imperative need to ensure development based on personal well-being and a fair distribution of wealth.

The Challenges of a Transition for All

Until now the development of Northern countries has been based on an increasing exploitation of energy resources and a greater freedom of trade and exchange at the global scale. We now know that such a model is no longer sustainable, due to global warming and to the overexploitation of resources, which lead to health, social, and environmental disasters.

The Role of Developing Countries

With that in mind, how can we ensure fair and equitable growth for all? What role do countries from the different regions in the South have to play in this complete upheaval of the current economic, trade, and political models in order to achieve an effective energy and ecological transition?

A MOOC to Respond to these Questions

This free online training offers complementary perspectives from several specialists of issues related to climate change and the development of Southern countries. They will share their very practical understanding of the current crises and the answers that can be provided. Participants will learn from studies by:

• Researchers from the prestigious École Normale Supérieure in Paris

• Field experts from the Agence Française de Développement, a funding agency that has been committed to helping developing countries for 75 years,

• Carbone 4 founder Alain Grandjean, who will share his experience, in particular on the economic and financial aspects.




Our development model is ecologically unsustainable

The diagnosis of our current development model is clear: it does little to nothing to address inequalities. Worse, it participates in the aggravation of these, while degrading our planet. Only energy and ecological transitions can reconcile economic growth and the pursuit of the social agenda of all states, both in the North and in the South.


The dominant economic models hinder the energy and ecological transition

Freeing ourselves from market fundamentalism first of all requires the acceptance of new indicators that complement GDP. These go beyond the simple monetary aspect of well-being and take into account not only the positive externalities generated by social sectors, but also the negative environmental externalities associated with human activities. In this way, we will stop measuring fictitious growth and will be able to steer sustainable public policies. At the same time, the success of these policies depends on the ability of the players to base their strategy on the long term. However, without stricter regulation of the financial sphere, the countries of the South will not have the budgetary capacity to finance major projects of the transition.


The energy transition path: decarbonizing GDP

Carbon accounting aims to reconcile the time horizon of our actions with the challenges of the energy transition. It limits short-term behaviour by quantifying the externalities of sectoral activities and legitimises the development of punitive regulations. It facilitates cooperation strategies by making international comparisons possible and ensures the transparency of negotiations. In short, it enables country diagnostics to be established, climate-accounting projects to be identified and investments to be redirected towards green assets.


The model of an ecological transition to new prosperity

Human activities are on the verge of generating a 6th mass extinction! However, biodiversity, the diversity of marine and terrestrial fauna and flora, contributes to the resilience of our ecosystems in the face of climate change. Their preservation is imperative because they provide us with services that are essential to our daily lives, the supply of natural resources and the provision of cultural well-being.


Governance of the energy and ecological transition

COP21 underlines the importance of cities as a central part of the transitions. They are close to the local actors, which account for 70% of energy consumption, while the State is also a central actor. As a guarantor of the law, it can establish a favourable regulatory and tariff framework to attract the long-term external financing needed to achieve the transition, while the international financial institutions are beginning to take coordinated action in favour of climate policies. However, it is the regional development banks in the South that account for the bulk of transition investments.


Financing the energy and ecological transition

The Stern report published in 2006, reveals that by financing the transitions (1% of world GDP), we are saving money! What will turn out to be really expensive is our passivity, as we will have to mobilize more than 20% of the world's GDP to deal with climate change.

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