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GLOBAL ECONOMY

ENERGY CONSTRAINTS AND ECONOMIC ANALYSIS

THE WORK OF “THE SHIFT PROJECT” THINK-TANK, SUPPORTED IN 2014 BY THE BNP PARIBAS FOUNDATION, SUGGESTS THAT GDP CHANGES ARE DEPENDENT ON ENERGY CONSUMPTION AND NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND AS HISTORICALLY ACCEPTED BY CLASSICAL ECONOMIC THEORY. THIS INNOVATIVE RESULT SENDS A STRONG MESSAGE TO ECONOMISTS, WHO ARE ENCOURAGED TO TAKE ENERGY/CLIMATE CONSTRAINTS INTO ACCOUNT MUCH MORE WHEN MAKING MACROECONOMIC ANALYSES, WHETHER PAST OR FUTURE.

Photo : FRANCK COURCHAMP.

INTERVIEW : FRANCK COURCHAMP, RESEARCH DIRECTOR AT THE CNRS (FRENCH CENTRE FOR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH), COORDINATOR OF THE INVACOST PROJECT (see asterisk)

(asterisk) Invasive Insects and Their Cost Following Climate Change.
“SUPPORT THAT ENABLES US TO DEVOTE OURSELVES 100% TO OUR VOCATION”

Might climate change encourage a European invasion by certain species of insects?

The extent of this risk and its consequences are still very much unknown. One of the most strongly-held hypotheses is of new areas of invasion by insects which until now could not settle because the climate was too cold, and that these invasions will have a greater impact as a result of the more favourable climate and accessibility to new resources.

You intend to involve the public in your work. How important is that for you?

In addition to presenting and explaining our results, we are planning to introduce a new form of participatory science: collecting requests from the public, rather than data. There will be a dedicated website where the public can select certain species of insects that we are studying and ask specific questions such as “Could the Harlequin ladybird invade Britain?” or “What would be the financial and human cost of an invasion of mosquitos carrying viral diseases in the Mediterranean?” We will deal with all questions within the scope of scientific analysis and present the results to the public, together with the appropriate explanations. This public participation is vital: as public researchers, it is our job to expand society’s knowledge and we have a duty to share our results with the public.

What does the BNP Paribas Foundation bring to this project?

Its assistance is invaluable. We seeit as recognition of the need to study the threat that climate change poses and of the quality work we carry out. Its very generous financial support also provides us with a concrete opportunity to carry out our research – at a time when there is less support for science than in the past – which means we can do our job effectively and devote ourselves 100% to our vocation: the advancement of knowledge.

MORE ABOUT… A PROJECT “CLOSE TO OUR HEARTS”

Supported by the BNP Paribas Foundation since 2014, Invacost was also selected as a project close to the hearts of employees and clients, resulting in an additional €50,000 donation.