WP3 – Thematic studies of policy

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In the light of the comprehensive theoretical understandings from WP1 and WP2 the objectives in this work package are to analyse concrete policies where globalisation, development and sustainable development are important components. More specifically the objectives are to analyse the following policy areas, with a particular emphasis on climate change and development:

  • Population and Migration
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Energy security
  • Technology and innovation
  • Transport and Tourism
  • Trade organization
  • Development policy

The case studies provide ”arenas” or meeting places, where globalisation trends and sustainable development concerns and ambitions meet. The selected case studies concern exchange of financial capital, goods, people and ideas, which are influenced by international, EU and national regulation. They have strong connection with globalization and sustainability issues such as climate change and are connected to EU policy arenas and discernable stakeholder groups. The analysis of various areas will have two major foci: development in the world and Europe, and EU policy. Based on these analyses different “contrasting” scenarios based on differing assumptions on global development as well as EU policy will be explored. The methodology will be to demonstrate how various views about sustainable development do “inform” globalization and how various conceptions of world governance can harness current development trends. Contrasting assumptions about both baseline and policy scenarios will be tested to serve the discussion conducted in other WP. One scenario tool will be IMACLIM-R a global multisector model used by the World Bank (2006) and for the last WEO report of the International Energy Agency (2007). IMACLIM-R is particularly well suited to make long term evolution of energetic systems scenarios and assess GHG reduction emissions. The architecture of IMACLIM-R relies on a hybrid model which combines a macro economic approach with sectoral engineers view (energy sectors, agriculture, transport, etc.) The recursive version of IMACLIM-R projects the economy as series of annual static equilibria whose evolution is guided by demographic trends (Crassous et al. 2006). The advantage of the structure of IMACLIM-R is that it is flexible enough to incorporate various assumptions or expert advices on both technical change including transport, energy and other infrastructures and on the economic growth engine (including selling behaviours, capital flows and various level of fragmentation and globalization of the world market). This explains why it was suited to provide macro economic background of the last WEO (World Energy Outlook). Regarding the economic growth engine, it can be run with various assumptions regarding quality long term foresights (perfect and myopic) and possibility of transitory disequilibrium due to policy, energy or environmental shocks. It is currently the only global scale model which can address transitory costs.

The first limit of the model is that even though calibration and disaggregation of the model can be adapted to the type of question addressed, adaption is relatively costly. It means that real efforts of exchange between modellers and scientists of various fields have to be conducted. Second, in this dialogue the main issue is about level of disaggregation of the model for both sectors and regional coverage.

Population and migration

Overview presentation of case study findings, Economy (pdf)

Overview presentation of case study findings, Methods (pdf)

Population increase is still important in large parts of the world, even if the rate of increase in many regions seems to slow down because of development, poverty and poor health and urbanization and diffusion of new family size norms. Migration has never been as important and multifaceted. People move to cities and other countries for studies, for finding work and income or trying to escape economic hardship, natural disasters and wars and conflicts. The EU has been increasingly affected by these flows of international migration. With the slow down of natural population growth, age structure problems with a disproportionate share of elderly are spreading. This is particularly the case in regions with strong emigration in Europe, particularly in rural areas, but also on a national level, ageing is becoming a dominating problem in e.g. Eastern and Southern Europe and Germany. One of the major future challenges in the EU is to manage needed migration both internally and externally in a situation of rising ethnic tension and criticism toward immigration policy. A common EU immigration policy is being developed with the main objective of better manage migration flows by a coordinated approach which takes into account the economic and demographic situation of different EU countries. Scenarios for different levels of internal and international migration will be developed and used for analysis and discussion.

Food and Agriculture

Overview presentation of case study findings (pdf)

Food is one of the basic challenges for the global development. Free trade has long been propagated as a solution for both food provision and development problems in the world. The positive influence of liberalization on trade and production is, however, not undisputed, there remain many unanswered questions concerning impacts on global and regional environmental impacts. In connection with agriculture, the EU has had problems to comply with its general free trade ambitions and abolish agricultural subsidies, import barriers and export subsidies with often strong effects on agriculture in developing regions. The development of food safety and environmental policy in EU countries has also created new trade barriers. The bio-energy development encouraged by climate change mitigation policy seems also to come into conflict with global food trade and provision. Scenarios based on alternative assumptions for the development of food production and food trade will be developed and used for analysis and discussion.

Energy security

Overview presentation of case study findings (pdf)

Energy provision is in the core issue in relation to climate change mitigation. This case study will particularly investigate what type of issue linkages may lead both EU and other OECD countries and developing countries to show a significant will to act. For the former, key questions include to what extent they consider:

-climate change effects falling on developing countries as a source of economic and political instability with possible propagation effects hard to control (including climate refugees);

-climate policies as a component of geopolitical strategies together with energy security and post-petroleum transition;

-climate regime as a part of world governance mechanisms capable to prevent potential adverse effects of the liberalization of world markets.

For developing countries the bottom-line is to link sustainable issue to reforms of the ‘international economic order’ in exchange of their contribution. Irrespective of their degree of concern about global warming the key determinant of their position will be to search for a leverage effect between short term development issues (including poverty alleviation, energy constraints, land-use and food) and climate policies.

Detecting the synergies between climate and development is inhibited by the common practice of projecting secular growth baselines (often optimistic for reasons of political correctness) and to represent environment policies as influences alternating these trends. More appropriate would be to start by delineating the real baselines that incorporate barriers to the materialisation of the growth potential. Scenario exercises conducted will emphasize the many sources of sub-optimality in baseline scenarios thanks to the capacity of IMACLIM-R to capture disequilibrium dynamics.

Technology and innovation:

Overview presentation of case study findings (pdf)

Diffusion of know-how, technology and innovation is central for creating positive change, particularly in fields such as energy, transport and climate change. This case study will focus on innovation for sustainable development. It will begin with a review the literature on the processes by which innovation is a part of globalisation. This includes the study of diffusion of new ideas and new technologies. This will be mainly an analysis of economic processes using the literature on patents, international trade flows but also property rights. One of the main processes is that of so-called ‘catch up’, by which initially poorer countries develop economically more rapidly than more advanced countries and eventually achieve levels of prosperity similar to those of the established industrialised countries. Japan is the earliest example of this. With a framework for assessment of absorbative capacity, developed in connection with the literature review, the ability of a country and culture to not only use new products, but also to produce them and innovate locally to meet local conditions or to become internationally competitive. The major focus here will be to assess how eco-innovation occurs, as a particular aspect of innovation in general. Using production cycle theory, when can technologies be successfully transferred to countries with low technological ‘absorbative capacity’?

Furthermore the case will analyse a single technology as an example: renewable energy, ormore specifically bio-fuels in connection with mobility or more specifically autos. An indicator based study will be performed at a global level, to determine the impact of policy on innovation activity using indicators such as patents, foreign trade specialisation, and innovative capacity indicators. As a second step the absorbative capacities for technology diffusion of Brazil, India and China will be compared. The differences may be connected to institutions, R&D activity, regulation, culture etc. These analyses will form the basis for the policy workshop that will focus particularly on policy tools for stimulating ecoinnovation in international context.

Transport and Tourism

Overview presentation of case study findings (pdf)

The increasing road and air traffic is in most European countries the major obstacle of reaching goals of limiting greenhouse gas emissions. The increasing economic integration within the EU has brought increasing transports. The goals of EU transport policy to achieve a better balance between road and other modes of transport and create conditions for a ‘modal shift’, away from road, to ‘decouple’ transport growth from rising economic activity, to ensure the costs of different transports reflect their ‘external costs’ have so far not had much impact. For increasing the credibility of EU climate change mitigation, transport policy and development seem to be the most important challenge for the union. If the present development of air transport is continuing, it seems likely that aviation will be responsible for a major part of greenhouse gases in Europe within a few decades. Therefore, development of regulation of air transport emissions through taxation seems likely. While regulations and taxation of car and road traffic only have regional effects, introduction of new taxation of air traffic will have effects outside Europe. It will probably have a dramatic influence on tourist destinations in Third world countries and totally change the potential for remote tourism, which during recent decades have been one of the most important development forces in many regions in the world.

Trade organization

Some trade flows are increasing dramatically and to some extent this is an effect of liberalization of trade and investment flows. However, in important areas, trade barriers are still important and the hopes of coherent and well-ordered “free trade” system seem to be fading at Doha. As the most important single market in the world, EU has a particular responsibility for developing trade with other parts of the world. The Seattle syndrome conveys an increasing concern that development issues will not be resolved by trade liberalization and structural adjustments programs only: liberalizing infrastructure sectors may not suffice to attract private investors and close the shortage of capital; export oriented agricultures may fail to maintain local food productions; long lived investments may be discouraged including R&D investments on local resources. In total, the globalization movement is associated with a) ready made recommendations which neglect the fact that, far from being tabulae rasae, real economies are formed of various development spaces differing by their size, their underlying economic rationale (public services governed by local communities versus car industry) and their interplay with local human dynamics (b) generalized free-trade weakening the capacity of political powers to protect the interests of their country c) a world governance is in the hands of a bureaucracy dominated by western interests and very sensitive to the influence of large international private companies d) constraints (including the reduction of public aid) in contradiction with both the sustainable development objectives and demands expressed in the name of global environment. As questionable as the presuppositions of the anti-globalization movements are these critics cannot be ignored any longer (including the mix of truth and misunderstanding they convey). A radical liberalisation scenario focusing on sensitive and challenging issues in relation to sustainable development and one alternative scenario will be developed and analysed.

Development Policy

To be elaborated.



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