Abstract : This dissertation deals with the co-evolution between economic and environmental spheres. It focuses on the interplays between long-term human capital evolutions that measure economic development, and environmental quality changes. The main objective is to propose some economic mechanisms that might explain the world distribution of environmental performances observed at an aggregate level. For this purpose, I emphasize a two-causality going from economic development to the environment, and conversely. On the one side, the economic development might generate negative externalities, while it also enables to spend more in environmental preservation; on the other side, the environment affects human capital accumulation. This dissertation consists in three chapters. The first one deals with the interactions between children's health, educational choices and the environment. The second one focuses on another channel linking environmental quality to human capital: life expectancy. Finally, the third one gives a key role to agents ‘expectations with regards to environmental quality, when deciding about their education. In all these chapters, the interdependence between environmental and economic decisions leads to multiple equilibria. This property allows us to explain the emergence of environmental poverty traps, which are characterized by a low level of human capital and a damaged environment.