From scientific information on climate change to economic analysis for adaptation of infrastructure : the case study of SNCF

Abstract : This thesis describes and analyzes in situ how SNCF, the French national railway company, deals with the scientific knowledge on the impacts of climate change. It intends to improve our understanding of how large organizations adapt to multifaceted changes and address wicked environmental problems. Based on an inductive inquiry, the research describes how adaptation happens for now at SNCF, mostly on a reactive and incremental mode, first at the corporate level then in one specific region (Occitanie). In a second step, it explores possible consequences of the most disruptive changes announced by science and how various actors consider more transformative adaptations of their world-views and practices. The device set up showed that increases in climate variability and evolutions of extreme events might actually question current policies and strategical choices. Beyond technical stakes, adaptation raises important governance challenges. Different sub-entities of SNCF but also local authorities, traffic authorities or other mobility providers can make contrasted adaptation choices. Following these observations, this research identifies salient research questions to improve adaptation decisions. It defends that, along with other heuristics, economics have a major role to play to unfold critical consequences of climate change, explore adaptation options and display controversies regarding long-term adaptation.
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Vivian Dépoues. From scientific information on climate change to economic analysis for adaptation of infrastructure : the case study of SNCF. Economics and Finance. Université Paris-Saclay, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019SACLV015⟩. ⟨tel-02083989⟩

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