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Theses

Essays on economic growth energy use and biodiversity loss

Abstract : The impact of economic activities and increasing population on the environment raise profound interrogations towards the future of human societies and environmental resources. In this, the "Limits to Growth" (Meadows, Meadows, Behrens and Randers, 1974) warn human societies about the possibility of social collapse if current trends of exploitation of natural resources and environmental degradation remain unchanged. The wealth of nature being essential to the wealth of nations, this thesis in economics through four theoretical and empirical contributions addresses the possibility of a peaceful cohabitation between human and nature and discusses conservation policies of nature. Our theoretical and empirical results show on the one hand that human habitat is being expanded to the detriment of other biological species (animal and plant). On the other hand, we show that current efforts to conserve biological species are strongly oriented towards forests whose richness in biodiversity is doubtful. Finally, we show that an increasingly growing consumption of primary energies, therefore with strong ecological impacts, is still to be expected from developing countries. In terms of environmental policies, our work advocates for a reduction of the ecological footprint of human societies. This includes policies promoting forest regeneration and not the reduction of covered areas, expansion of protected areas, especially in developing countries and incentives for individuals to orient preferences towards the demand for goods with low ecological impacts.
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Laté Ayao Lawson. Essays on economic growth energy use and biodiversity loss. Economics and Finance. Université de Strasbourg, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019STRAB011⟩. ⟨tel-02735956⟩

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