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The hopes glimpsed in 2020 during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic – during which carbon emissions declined due to lockdowns and the economic downturn – regrettably soon dissipated. In fact, 2021 was one of the five hottest years on record, according to Copernicus, the European Earth observation programme. The situation was also alarming in terms of natural disasters, which were all too numerous (storms in the United States, heat domes in Canada, floods in Europe, etc.). In addition to the many human losses, these disasters cost 170 billion dollars, according to estimates by a British NGO. A dismal historical record!

On top of these worrying statistics, the insufficiency of international mobilisation, the lack of commitment on the part of certain countries and political leaders, and the problems linked to economic change are among the probable causes of climate inertia. However, to counterbalance these shortcomings and retain a degree of optimism, we can note in particular the prominent role played by Europe, which plans on intensifying its efforts with regard to climate issues. Further grounds for optimism lie in the soaring costs of fossil fuels, which are particularly polluting. As well as making them less and less competitive, this upward movement in prices may allow the development of further low-carbon innovations, or even a reduction in the use of fossil fuels.

At the Institut Louis Bachelier, our objective is to contribute, through academic research of excellence, to the rise of an economy and financial system that serve sustainable development. This contribution is manifested in particular through the activities of our various research programmes dealing with the environmental transition, such as the Green and Sustainable Finance interdisciplinary programme, the Climate Economics Chair, and the Energy & Prosperity Chair. In addition, conferences and seminars are regularly organised to discuss and debate research-based recommendations for promoting a low-carbon transition. Indeed our next Risks Forum, on 21 and 22 March, will be devoted to climate risks and the green transition.

In this new issue of the Cahiers Louis Bachelier, you will find a non-exhaustive overview of the climate research work carried out within our network. The issue highlights a number of topics related to global warming: international cooperation, the role of Europe, green finance, thermal renovation of buildings, and sustainable mobility.

Enjoy your reading!

Jean-Michel Beacco, Delegate General of the Institut Louis Bachelier

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