In 2012, the NGO Virage-énergie Nord-Pas de Calais started a research project focused on energetic, societal and economic transitions within the Nord-Pas de Calais region in France, in partnership with two academic laboratories: TVES (University of Lille 1 – Science and Technologies) and Ceraps (University of Lille 2 – Health and Law). The aim of this research was to evaluate, using data models and hypotheses, the socioeconomic impacts and the potentials for energy savings resulting from public policies and lifestyle transitions toward sustainable networks of consumption, production and exchange.
Depending on changes in cultural practices, economic organisations and social structures, three scenarios for 2025 and 2050 have been created and applied on four sectors: agriculture, industry, building and transport. Economic impacts of environnemental innovation and societal transitions (developing renewable energy and energy efficiency, changing food habits, reducing consumption of industrial goods, sharing and pooling equipments…) have been studied for more than hundred economic activities.
With a net creation of 67 000 jobs by 2050 for the most ambitious scenario (on a regional total of 1.47 million in 2015), the results highlight the role of energetic and societal transitions in building a sustainable economic model. Job losses caused in industry and market services by lifestyles and politics of sufficiency are compensated by the development of relocalisations, agroecological technics, local shops and new forms of services. These visions provide trends and indicators of skills, trainings and qualifications required to build environmentally sound economies.
This media entry was a contribution to the special session „Scenarios of energetic and societal transitions: potentials and impacts of a sustainable regional economic system“ at the 5th International Degrowth Conference in Budapest in 2016.