ue6 – épreuve orale d`économie se déroulant

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ue6 – épreuve orale d`économie se déroulant
DSCG 2011 – UE6 Épreuve orale d'économie se déroulant partiellement en anglais ½
SESSION 2011
UE6 – ÉPREUVE ORALE D'ÉCONOMIE SE
DÉROULANT PARTIELLEMENT EN ANGLAIS
Document autorisé : aucun sauf ceux qui sont fournis avec le sujet.
Préparation de l'épreuve : 2 heures.
Durée de l'épreuve : 1 heure maximum (exposé : 20 minutes maximum ; entretien en français : 20
minutes maximum ; entretien en anglais : 20 minutes maximum).
Coefficient : 1
SUJET N° 1
Quelles solutions aux problèmes environnementaux ?
Annexe : Could the rebound effect undermine climate efforts ? Posted by Sylvia Rowley
Tuesday 22 The Guardian, February 2011.
DOCUMENT
Could the rebound effect undermine climate efforts ?
Researchers warn of phenomenon where savings from energy efficiency are cancelled out by increases in other carbonintensive behaviour. The rebound effect: Greenhouse gas reductions can be cancelled out because the money saved through
energy efficiency measures are often spent on extra goods and services. One member of the Guardian's environment desk
admits to leaving his energy-saving lightbulbs on more than traditional bulbs.
Owners of fuel-efficient cars tend to drive them more often. These are both examples of an 5 often-overlooked phenomenon
which, according to a new report, could undermine attempts to tackle climate change.
The so-called rebound effect occurs when some of the savings from energy efficiency are cancelled out by changes in people's
behaviour. On a consumer level it can be direct (turning up the heating in a newly insulated house) or indirect (spending the
money saved on bills on a flight to Spain). And on a macro-economic level, 10 improved efficiency is usually believed to lead
to lower prices and more demand.
In one of the largest literature reviews on the topic yet, the American thinktank the Breakthrough Institute has concluded that at
an economy-wide level the rebound effect could have a serious impact. "For every two steps forward we take with below-cost
efficiency, rebound effects mean we take one or more steps backwards, sometimes enough to completely erode the initial gains
made," says the report's lead author, Jesse Jenkins. This could have important policy implications, but more on that later.
On an individual level there is reasonably good evidence of a rebound effect in relation to car use and space heating: the report
estimates that 10-30% of energy savings from efficient cars and homes are lost.
Exactly why this occurs is not well researched. It could be because if something costs less, we start to use it more. Or perhaps
doing something beneficial to the environment gives us "moral licence" to compensate with 20 something less beneficial. It is
interesting that people who see themselves as leading sustainable lifestyles are often the most carbon-intensive. [...]
Steve Sorrell, energy policy expert at the University of Sussex looked at three energy-saving actions – turning the heating
down 1C, replacing car journeys under two miles with walking or cycling, and throwing away onethird less food. According to
Sorrell, if you did these three things and then spent the money you saved in line with your typical spending patterns, the
rebound effect would be 34%. That is, 34% of the greenhouse gas reductions would be cancelled out because of the goods and
services that the extra money will be spent on.
But according to Breakthrough Institute the highest rebound in energy use from efficiency occurs "not at the consumer level
but in the productive sectors of the economy (industry and commerce) improving the efficiency of a steel plant may result in
lower cost of steel, greater demand for steel, and also create greater economic growth - all of which will drive significant
rebound in energy use following efficiency improvements."
So what does all this mean? The rebound effect is still an under-researched and controversial topic. But if these findings hold
true, some commentators argue that this shows the need for a carbon tax, because much of the rebound effect seems to stem
from the fact that energy efficiency (usually) saves money. Others such as
Breakthrough Institute argue that policymakers should focus on generating low-carbon energy, so that it doesn't matter how
much we consume.
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However, in terms of UK policies on energy efficiency, NGOs and academics argue that focusing on environmental as well as
money-saving messages, and making the connection between single initiatives such as home insulation and the bigger picture,
are important for trying to reduce the rebound effect.
According to environmental psychologist Lorraine Whitmarsh: "If you're framing something like the green deal [for energy
efficiency in homes] purely in terms of money saving – and especially if you're promoting cruises as a reward – then you're
actually undermining what you're trying to achieve. You have to take a more holistic approach, not just look at one policy."
SUJET N° 2
Le mouvement coopératif, une alternative au capitalisme financier ?
Annexe : Co-operative sector has grown by more than 25 % since credit crunch – report. Heather
Stewart, Economics editor The Observer, Sunday 26 June 2011
http://www.guardian.co.uk
DOCUMENT
Co-operative sector has grown by more than 25 % since credit crunch – report
From Scottish cyclists to Yorkshire farmers, thousands of Britons have turned their back on dog-eat-dog capitalism and opted
to do things for themselves, according to a new report which shows the turnover of cooperatives has grown by more than 25 %
since the credit crunch.
Ed Mayo, the secretary general of Co-operatives UK, which represents the sector, said : "We've seen lots of newstart cooperatives emerge, which reflects a DIY(do it yourself) 5 type of culture."
Until recently, the co-operative was regarded as an outmoded model. But since the limits of shareholder capitalism were
brutally exposed in the recession, their all-in-it-together approach has won new converts.
"One of the things that comes out of the credit crunch is : how do we avoid this lemming effect of everyone doing exactly the
same thing ?" said Mayo.
The annual report from Co-operatives UK, to be published this week, shows that while big players such as the
John Lewis Partnership and the Co-operative Group have been performing strongly, a new generation of smaller, grassroots
organisations has also grown up.
Co-operatives UK highlights the examples of Seven Hill Farmers, a group of lamb producers on the North York
Moors who banded together after the foot-and-mouth disease crisis to get a better price for their products, and Energy4All,
which works to establish community-owned windfarms to generate local energy.
Villagers are taking over local shops and pubs to rescue them from closure; football fans are setting up their own clubs in an
effort to return the sport to its roots; and credit unions are stepping in where the big banks fear to tread. Between them,
Britain's co-operatives now have almost 10 million members, and their turnover in 2010 was £16.1bn, up from less than £13bn
in 2008. Ged Holmyard of the Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative, which was founded in the 1970s and now owns a chain of
stores, says worker ownership creates a special kind of culture.
"From the start, the ideology of our founders was that a workers' co-operative was an intrinsically good thing," he says. "It
gives everyone a stake in the business." If the shops have had a good year, every employee in the company gets the same cash
bonus, and the ratio between the highest- and lowest-paid workers is five to one – 25 much lower than in most firms.
Some MPs including Chuka Umunna (Labour Member of Parliament for Streatham) from the Treasury select committee, are
urging George Osborne to consider a mutual model for bailed-out bank Northern Rock, which the chancellor plans to put up
for sale before the end of the year.
SUJET N° 3
Les difficultés de mise en oeuvre d’un développement durable
Annexe : UN climate change chief urges governments to quickly implement Cancún accords - UN News,
1 march 2011.
DOCUMENT
UN climate change chief urges governments to quickly implement Cancún accords
1 March 2011 – The United Nations climate change chief today called on governments to quickly transform the agreements
reached in the Mexican city of Cancún last year into tangible action on the ground, and provide clarity on the future of the
Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gases emissions.
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“Governments must now implement quickly what they agreed in Cancún and take the next big climate step this year in
Durban,” the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate 5 Change (UNFCCC), Christiana Figueres,
told reporters in Tokyo.
The UNFCCC is an international treaty which considers what can be done to reduce global warming and to cope with whatever
temperature increases are inevitable. Some countries have approved the Kyoto Protocol, an addition to the treaty, which has
more powerful and legally binding measures.
Ms. Figueres is currently in Japan to meet with government officials, Japanese business and other civil society representatives,
and to attend informal talks on Thursday, jointly organized by the governments of Japan and
Brazil.
The agreements reached in Cancun, at the 16th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in December last year, included
formalizing climate change mitigation pledges and ensuring increased accountability for them, as well 15 as taking concrete
action to tackle deforestation, which accounts for nearly one-fifth of global carbon emissions.
Ms. Figueres described the outcome of the Cancún meeting as a solid step forward for strengthened global climate action,
encompassing the basis for the largest collective effort the world has ever seen to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition, she said, the Cancún Agreements formed the most comprehensive package ever decided by governments to help
developing countries deal with climate change, and a long-term global agreement to keep average global temperatures below
two degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.
Ms. Figueres, however, warned that promises to reduce or limit emissions so far amounts to only 60 per cent of what the
scientific community says is required by 2020 for global temperatures to remain below two degrees, and that emissions need to
peak by 2015 to avoid the agreed temperature goal slipping out of reach. Looking ahead to the next round of talks under the
UNFCCC – to be held in Durban, South Africa, later this year
– Ms. Figueres said governments need to agree on a way to cut global emissions about twice as fast as they have already
promised, along with increasing the certainty that they will do what they say.
“Governments meeting in Durban must resolve the remaining issues over the future of the Kyoto Protocol,” she said. “In this
context, we need to keep in mind that the Kyoto Protocol remains the only working, binding international model to reduce
emissions, and nations have an urgent task to decide how to take forward the protocol’s unique benefits of transparency,
certainty, compliance in handling national emission targets, and
common but differentiated responsibilities.”
SUJET N° 4
Comment accroître l’attractivité des territoires ?
Annexe : THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CLUSTER CONCEPT – PRESENT EXPERIENCES AND
FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS Prepared for NRW conference on clusters, Duisburg, Germany, 4 Dec
2003 Dr Christian Ketels, Harvard Busiess School.
DOCUMENT
Clusters and economic performance
Clusters develop and are important because they create economic benefits. The benefits of a cluster come in three dimensions.
First, companies can operate with a higher level of efficiency, drawing on more specialized assets and suppliers with shorter
reaction times than they could in isolation. Second, companies 5 and research institutions can achieve higher levels of
innovation. Knowledge spillovers and the close interaction with customers and other companies create more new ideas and
provide intense pressure to innovate while the cluster environment lowers the cost of experimenting. Third, the level of
business formation tends to be higher in clusters. Start-ups are more reliant on external suppliers and partners, all of which they
find in a cluster. Clusters also reduce the cost of failure, as entrepreneurs can fall back on local employment opportunities in
the many other companies in the same field.
These benefits are important both for cluster participants and for public policy. For companies, they create additional value that
ouweighs the often-higher costs of more intense competition for specialized real estate, skills, and customers at the location.
They are thus the reasons that clusters emerge naturally from profit15 maximizing decisions. For public policy, higher
productivity and innovation in clusters are critical because they are the factors that in the long term define the sustainable level
of prosperity in a region. Note, however, that the interests of these groups are not identical. Public policy is not concerned
about the distribution of the cluster benefits among companies, employees, and owners of critical assets such as real estate,
while company owners clearly are. The performance of a cluster at a specific location is driven by the business environment
that the cluster is operating in. “Business environment” is a broad and naturally vague term : almoste everything – from the
quality of the schools to the strategies of local competitors – matters for the level of productivity and innovation that
companies in the cluster reach at this specific location.
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To organize this complexity, Michael Porter has in 1990 introduced the so-called “diamond” as an analytical tool to assess
business environments. The diamond indludes the four elements factor conditions (e.g., physical infrastructure, skills, etc…),
demand conditions (e.g., sophistication of local customers, product and consumer regulation), the context for strategy and
rivalry (e.g. taxation structure, competition laws, and the strategies of competing local companies), and the presence of related
and supporting industries (e.g., the breadth and depth of the cluster); These elements interact in their impact on specific
companies and clusters ; they exhibit system30 effects where the weakest element often tends to have the strongest impact on
the overall quality.
The diamond can be used to analyze the general quality of the business environment at the national or regional level. But it can
also be applied at the regional cluster level, looking at the specific conditions relevant for the cluster in the four categories
defined. Note that the impact of different aspects for the business environment depend on the position that the cluster aims to
take in the field.
SUJET N° 5
Pour relancer la croissance économique, existe-t-il un moyen efficace de réduire la
dette ?
Annexe : Handle with care. The economist JULY 9TH-15TH 2011.
DOCUMENT
Handle with care
(…). Debt can be reduced in several ways. It can be paid off with the help of higher thrift. Its burden can be reduced through
higher inflation or faster growth. Or it can be defaulted on. In practice, rich countries seem to be using different combinations
of these approaches.
In America, where overall debts levels have fallen fastest, a lot of the reduction in household 5 debt has been thanks to
mortgage defaults and write-downs. In Britain, where there have been virtually no mortgage writedowns, relatively high
inflation has pushed down the overall debt burden. Spain, in contrast, has seen virtually no reduction in its debt load , despite
fiscal austerity, partly because that very austerity has contributed to weak growth and low inflation which have kept down
nominal GDP. Tough rules on mortgages have made it hard to reduce un payable household debt.
What can be learnt from these various approaches ? It is still early days, but four lessons stand out.
The first is that in some extreme cases, when a large debt reduction is needed orderly write-downs are necessary.
The foreclosures on American mortgages have been severe, but they mean that household debt is likely to shrink to
manageable level faster than in, say, Britain, where low interest rates on variable mortgages and a lot of “forebearance” by
banks have kept defaults artificially low. At the sovereign level the same logic should apply to hopelessly bankrupt Greece : it
needs a debt write-down.
Second, nominal growth is essential to bring down the weigh of debt. It is hard to ease the debt burden in a stagnant economy
with low inflation. That suggests the pace of public-sector austerity, where possible, needs to be calibrated to the scale of
private deleveraging. America’s government, for instance, needs a medium term plan for deficit reduction, but cutting back
spending viciously in the short term at a time of private-sector retrenchment would be a mistake.
Third, the best way to ease the pain of deleveraging is with an export-led boom. Here, progress has been painfully slow. The
external deficits of ex-bubble economies have shrunk since 2007, but not by enough-and some now seem to be rising again.
There has been too little rebalancing of global demand toward big emerging economies. That will require stronger currencies
in emerging Asia and weaker ones in the rich word.
Deeper shifts will also be necessary : a strengthening of consumer society in China, for example, and a reallocation of
resources towards tradable goods and services in Britain and America. Unfortunately, the sensible goal of rebalancing towards
net exports can lead to dubious policy prescriptions. Britain, for instance, would be mad to turn its back on financial services.
No rich country needs a smorgasbord of subsidies for manufacturing. Far better to get rid of distorsions and improve the
economy’s flexibility.
All this will take time. So the fourth, most important and most depressing lesson for the great deleveraging is that of realism.
Even if handled well, the difficult business of debt reduction will hold back the rich world’s economies for several more years.
Get used to it.
SUJET N° 6
Gouvernance et globalisation des marchés
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Annexe : Chapter 13 From market globalism to imperial globalism Ideology and American power after
9/11 page 177 - Manfred B. Steger GLOBALIZATION The Greatest Hits A Global Studies Reader edited
and introduces by Manfred B. Steger 2010.
DOCUMENT
Claim N°1 : Globalization is about the liberalization and Global Integration of Markets
The foundational claim of market globalism seeks to shape global preferences without resorting to verbal threats – and,
therefore, represents the essence of “soft power” (Nye, 2004, p. 5). It activates the neoliberal ideal of the self-regulating market
as the normative basis for a future global order. According to this ideological narrative, the vital functions of the free market –
its rationality and efficiency, as well as its alleged ability 5 to bring about greater social integration and material progress – can
only be realized in a liberal society that values and protects individual freedom; Let us consider some examples.
A passage in a 1990s BusinessWeek article (13 December 1999, p 212) clearly defines globalization in market terms :
“Globalization is about the triumph of markets over governments. Both proponents and opponents of globalization agree that
the driving force today is markets, which are suborning the role of government. The truth is that the size of government has
been shrinking relative to the economy almost everywhere. “Joan Spiro, US Undersecretary of State for Economic, Business,
and Agricultural Affairs in the Clinton administration, stated that “One role of government is to get out of the way – to remove
barriers to the free flow of goods, services, and capital” (Spiro, 1996).
The award winning New York Times columnist argues that people ought to accept the following “truth” about globalization :
“The driving idea behind globalization is free-market capitalism – the more you let market forces rule and the more you open
your economy to free trade and competition, the more efficient your economy will be. Globalization means the spread of freemarket capitalism to virtually every country in the world” (Friedman, 2000, p. 9).
Claim N°4 : Globalization Benefits Everyone (… in the long Run)
This claim lies at the very core of market globalism because it provides an affirmative answer to the crucial normative question
of whether globalization represents a “good” or a “bad” phenomenon. Market globalists in the 1990s frequently connected
their arguments in favor of the integration of global markets to the alleged benefits resulting from the liberalization and
expansion of world trade. At the 1996 G7 Summit in Lyon, France, for example, the heads of states of the seven major
industrialized democracies issued a joint communiqué that contains the following passage :
Economic growth and progress in today’s interdependent world is bound up with the process of globalization.
Globalization provides great opportunities for the future, not only for our countries, but for all others too. Its many positive
aspects include an unprecedented expansion of investment and trade ; the opening up to international trade of the world’s most
populous regions and opportunities for more developing countries to improve their standards of living ; the increasingly rapid
dissemination of information, technological innovation, and the proliferation of skilled jobs. These characteristics of
globalization have led to a considerable expansion of wealth and prosperity in the world. Hence we are convinced that the
process of globalization is a source of hope for the future. (Economic Communiqué, 1996).
SUJET N° 7
Quelle place pour le secteur non marchand dans les pays de l'Union européenne ?
DOCUMENT
The Co-operative 's Ethical Operating Plan : a new sustainability initiative
For some social justice is as central to the notion of sustainable development as living within environmental limits. The two
have to march hand in hand, and if they don't what emerges will never be sustainable anyway.
For others, it's obviously important, but it's not central, let alone a precondition of what sustainable development is all about.
Without a shadow of a doubt, the Co-operative is the most explicit of all the big UK corporates 5 about the centrality of social
justice. While other progressive companies may eloquently bemoan1 the lack of social justice in a society such as ours, they
argue persuasively that it's just not their responsibility. Redistributing wealth and sorting out injustice is the job of
governments, not business.
The Co-op is owned (and democratically controlled) by its members, all 6 million of them. That gives it the privilege of
putting social justice at the heart of its strategy, with or without a business case. While others have to keep their shareholders
sweet by demonstrating that all their sustainability endeavours will benefit them – either directly or indirectly, in the long run if
not immediately – the Co-op just has to keep its members sweet by doing what they've mandated it to do anyway. As Peter
Marks, Co-op's chief executive, says, "The Private Limited
Company model is not the only kind of corporate ".
No one else but the Co-op else is focusing on social justice, committing profits explicitly to tackling both poverty here in the
UK (£5m) and global poverty (another £7m). No one else is actively campaigning for a more "balanced and sustainable
economy" or vociferously lobbying, for instance, for an end to some of the absurd investments that exacerbate the problem of
accelerating climate change, while simultaneously setting out to be the best in terms of reducing its own operational CO2
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emissions and to increase its commercial lending in the area of energy efficiency and renewables – from £400m today to
around £1bn. That's properly joined-up climate leadership.
While ministers carry on talking, the Co-op will just get on with it – supporting new Cooperative schools, setting up an
international Co-operative Development Loan Fund, getting involved in more than 10,000 community initiatives every year,
particularly around stores and branches, creating 2000 new apprenticeships through its Co25 operative academy, supporting
more and more young people through its Co-operative Enterprise Hub, proactively addressing the problems of financial
exclusion and the lack of financial literacy among young people.
These are just a few of the reasons why it's now aiming to increase membership from 6 million today to 20 million by 2020 –
at the rate of more than a million a year. 1 To bemoan : to regret
SUJET N° 8
Quel avenir pour le système de retraite en France ?
Annexe : French lessons: pension protests , The Guardian, Saturday 23 October 2010.
DOCUMENT
French lessons : pension protests
There is at least one difference between May '68 and what has been happening in France for the last 11 days.
In '68 the protest by workers and students erupted after a prolonged period of unprecedented economic growth.
Today mass protest follows decades of high unemployment – particularly for the young. In the last two years it has risen by 17
% for the under-25s. The social ladder in France is broken. Little wonder that among the millions of demonstrators who have
turned out against President Nicolas Sarkozy's pension reforms – at 5 one point one in of all the people in France – tens of
thousands are sixth-formers. Behind the pensions revolt is a deep fear of unemployment which will only be worsened by
workers delaying retirement.
Before we in Britain scoff too quickly at the French for racing to the barricades to preserve a pension system which, to our
eyes, looks generous, it is worth being clear about what is being fought over and what is not. There is a broad consensus, and
has been for at least seven years, that the French pension system is bust. In a pay-asyou- go system, too few active workers are
paying for too many pensioners. As the number of pensioners is set to increase from 15 million in 2008 to nearly 23 million in
2050, the ratio of active workers to pensioners will reduce still further. Depending on both the rate of long-term unemployment
and labour productivity, the deficit in the state pension system, currently running at €32bn or 1.7 % of GDP, could explode in
the next decade to
15 reach something more like 3 % of GDP. That is a lot for any state to pay on pensions.
The issue is not whether this system should be reformed but how. Who is to share the pension burden? Do lowpaid manual
workers, women, and the disabled take an extra hit as they would under Sarkozy's formula, or should employers and big
business pay more? Why does someone who starts work at 18 have to work for longer – 44 years – before reaching the full
entitlement than someone who enters the labour market at 22 with higher qualifications? The age that matters is not 62, when
retirees can start drawing their pensions, but 67, when the benefit reaches its maximum. Why should poorer workers, who have
shorter life expectancies, lose a higher proportion of their retirement years ? Whether you are a refinery worker from Grandpuit
or a dinner lady in a Marseille primary school, this is an issue worth coming out on to the streets for. Nor should this debate be
wholly alien to anyone who has been following events in Britain this week. It, too, is about fairness and social justice.
President Sarkozy is hoping that a combination of a swift vote in the senate and the forthcoming All Saints' Day national
holiday will douse passions more effectively than the water cannons of his riot police. But thus far he is losing the battle for
public opinion. Public support has curiously risen after a week in which fuel refineries and ports were blockaded, with 70 %
backing industrial action. Unions who have resisted calls for a general strike have vowed that there will be two more days of
national action. And their chief demand, that the government must negotiate the reform rather than ram it through on to the
statute books, is a reasonable one. With riot police yesterday behaving ever more violently with union pickets, the risk of death
or serious injury on the picket lines rises by the day. Both sides could lose control, which would both weaken the unions' case
and be catastrophic for the government.
The French are not just being French. France has a lower level of inequality than most OECD countries, and is one out of only
five which saw inequality decrease over the two decades to the mid-2000s. As the basic provisions of the welfare state are
being rolled back all over Europe, in the name of protecting triple-A credit ratings, a cause is being fought in France which we
in Britain would do well to watch carefully. The same fight could be coming here soon. Source : The Guardian, French
lessons : pension protests , http://www.guardian.co.uk/ commentisfree/2010/oct/23/french-lessons-pension-protests-editorial,
(October 2010).
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SUJET N° 9
La croissance économique, un objectif à remettre en cause ?
Annexe : Prosperity without Growth - Economics for a Finite Planet - Tim Jackson – First published by
Earthscan in the UK and USA in 2009.
DOCUMENT
One of the key messages of this book is that we’re failing in that task. Our technologies, our economy and our social
aspirations are all mis-aligned with any meaningful expression of prosperity. The vision of social progress that drives us –
based on the continual expansion of material wants – is fundamentally untenable. And this failing is not a simple falling short
from utopian ideals. It is much more basic. In pursuit of the good life today, we are systematically eroding the basis for wellbeing tomorrow. We stand in real danger of losing 5 any prospect of a shared and lasting prosperity.
But this book isn’t a rant against the failings of modernity. Nor is it a lament on the inevitability of the human condition. There
are undoubtedly some immutable constraints on our prospects for a lasting prosperity. The existence of ecological limits to
human activity maybe one of these. Aspects of human nature may turn out to be another. Taking heed of these constraints is
central to the spirit of this investigation.
The overriding aim of this book is to seek viable responses to the biggest dilemma of our times: reconciling our aspirations for
the good life with the constraints of a finite planet. The analysis in the following pages is focused on finding a credible vision
of what it means for human society to flourish in the context of ecological limits.
Prosperity as growth
At the heart of the book lies a very simple question. What can prosperity possibly look like in a finite world, with limited
resources and a population expected to exceed 9 billion people within decades ?
Do we have a decent vision of prosperity for such a world ? Is this vision credible in the face of the available evidence about
ecological limits ? How do we go about turning vision into reality ?
The prevailing response to these questions is to cast prosperity in economic terms and to call for continuing economic growth
as the means to deliver it. Higher incomes mean increased choices, richer lives, an improved quality of life for those who
benefit from them.
That at least is the conventional wisdom. This formula is cashed out (almost literally) as an increase in the gross domestic
product (GDP) per capita. The GDP is broadly speaking a measure of ‘economic activity’ in a nation or region. As we shall see
later, there are good grounds to question whether such a crude measure is really sufficient. But for now it’s a fair reflection of
what is meant, in broad terms, by rising income. A rising per capita
GDP, in this view, is equivalent to increasing prosperity.
[Extrait du chapitre 1]
SUJET N° 10
La crise grecque, remise en cause de l'Union européenne ?
Annexe : The Economist, July 23rd 2011.
DOCUMENT
Slovakia and the euro: a reluctant « yes »
Purist Slovaks dislike bailing out Greece in principle. But not in practice.
Thrifty countries don’t like bailing out freckles ones. And poor countries don’t like subsiding rich ones. Slovakia is the secondpoorest country in the euro zone (after Estonia), and it generally runs a tight fiscal ship. It held back from last year’s rescue of
Greece, and is a stickler on conditions for the forthcoming one. Slovakia’s GDP per head (at purchasing-power parity) is
$23,000, compared with Greece’s $27,000. Its debt-to- GDP ratio was a modest 42% in 2010, against 160 % in Greece today.
Slovakia’s export-centered economy has 5 recovered quickly from the financial crisis. After two years of budget deficits at
nearly 8 % of GDP, the government is cutting spending and raising taxes to the tune of 25 % of GDP.
Public opinion combines a streak of skepticism about the European Union (seen by some as too socialist) with enthusiasm for
the euro (which suits Slovakia’s small, open economy). Voters disliked the first Greek bail-out because it seemed unfair. And
they liked seeing their government face down self-important big countries.
Yet three of the ruling center-right parties that opposed the first Greek rescue have now reinvented themselves as champions of
euro-zone solidarity. Smer – sd, the leading opposition party, is also backing the government, in an unusual display of
bipartisan responsibility. Robert Fico, its leader and former prime minister, jokes that as
”experts on populism” his party has no intention of using the euro crisis for political gain.
Slovakia remains in the hawkish camp, along with Finland, Germany and the Netherlands. It wants more austerity and reform
from Greece. The new loan for Athens must be backed by Greek state property as collateral.
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Slovakia also wants private creditors to share the pain: at least €30 billion ($43 billion), says the finance minister, Ivan Miklos.
Only the free-market sas (Freedom and Solidarity) party, a member of the ruling coalition, is opposed. It believes the latest
bail-out is a swindle on European tax-payers. It dislikes moves towards fiscal union to save the euro.
But Iveta Radicova, the prime minister, dismisses such talk as “politicking”.
Senior government figures say privately that they yearn for the EU to fight contagion with “clatity” : distinguishing between
insolvent and illiquid countries, with the first restructuring their debts and leaving the euro if necessary. Brave talk, from a
country that accounts for barely 1 % of euro-zone GDP. Even Estonia and
Slovenia, the other two eastern European minnows, show little sign of following the Slovak’s principled head.
SUJET N° 11
Énergies renouvelables et régulation marchande
Annexe : Connie Hedegaard and Torben Möger Pedersen the Guardian Professional Network
Wednesday 6 July 2011 11.50 BST guardian.co.uk
DOCUMENT
The EU economy needs investment in renewables by pension funds
The EU has ambitious plans to become a low carbon economy by 2050 which require investments in renewable energy. In
Denmark, pension funds are already proving the business case for these investments
This spring the EU Commission published its roadmap for transition to a low carbon economy by 2050. It's an ambitious plan
that will ensure that the EU can be a leader in the worldwide transition to a low carbon and more resource 5 efficient economy.
The commission estimates that to obtain the goal of an 80 % reduction in emissions over the next 40 years it will require
annual investments averaging 1.5 % of GDP – equivalent to €270bn. This is a massive challenge and it is unsustainable for
energy and utility companies to raise the funds themselves.
Given the current fiscal challenges in a number of EU countries and the future strain on public finances from an ageing
population, public sector cofinancing aiding this transition will be limited. Therefore, most investments in renewable energy
sources and more effective energy infrastructure must be financed by the private sector and consumers.
If the 2050 goals are to be reached, it is crucial to get the substantial – and growing – private pension capital activated within
this field. Especially, since other types of more leveraged investors can no longer finance their investments as easily as was
previously observed.
Investments in renewable energy and infrastructure appeal to pension funds when they deliver a predictable and stable cash
flow. In terms of renewable energy sources the role of the government is to ensure that the power production can be sold at a
fixed or highly predictable price for large part of the life of the asset.
If these conditions are met, investments in renewable energy and infrastructure should appeal to pension funds, but so far
actual investments have been limited. This has also been due to lack of experience among pension funds with (direct)
investments in the asset class and uncertainty about a relevant pipeline of similar investment opportunities before committing
to the initial investment.
But there are already concrete business cases out there. In Denmark, for example PensionDanmark and Dong
Energy have developed and implemented a model for how pension fund capital can be activated in relation to investments in
renewable energy. The breakthrough came in 2010 with the investment in Nysted Wind Farm and has more recently been
applied with the investment in the future Anholt wind farm. Overall, the two offshore wind farms will supply clean energy
equivalent of the annual consumption of 540,000 Danish households by 2014.
The model includes the creation of a partnership between an institutional investor and the industrial partner, where the pension
fund provides the capital and the industrial partner is responsible for construction and operation, while at the same time keeps a
substantial share of the asset as to ensure alignment of interests.
The Danish experience shows that it is possible to activate the pension capital in the transition to a low carbon economy. In
order to reach our long-term goals it is essential that this type of innovative financing arrangement spreads to other countries
and other types of renewable energy sources.
DSCG 2011 – UE6 Épreuve orale d'économie se déroulant partiellement en anglais
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