Environmental and ecological transition policies | PETE

Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS)

The topic

There is a growing awareness of the finiteness of Earth’s natural resources and the planetary boundaries that will limit future human activities. Over the last 30 years, there has been a profound re-evaluation of the public policies governing not only nature conservation, the environment and natural resources but also, more broadly, all of the public policies touching on the exploitation of those resources.

There are many findings and reports on how critical the situations are in numerous domains of human interaction with their environment—climate, biodiversity, landscapes, energy, resource extraction, diverse polluted emissions (e.g. water, air, soil), waste, et cetera. They all call for fundamental structural transformations and the overhaul of the organisation and functioning of numerous economic sectors, as well as the public policies and legal property regimes that regulate them.

Within the framework of this CAS, the “ecological transition” is fundamentally envisaged as a dual process: (1) a paradigm shift in environmental policies (from the comprehensive emissions limitation paradigm to the sustainable resource management and allocation paradigm); and (2) the greening of policies regarding the exploitation of environmental resources (energy, land-use planning, mobility, agriculture, industry, et cetera).

This course will address the principal issues relating to the ecological transition using policy analysis tools from the fields of public policy and property rights.


● Introduce course participants to the tools used in environmental policy analysis and other public policies implicated in the ecological transition (energy, agriculture, transport, regional land-use planning, etc.).

● Draw up a critical overview of the current state of knowledge about the design, functioning and effects of the different public policies linked to sustainability and the ecological transition.

● Take stock of the different contemporary projects (and debates) that have emerged in the context of the spreading standards of sustainability and, more recently, of the ecological transition, such as sustainable resource management, the fight against climate change, the energy transition, sustainable transport, urban densification, the circular economy, local agriculture and permaculture, etc.

● Discuss and evaluate the ideas and solutions that have evolved from contemporary projects and debates so as to be able to think in a more realistic and transversal manner about all the ins and outs of the ecological transition.


Target audience

  • Students studying for the MAS in Public Administration (MPA).
  • Political and administrative leaders or officials involved in the policy domains of the environment, nature conservation, landscapes and biodiversity, land-use planning, energy, transport and mobility, agriculture or economic development.
  • Professionals working in the domains of the environment, land-use planning, energy and mobility.
  • Representatives of political parties, interest groups, think tanks and NGOs working in these domains.
  • Researchers and PhD students.


  • French is the main teaching language for this program
  • More information available on the corresponding pages
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Prof. Stéphane Nahrath
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