CIRED - International Environment and Development Research Center

Research strategy

The objective of CIRED’s  policy is to study how to connect environment, resources, and development, in particular for strategic domains such as energy, urban infrastructures, and agricultural activities. The laboratory applies this question at world, country, or territorial scale. It tackles crosscutting issues of sustainable development such as fairness, competitiveness or growth, and explores how societies tackle these issues through the notion of decision-making in contexts of controversy. Research activities develop through a policy of alliances and partnerships in both the national and international communities. The approach to them is broadly multidisciplinary, ranging from engineering sciences to social sciences, using digital prospective models as integrators.

Research positioning

CIRED’s research program contains 4 axes:

► Sectoral forecasting. In the energy sector, CIRED is constructing an integrated vision of energy transition through techno-socio-economic modeling, notably by work on energy efficiency, energy grid governance, or the emergence of new local energy players. Its research on the city and land use deals with the development of spatially explicit forward models. It applies economics, engineering sciences, and climate sciences (NEDUM for the city), or economics and agronomic sciences (NEXUS Land Use). It provides integrated methos for evaluating urban farming policies.

► Development strategies under climatic, environmental, and social constraints. CIRED is a contributor to efforts to assess the costs of climate policies, through the global version of the IMACLIM model that it has disseminated. It also works on the connection between climate policies and development objectives in national contexts, with the aim of constituting, with its academic partners in different countries, a community of “country  IMACLIM models”.

►Negotiations, controversies and decisions in a context of uncertainty. This axis explores how societies deliberate on the issues of sustainable development, in the face of uncertainties and controversies. The purpose is to examine the construction and role of forward modeling and scientific expertise in such a context. These studies are informed by the sociology of warnings and controversies, the sociology of science and technologies, together with history and public economics.

► Models, tools, data. Research here is dedicated to the maintenance and development of CIRED’s data and modeling tools, which together constitute a substantial scientific instrument. This axis notably covers work on correlating economic and technical data (hybridization), resolution algorithms, or techniques for handling massive databases.


Director: Franck Lecocq
Oversight: École des Ponts ParisTech, AgroParistech, EHESS, CIRAD, CNRS (UMR 8568)