Pierre-Yves Longaretti                pyl at obs.ujf-grenoble.fr

IPAG (Institut de Planétologie et d'Astrophysique de Grenoble)
BP 53
38041 Grenoble Cedex 9



As for many other colleagues, my involvement in the field of sustainability science is also motivated by a sense of urgency due to the rapidly degrading global environmental situation.

My research activity on the issues of human development and environmental sustainability stems from the (not very original) observation that we have at our disposal a lot of excellent disciplinary expertise on these issues, but that interdisciplinary collaboration and integration is often lacking in the analyses of the complex interplay observed in social-ecological systems. However, an integrated assessment is mandatory to define possible and appropriate lines of action. It turns out that an outstanding variety of strong disciplinary expertise is represented in the Grenoble universities and research laboratories, not only in environmental and social sciences, but also on more technical, engineering and planning aspects. This makes Grenoble an ideal place to develop an interdisciplinary research activity.

In practice, two recent interdisciplinary structures have recently been created in the Grenoble area to address these issues. I act as scientific manager of one of them: the SOCLE3 group; to this effect, I have developed a formal and technical background in environmental and social sciences (economics and various topics in urban and environmental modelling, mostly) . The group main theme of research is the transition to sustainability at the regional (sub-national) scale (for more details see the SOCLE3 group homepage). The group brings together environmental sciences experts (climatology and hydrology), economists, geographers, urban planners, biologists, mathematicians and computer scientists... The STEEP group, based at INRIA-Grenoble, is the second structure; its objectives are more focused on the modelling and simulation aspects of the transition to sustainability (for more details, see the STEEP group homepage).

The SOCLE3 group has recently submitted a research project to the ANR research agency in the CEP&S program ("Global Environmental Change and Society"); a summarized description of this project is available here. I act as coordinator of this project.


I have been involved in a number of outreach activities relating to global environmental issues and their interactions with human development:

- seminars, public conferences, participation to round tables etc
- translation into French of the book Plan B 2.0 by Lester Brown in 2007. At the time, I have co-founded a small NGO (Alternative Planétaire) that aims to combine scientific knowledge with pragmatic sustainability lines of action. I am still contributing to the translation into French of the updates of the Plan B book on a regular basis (available throughn the Alternative Planétaire website).
- co-management of a working group at the Centre des Jeunes Dirigeants (a club of young small company managers or entrepreneurs) of the Isère-Savoie area, on the questions of environmental impacts and possible abatement actions of private companies. This action was further developed by others at the national level of the CJD. A follow-up will soon come out (end of 2010/beginning of 2011) in the form of a book. The first part will be devoted to a summary of the energy plan presented in the last version of Lester Brown's Plan B, that I will establish on the basis on this book.


I have been asked to join the Action de Recherche Prospective (ARP: prospective research action) that served to define the future content of the calls of the ANR program CEP&S mentioned above. I have written a paper on the state of energy-climate coupled modellng for the ARP white book, in collaboration with Patrick Criqui. This paper is available here.