Climate pp 193-207 | Cite as

Sustainable Development and Climate Change Challenges

Case of a Public Organization
  • M. Merad
  • N. Dechy
  • F. Marcel
Conference paper
Part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security book series (NAPSC)


In 2007, the French government organized a set of meetings around environment and sustainable development problematics called, “Environment Grenelle”. The conclusions of these meetings were introduced in a new law published in August 2009 (“Grenelle 1,” n 2009-967). In Article 1 of this law, the State is obliged to frame a Sustainable Development National Strategy (SDNS) structured around nine challenges. The first challenge consists in fighting against climate change. The SDNS is used as a plinth for the involvement of public and private organizations in this perspective. Many practical questions are raised when struggling against climate change and implementing the sustainable development principle (SD Principle) within the organizational framework: How to develop adaptive methods and tools helping organizations reach a new balance facing environmental, economic, and social risks induced by those broad challenges? Are there any standards of reference and if not can we develop an innovative approach to support decision making within uncertainty? How to develop a dashboard to a proportioned allocation of resources adapted to the various stakeholders and level of decision within the organization? How to compare actions that can have different impacts in different subsystems and with different time frameworks? After a brief historical overview of the origin of the challenges of sustainable development and climate change, we will raise briefly, in the first part of the paper, some theoretical issues and discuss why struggling against such a global issue as climate change is a complex problem within an organization and how sustainable development principles can support decision making under uncertainty. In the second part, we will address practical issues for an organization facing the challenges of sustainable development and climate change. Indeed, we will relate the experience of framing a sustainable development plan within a public institution using an organizational approach and a multiple-criteria decision aid methodology. Finally, we will discuss the decision makers’ choices and the lessons learned by implementing an innovative approach that we set up to face these new challenges.


Climate Change Sustainable Development Participative Approach Public Organization Climate Change Risk 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.INERISVerneuil-en-HalatteFrance

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