An understanding of the mechanisms that link the energy transition to the stimulation of the economy on the ground is in dispensable in terms of more efficient targeting of local energy transition policies. Objective evidence of economic results is required, as is a better understanding of economic analysis methods, in order to equip local and regional authorities with the tools required to demonstrate the economic benefits for all the key players
The diversity of the approaches used demonstrates that there is no single method for evaluating public policies on ecological transition. Each case is unique and should be approached in an appropriate manner.
The economic opportunities brought by the energy transition are garnering recognition among business circles and political decision-makers. A new vision is coming to the fore: instead of being viewed as a threat or a constraint for business, environmental issues are now seen as a source of high levels of business activity and performance, as the basis for a new economic model based on respect for the natural environment.
Some experts emphasise the mutually reinforcing nature of economic and environmental viability in the urban environment. Sustainable urban development is often associated with a range of terms in relation to the economy, such as low-carbon economy, circular economy, green growth, attractiveness, etc.
Green growth is defined by the OECD as the stimulation of economic growth and development through activities that ensure that the natural asset base continues to provide environmental resources and services. Increasingly, decision-makers are turning to such activities, which are seen as having a high return in terms of job and enterprise creation, attracting investment and reinforcing local competitive strength.
Amongst the concerned local authorities are five European ones: Brussels-Capital, Copenhagen, Hannover, Kirklees and Paris-Ile de France, and one in the US: Nolan County. For some of them, in particular Paris-Ile de France and Copenhagen, we have collected complementary pieces of information in order to provide a bigger picture of the green economy in the local authority’s territory. The six case studies prove of real interest in terms of observed economic results and analysis methodologies used.