Prospective work

To mobilise stakeholders, it is necessary to develop a vision and to define the paths to implementing the ecological transition. Our prospective approach consists in exploring realistic means of action toward a decarbonised economy and a more virtuous production and consumption model.

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Prospective work to support public policies

Our prospective work contributes to defining and implementing national policy directions, such as the National low-carbon strategy (SNBC), the National energy research strategy (SNRE) and the Resource planning programme.

The aim is to address adaptation to climate change, the search for greater energy sobriety and better use of resources, by exploring long-term societal models and assessing their social, economic, environmental and territorial virtues. The comparison of different scenarios facilitates projection and ownership by public decision-makers.

ADEME thereby contributes to developing the future French Strategy on energy and climate (SFEC) with the Ministry for the Ecological Transition. Our prospective works “Transition(s) 2050. Choose now, act for the climate” contribute to the body of references which serve as a groundwork for the debate. ADEME experts participate in sectoral and cross-sectional working groups upstream of the energy and climate planning law (LPEC), which will be implemented by the first half of 2024 in the national low-carbon strategy (SNBC – 3rd edition), in the national plan for adaptation to climate change (PNACC – 3rd edition) and in the multiannual energy programme (PPE – 2024–2033).

« Our trademark: a foot on the ground and an eye looking to the future, to identify the opportunities as well as the risks of the transition »

— Fabrice Boissier, Deputy director general of ADEME

4 scenarios for 1 transition

In order to lead France to carbon neutrality by 2050, ADEME has drawn up four “typical” coherent and contrasting scenarios of possible routes toward the energy transition that are adapted to the economic and energetic realities of France. 

The four scenarios: “Frugal generation”, “Territorial cooperation”, “Green technologies” and “Restorative gamble” are the result of two years of work conducted by ADEME, in connection with a scientific committee and various specialists. 

Futures in transition


An orientation guide for our expertise and actions

We build on this prospective approach to explore the concrete consequences, whether economic, technological, environmental or social, of the strategic choices of the ecological transition. The aim is also to identify any potential technological, organisational and socio-economic road blocks. Prospective work enriches our expertise and informs our ecological transition funding actions. 

Our prospective works also help us to define the research and development needs associated with the various themes, such as mobility, zero-carbon energies and bio-resources, forests, the circular economy or soil pollution.

An open and collaborative approach

ADEME interacts closely with public and private actors in prospective work. To develop a relevant vision for public decision making, we favour collaboration with leading public research organisations and consultation with economic and territorial actors. Finally, ADEME’s scientific council is regularly called upon to provide a critical view of the developments envisaged and to validate the scientific robustness of our strategic studies and position notes.

Prospective studies by ADEME

All prospective studies by ADEME are referenced and downloadable from ADEME’s website “The Library”. For example, on the impact assessment of digital technology, air conditioning in buildings, or Low Tech cities.

discover ADEME’s publications website “The Library” (in French)