Author Name Variants
Fields of Specialization
Green growth, Climate change, Urban development
Externally Hosted Work
Last updated September 13, 2023
Stéphane Hallegatte is a Senior Climate Change Adviser at the World Bank. He joined the World Bank in 2012 after 10 years of academic research in environmental economics and climate science for Météo-France, the Centre International de Recherche sur l’Environnement et le Développement, and Stanford University. His research interests include the economics of natural disasters and risk management, climate change adaptation, urban policy and economics, climate change mitigation, and green growth. Mr. Hallegatte was a lead author of the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He is the author of dozens of articles published in international journals in multiple disciplines and of several books, including Green Economy and the Crisis: 30 Proposals for a More Sustainable France , Risk Management: Lessons from the Storm Xynthia , and Natural Disasters and Climate Change: An Economic Perspective . He also co-led the World Bank reports Inclusive Green Growth: The Pathway to Sustainable Development , published in 2012 and Decarbonizing Development in 2015, and was member of the core writing team of the 2014 World Development Report Risk and Opportunity: Managing Risks for Development . Most recently, he led the World Bank reports Shock Waves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty , Unbreakable: Building the Resilience of the Poor in the Face of Natural Disasters , and Lifelines: the Resilient Infrastructure Opportunity. He was the team leader for the World Bank Group Climate Change Action Plan, a large internal coordination exercise to determine and explain how the Group will support countries in their implementation of the Paris Agreement. Mr. Hallegatte holds engineering degrees from the Ecole Polytechnique (Paris) and the Ecole Nationale de la Météorologie (Toulouse), a master's degree in meteorology and climatology from the Université Paul Sabatier (Toulouse) and a Ph.D in economics from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris).
Publication Search Results
Now showing 1 - 10 of 26
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-05-05) Hallegatte, StéphaneThis paper investigates the link between development, economic growth, and the economic losses from natural disasters in a normative analytical framework with an illustration on hurricane flood risks in New Orleans. It concludes that under broad conditions it is optimal for (1) the probability of disaster occurrence to decrease with income; (2) the capital at risk—and thus the economic losses in case of disaster — to increase faster than economic growth; and (3) the average annual losses to grow faster than income at low levels of development and slower than income at high levels of development. Increasing risk-taking reinforces economic growth; improving protections transfers risks from frequent low-intensity events to rare high-impact events.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-10) Hallegatte, Stephane ; Fay, Marianne ; Vogt-Schilb, AdrienGreen industrial policies can be defined as industrial policies with an environmental goal -- or more precisely, as sector-targeted policies that affect the economic production structure with the aim of generating environmental benefits. This paper provides a framework to assess their desirability depending on the effectiveness and political acceptability of price instruments. The main messages are the following. (i) Greening growth processes to the extent and with the speed needed cannot be done without industrial policies, even if prices can be adjusted to reflect environmental objectives. (ii) "Sunrise" green industrial policies are needed because they support the development of critical new technologies and sectors, bring down costs, and allow for reduced emissions in the short term even in the absence of carbon pricing. (iii) "Sunset" green industrial policies and trade policies may be needed in conjunction with safety nets to make carbon pricing politically or socially acceptable. They can help mitigate the impact of a carbon price on competitiveness and unemployment and smooth the transition by helping industries adjust to the new conditions. (iv) Green or not, industrial policy requires carefully navigating the twin dangers of market and governance failure. The viability of supported technologies and sectors is difficult to assess through a market-test given their dependence on continued environmental policies or pricing -- such as a carbon price. Particular attention must be paid to avoid potential unintended negative effects, such as rebound effects (especially if prices are inappropriate), misallocation of capital, or capture and rent-seeking behaviors.
How Capital-Based Instruments Facilitate the Transition Toward a Low-Carbon Economy : A Tradeoff between Optimality and Acceptability(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-09) Rozenberg, Julie ; Vogt-Schilb, Adrien ; Hallegatte, StephaneThis paper compares the temporal profile of efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions induced by two mitigation strategies: a regulation of all emissions with a carbon price and a regulation of emissions embedded in new capital only, using capital-based instruments such as investment regulation, differentiation of capital costs, or a carbon tax with temporary subsidies on brown capital. A Ramsey model is built with two types of capital: brown capital that produces a negative externality and green capital that does not. Abatement is obtained through structural change (green capital accumulation) and possibly through under-utilization of brown capital. Capital-based instruments and the carbon price lead to the same long-term balanced growth path, but they differ during the transition phase. The carbon price maximizes social welfare but may cause temporary under-utilization of brown capital, hurting the owners of brown capital and the workers who depend on it. Capital-based instruments cause larger intertemporal welfare loss, but they maintain the full utilization of brown capital, smooth efforts over time, and cause lower immediate utility loss. Green industrial policies including such capital-based instruments may thus be used to increase the political acceptability of a carbon price. More generally, the carbon price informs on the policy effect on intertemporal welfare but is not a good indicator to estimate the impact of the policy on instantaneous output, consumption, and utility.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-03) Vogt-Schilb, Adrien ; Hallegatte, Stephane ; de Gouvello, ChristopheDecision makers facing abatement targets need to decide which abatement measures to implement, and in which order. This paper investigates the ability of marginal abatement cost (MAC) curves to inform this decision, reanalysing a MAC curve developed by the World Bank on Brazil. Misinterpreting MAC curves and focusing on short-term targets (e.g., for 2020) would lead to under-invest in expensive, long-to-implement and large-potential options, such as clean transportation infrastructure. Meeting short-term targets with marginal energy-efficiency improvements would lead to carbon-intensive lock-ins that make longer-term targets (e.g., for 2030 and beyond) impossible or too expensive to reach. Improvements to existing MAC curves are proposed, based on (1) enhanced data collection and reporting; (2) a simple optimization tool that accounts for constraints on implementation speeds; and (3) new graphical representations of MAC curves. Designing climate mitigation policies can be done through a pragmatic combination of two approaches. The synergy approach is based on MAC curves to identify the cheapest mitigation options and maximize co-benefits. The urgency approach considers the long-term objective (e.g., halving emissions by 2050) and works backward to identify actions that need to be implemented early, such as public support to clean infrastructure and zero-carbon technologies.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-05) Hallegatte, StephaneThe welfare impact of a disaster does not only depend on the physical characteristics of the event or its direct impacts in terms of lost lives and assets. Welfare impacts also depend on the ability of the economy to cope, recover, and reconstruct and therefore to minimize aggregate consumption losses. This ability can be referred to as the macroeconomic resilience to natural disasters. Macroeconomic resilience has two components: instantaneous resilience, which is the ability to limit the magnitude of immediate production losses for a given amount of asset losses, and dynamic resilience, which is the ability to reconstruct and recover. Welfare impacts also depend on micro-economic resilience, which depends on the distribution of losses; on households' vulnerability, such as their pre-disaster income and ability to smooth shocks over time with savings, borrowing, and insurance, and on the social protection system, or the mechanisms for sharing risks across the population. The (economic) welfare disaster risk in a country can be reduced by reducing the exposure or vulnerability of people and assets (reducing asset losses), increasing macroeconomic resilience (reducing aggregate consumption losses for a given level of asset losses), or increasing microeconomic resilience (reducing welfare losses for a given level of aggregate consumption losses). The paper proposes rules of thumb to estimate macroeconomic and microeconomic resilience based on the relevant parameters in the economy. It also provides a toolbox of policies to increase macro- or micro-economic resilience and a list of indicators that can be used to build a resilience indicator.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-05) Rozenberg, Julie ; Vogt-Schilb, Adrien ; Hallegatte, StephaneThis paper uses a Ramsey model with two types of capital to analyze the optimal transition to clean capital when polluting investment is irreversible. The cost of climate mitigation decomposes as a technical cost of using clean instead of polluting capital and a transition cost from the irreversibility of pre-existing polluting capital. With a carbon price, the transition cost can be limited by underutilizing polluting capital, at the expense of a loss in the value of polluting assets (stranded assets) and a drop in income. In contrast, policy instruments that focus on redirecting investments -- such as feebates or environmental standards -- prevent underutilization of existing capital, avoid stranded assets, and reduce short-term losses; but they reduce emissions more slowly and increase the intertemporal cost of the transition. The paper investigates inter- and intra-generational distributional impacts and the political acceptability of climate change mitigation policy instruments.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-09) Hallegatte, Stéphane ; Shah, Ankur ; Lempert, Robert ; Brown, Casey ; Gill, StuartWhile agreeing on the choice of an optimal investment decision is already difficult for any diverse group of actors, priorities, and world views, the presence of deep uncertainties further challenges the decision-making framework by questioning the robustness of all purportedly optimal solutions. This paper summarizes the additional uncertainty that is created by climate change, and reviews the tools that are available to project climate change (including downscaling techniques) and to assess and quantify the corresponding uncertainty. Assuming that climate change and other deep uncertainties cannot be eliminated over the short term (and probably even over the longer term), it then summarizes existing decision-making methodologies that are able to deal with climate-related uncertainty, namely cost-benefit analysis under uncertainty, cost-benefit analysis with real options, robust decision making, and climate informed decision analysis. It also provides examples of applications of these methodologies, highlighting their pros and cons and their domain of applicability. The paper concludes that it is impossible to define the "best" solution or to prescribe any particular methodology in general. Instead, a menu of methodologies is required, together with some indications on which strategies are most appropriate in which contexts. This analysis is based on a set of interviews with decision-makers, in particular World Bank project leaders, and on a literature review on decision-making under uncertainty. It aims at helping decision-makers identify which method is more appropriate in a given context, as a function of the project's lifetime, cost, and vulnerability.
How Inertia and Limited Potentials Affect the Timing of Sectoral Abatements in Optimal Climate Policy(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-08) Vogt-Schilb, Adrien ; Meunier, Guy ; Hallegatte, StephaneThis paper investigates the optimal timing of greenhouse gas abatement efforts in a multi-sectoral model with economic inertia, each sector having a limited abatement potential. It defines economic inertia as the conjunction of technical inertia -- a social planner chooses investment on persistent abating activities, as opposed to choosing abatement at each time period independently -- and increasing marginal investment costs in abating activities. It shows that in the presence of economic inertia, optimal abatement efforts (in dollars per ton) are bell-shaped and trigger a transition toward a low-carbon economy. The authors prove that optimal marginal abatement costs should differ across sectors: they depend on the global carbon price, but also on sector-specific shadow costs of the sectoral abatement potential. The paper discusses the impact of the convexity of abatement investment costs: more rigid sectors are represented with more convex cost functions and should invest more in early abatement. The conclusion is that overlapping mitigation policies should not be discarded based on the argument that they set different marginal costs (`"different carbon prices"') in different sectors.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-10) Hallegatte, StephaneThis paper investigates the link between development, economic growth, and the economic losses from natural disasters in a general analytical framework, with an application to hurricane flood risks in New Orleans. It concludes that where capital accumulates through increased density of capital at risk in a given area, and the costs of protection therefore increase more slowly than capital at risk, (i) protection improves over time and the probability of disaster occurrence decreases; (ii) capital at risk -- and thus economic losses in case of disaster -- increases faster than economic growth; (iii) increased risk-taking reinforces economic growth. In this context, average annual losses from disasters grow with income, and they grow faster than income at low levels of development and slower than income at high levels of development. These findings are robust to a broad range of modeling choices and parameter values, and to the inclusion of risk aversion. They show that risk-taking is both a driver and a consequence of economic development, and that the world is very likely to experience fewer but more costly disasters in the future. It is therefore critical to increase economic resilience through the development of stronger recovery and reconstruction support instruments.
A Cost Effective Solution to Reduce Disaster Losses in Developing Countries : Hydro-Meteorological Services, Early Warning, and Evacuation(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-05) Hallegatte, StéphaneIn Europe, it can be estimated that hydro-meteorological information and early warning systems save several hundreds of lives per year, avoid between 460 million and 2.7 billion Euros of disaster asset losses per year, and produce between 3.4 and 34 billion of additional benefits per year through the optimization of economic production in weather-sensitive sectors (agriculture, energy, etc.). The potential for similar benefits in the developing world is not only proportional to population, but also to increased hazard risk due to climate and geography, as well as increased exposure to weather due to the state of infrastructure. This analysis estimates that the potential benefits from upgrading to developed-country standards the hydro-meteorological information production and early warning capacity in all developing countries include: (i) between 300 million and 2 billion USD per year of avoided asset losses due to natural disasters; (ii) an average of 23,000 saved lives per year, which is valued between 700 million and 3.5 billion USD per year using the Copenhagen Consensus guidelines; and (iii) between 3 and 30 billion USD per year of additional economic benefits. The total benefits would reach between 4 and 36 billion USD per year. Because some of the most expensive components of early warning systems have already been built (e.g., earth observation satellites, global weather forecasts), these investments are relatively modest, estimated here around 1 billion US per year, reaching benefit-cost ratios between 4 and 36.