CIRED was founded in 1973 by Professor Ignacy Sachs to study tensions between the environment, the long-term management of natural resources, and economic development.
The question of eco-development brings together three variables: styles of consumption, technological choices, and use of space.
Since its beginning, research at the Center has been defined by the challenge of Sustainable Development. The Center's work examines the links between Environment, Resources, and Development with a critical focus on the three fields of Energy, Urban and Rural Infrastructures (building, transport, water), and Farming and Forestry.
This research focus requires a on-going interdisciplinary dialogue between the Social Sciences, Natural Sciences and Engineering, which is reflected in the disciplinary backgrounds of the researchers in the Center.
The Center is formed from a partnership between 5 institutions:
- Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS),
- Ecole des Ponts ParisTech,
- Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales,
- Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour l'environnement.
At the CNRS, CIRED is attached to the Humanities and Social Sciences Insitute (INSHS), the Environment Institute (INEE), and the Engineering Insitute (INSIS). Since 2006, CIRED also has a research agreement with the French Weather Laboratory, Météo-France.