The Modeling for Sustainable Development Chair was created in 2008 by two research laboratories: The Center for Applied Mathematics at MINES ParisTech and the International Center for Research on the Environment and Sustainable Development, through the Fondation des Ponts.

The initiative by the Chair was prompted by the lack of prospective culture in France in crucial areas of expertise such as energy transition, climate change, resource management and environment policies, in a context of economic globalization.

To make up for this shortfall, the Chair initiated a dialogue between engineering sciences and economic analysis in order to inform demanding technological choices and structural economic policies. The target of its work is to propose an integrated vision of the connections between the economic sectors concerned, the diverse issues of sustainable development, and the short-term constraints that economies must deal with. Prospective modeling is one of the best tools for ensuring that this dialogue is rigorous and pertinent.

The MPDD Chair therefore chose to establish a driving force to facilitate decision-making in debates relating to scientific and technological challenges linked to the dual energy-climate constraint. When making strategic choices, industrialists and public decision-makers face energy-related, environmental and economic constraints.

The Chair is jointly directed by Nadia MAÏZI, Director of the Center for Applied Mathematics, and Jean-Charles HOURCADE, Emeritus Research Director at  the International Center for Research on the Environment and Sustainable Development. Both are members of the IPCC.

First set for the period 2008-2013, the Chair was then renewed for the period 2013-2018, then again for the period 2019-2023. For the last period, its budget is over 2.38 millions of euros.  Its actual partners are the ADEME, EDF, GRTgaz, RTE, SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC, TOTAL and the Direction générale de l’énergie et du climat  du Ministère de l’Écologie, du Développement durable et de l’Énergie (DGEC).