Changement climatique : un peu de réalisme !

NEW YORK – Il est probable qu’on entende souvent cet automne la célèbre chanson « Wonderful Copenhagen », du film musical « Hans Christian Andersen » de 1952, à l’approche du sommet réunissant les chefs d’État dans la capitale danoise en décembre (et à New York en septembre) pour s’attaquer à la question du changement climatique. Mais à moins que les divers points de vues mondiaux deviennent rapidement plus réalistes, l’issue de la conférence de Copenhague sera tout sauf merveilleuse.

Il ne faut pas s’étonner du manque de consensus concernant un accord global détaillé qui puisse avoir un effet significatif sur le climat mondial. Les gouvernements ne sont pas prêts à sacrifier une croissance économique à court et moyen termes pour des avantages à long terme pour l’environnement, et tout particulièrement aujourd’hui à cause de la pénible récession dont souffre une grande partie du monde industrialisé. Les Etats-Unis, notamment, n’accepteront pas de plafonds relatifs à leurs émissions de gaz à effet de serre si cela signifie des taxes et des coûts plus élevés qui risquent d’entraver la reprise économique.

Les pays en développement sont de leur côté plus hostiles encore à l’idée de limitation des émissions. Quatre cent millions d’Indiens n’ont toujours pas l’électricité et on ne peut pas s’attendre à ce que l’Inde renonce au charbon si celui-ci représente le meilleur moyen de produire de l’électricité pour un tiers de la population. Il est probable que la Chine s’oppose aussi à des plafonds sur quelque émission que ce soit, compte tenu du niveau de vie relativement bas de la majorité des Chinois. Mais ces positions sonnent le glas d’un éventuel nouveau traité international, car les pays industrialisés insisteront à juste titre pour que les économies moins avancées assument leur part de responsabilité.

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