Oil companies and climate change Pacific Press/Getty Images

Desmascarar quem contesta as alterações climáticas

STANFORD – Vinte e cinco anos após a adopção da Convenção-Quadro da ONU sobre as Alterações Climáticas em 9 de Maio de 1992, o mundo ainda não aplicouum tratado que aborde efectivamente o aquecimento global. Agora, após O Presidente Donald Trump ter retirado os EUA do acordo climático de Paris, é chegado o momento de investigar mais aprofundadamente as dificuldades que estão a levar à protelação.

Ao longo da década de 1990, o American Petroleum Institute (API) - a maior associação de comércio de petróleo e gás e grupo de pressão nos EUA - baseou-se reiteradamente em modelos económicos criados por dois economistas, Paul Bernstein e W. David Montgomery, para argumentar que as políticas a favor do clima seriam desastrosamente dispendiosas. O API exerceu uma bem-sucedida pressão no sentido de protelar as medidas destinadas a abordar soluções para as alterações climáticas, recorrendo às projecções de Bernstein e Montgomery para afirmar que a perda de emprego e os custos económicos seriam superiores aos benefícios ambientais.

Estes argumentos foram utilizados em 1991 para comprometer a ideia dos controlos de dióxido de carbono; em 1993 contra o imposto sobre o BTU (uma sobretaxa energética que tributaria as fontes com base no seu teor de calor e carbono) proposto pela administração Clinton; em 1996 contra os objectivos da Conferência das Partes da ONU em Genebra (COP2); em 1997 contra os objectivos da Conferência das Partes da ONU em Quioto (COP3); e em 1998 contra a implementação do Protocolo de Quioto. O plano de pressão do API foi repetitivo e surtiu efeito.

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