jeffrey D. Sachs, Climate change Negotiations, global-warming, technological problem AND  CO2 emissions,  China and US not ready to sacrifice millions of jobs Stewart Innes/ZumaPress

Les limites de la négociation en matière climatique

NEW YORK – Si nous entendons résoudre la problématique du changement climatique, il va nous falloir renouveler notre approche. En l’état actuel des choses, les grandes puissances mondiales considèrent la question du changement climatique comme le simple objet de négociations imposant aux uns et aux autres tel ou tel objectif de réduction des émissions de CO2 (principalement issues de l’utilisation du charbon, du pétrole et du gaz). Ainsi chacun consent-il à apporter sa petite « contribution » à la réduction des émissions, encourageant les autres États à en faire davantage. Les États-Unis, par exemple, sont disposés à « concéder » un certain effort de réduction de leur CO2 à condition que la Chine en fasse de même.

En une vingtaine d’années, nous nous sommes retrouvés piégés dans cet état d’esprit minimaliste et graduel, qui constitue une démarche erronée à deux principaux égards. Pour commencer, cette démarche ne fonctionne pas : les émissions de CO2 ne cessent d’augmenter plutôt que de diminuer. L’industrie pétrolière mondiale s’en donne plus que jamais à cœur joie –fracturations hydrauliques, forages, explorations en Arctique, gazéification du charbon, et construction de nouvelles installations de gaz naturel liquéfié (GNL). Nous continuons de malmener le climat, tandis que les systèmes d’approvisionnement alimentaire suivent un rythme effréné.

Deuxièmement, la « décarbonisation » du système énergétique se révèle technologiquement complexe. Le véritable problème de l’Amérique ne se situe pas du côté de la concurrence chinoise ; il réside bien davantage dans la complexité attachée à l’objectif consistant à affranchir une économie de 17 500 milliards $ du recours aux combustibles fossiles, pour la fonder désormais sur des alternatives à faible empreinte carbone. Quant à la Chine, la difficulté ne réside pas non plus du côté des États-Unis, mais bien dans la question de savoir comment sevrer la première économie de la planète (ou seconde, selon les indicateurs utilisés) de sa profonde dépendance à l’égard du charbon. Il s’agit là principalement de problématiques d’ingénierie, bien plus que de difficultés inhérentes aux négociations.

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