Réchauffement climatique : l'argument fallacieux de l'inaction

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA – L'argument le plus fréquent pour justifier la nécessité de combattre le réchauffement climatique semble imparable et presque tous les dirigeants politiques y ont recours, pourtant il relève presque de l'escroquerie. Il est fondé sur la comparaison entre le coût de l'action et celui de l'inaction.

Ainsi, le président de la Commission européenne, José Manuel Barroso, l'a employé cette année lorsqu'il a présenté le programme de l'UE pour faire face au réchauffement climatique. L'UE s'est engagée à une réduction de 20% de ses émissions de CO2 en 2020 à un coût que la Commission évalue à 0,5% du PIB, soit environ 60 milliards d'euro par an. C'est évidemment un coût énorme - entraînant une augmentation d'au moins 50% du budget de l'UE - et ce sera sans doute bien plus en réalité (la Commission avait fait auparavant une estimation du coût deux fois plus élevée que celle qu'elle fait aujourd'hui).

L'argument massue de Barroso était de dire : "ce coût est faible par rapport à celui de l'inaction". En affirmant cela il supposait que le prix de l'inaction "pourrait approcher 20% du PIB". Or il s'agit là d'une grossière surestimation, la plupart des modèles évaluant les dommages à 3% du PIB. Naturellement, les hommes politiques préfèrent dépenser 0,5% du PIB pour éviter plus tard une dépense de 20% du PIB. Cela semble parfaitement logique, jusqu'au moment où l'on réalise que Barroso compare deux choses qui n'ont rien à voir.

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