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Le moment propice pour agir contre les changements climatiques

PARIS – Pendant presque trois décennies où les changements climatiques sont devenus la préoccupation du monde entier, les pouvoirs publics ont souscrit à l’hypothèse optimiste qu’une transition écologique finirait par arriver avec le temps, à mesure que la hausse des cours des combustibles fossiles inciterait les consommateurs à se convertir à d’autres sources d’énergie à faible intensité en carbone. Plusieurs estimaient que c’était la production qui faisait obstacle, car les rendements juteux des investissements dans l’exploitation des champs pétroliers aiguillonnaient l’appétit pour des projets d’exploration encore plus ambitieux.

Nous assistons aujourd’hui à un revirement de situation. Avec le prix du baril de pétrole englué autour de 40 $, les sociétés d’exploitation des combustibles fossiles n’ont pas besoin de se faire convaincre par les pouvoirs publics d’arrêter d’investir. Le paramètre important dans l’équation est maintenant du côté du consommateur. Or, avec des coûts de combustibles si bas, que peut-on faire pour modifier les habitudes de consommation ?

Il est certain que les indicateurs pointent vers le rôle qu’un coût énergétique moindre pourrait jouer dans la relance des cours pétroliers. Mais personne ne prédit une reprise assez forte pour provoquer la transformation radicale nécessaire pour réaliser les objectifs de réduction des émissions des pays.

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