Paul Lachine

Nature, Société Anonyme ?

BERLIN – Rares sont aujourd’hui les personnes qui pensent encore que les conventions des Nations unies, comme la Convention cadre sur les changements climatiques ou la Convention sur la diversité biologique, peuvent empêcher le réchauffement climatique, la perte de la biodiversité, l’épuisement des sols et la diminution des ressources en eau. De même, l’imposition de plafonds sur les émissions de carbone et de normes environnementales et sociales plus strictes pour réduire la consommation des ressources naturelles et protéger les travailleurs semble être passée de mode dans des économies frappées par la crise et craignant que de telles réglementations n’entravent le commerce et les investissements.

Puisque ces méthodes initiales semblent avoir perdu en crédibilité, certains gouvernements, des économistes et des institutions internationales comme le Programme des Nations unies pour l’environnement ont adopté une nouvelle approche basée sur l’idée que la nature est un fournisseur  de « services écosystémiques ». Ce faisant, ils ont transféré la responsabilité de gérer les risques posés à l’environnement aux acteurs du secteur privé au moyen de mécanismes basés sur le marché.

Selon ce nouveau paradigme, la protection de l’environnement devient une question commerciale et la nature n’est plus qu’un ensemble de biens et de services négociables. Le corollaire de cette logique est que les services écosystémiques ne seront plus gratuits. Comme le dit Pavan Sukhdev, le principal auteur de l’étude L'économie des écosystèmes et de la biodiversité, qui cherche à évaluer l’impact économique de la dégradation de l’environnement, « Nous utilisons la nature parce qu’elle est précieuse, mais nous la perdons parce qu’elle est gratuite ».

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