Climate: strategic States and committed companies - Economic Policy

Climate: strategic States and committed companies – Economic Policy

More than ever, we need courageous public visionaries and private pragmatists, determined to achieve ambitious goals by putting the means into them.

The heat waves follow and look alike during this new summer of all records. And this is only the beginning: the IPCC experts recall that their reports predict temperatures of 50°C in Europe and the multiplication of extreme phenomena by the middle of the century. However, our societies are not ready: they are struggling to make the necessary efforts to reduce the impact of the announced change, but they are also late in adapting the environment to the revolution that is coming, whether in the development of the territory, the construction of buildings, supply or modification of the organization of work.

The heat waves follow and look alike during this new summer of all records. And this is only the beginning: the IPCC experts recall that their reports predict temperatures of 50°C in Europe and the multiplication of extreme phenomena by the middle of the century. However, our societies are not ready: they are struggling to make the necessary efforts to reduce the impact of the announced change, but they are also late in adapting the environment to the revolution that is coming, whether in the development of the territory, the construction of buildings, supply or modification of the organization of work. “Neoliberal capitalism is not compatible with the climate challenge”. In the torpor of these dry days, the economist Bruno Colmant writes his next book, marked by this announced drama. The common thread completes the “coming out” of the former liberal thinker, who had imagined the notional interests with the Minister MR Didier Reynders: he is now moving towards an “ecosocialist” thought. According to him, only a strategic State will be able to induce the necessary adaptations. The title of his book, “With burning concern”, is inspired by an encyclical by Pope Pius XI, little known and distributed in German churches in 1937 to warn against the inhumanity of the Nazi regime and the complete horror coming. “I chose this title because the more my reflection advances, the more I come to the conclusion that the neoliberal market economy sucks the future, sucks people and leads to military, predatory logics, which sacrifice nature, he told us in an interview published on our site on August 1. This is why we must absolutely rehabilitate the States which, for 40 years, have been dispossessed of their sovereign attributes…” All while both the pandemic and the Ukrainian and Taiwanese crises bear witness to the danger that awaits us. But states alone will not be able to provide the answer. Their budgets are bloodless. Their credibility weighed down. Populisms are booming in the four corners of Europe. Rivalries prevent collaborations, as evidenced by the climate rupture between China and the United States. Paradoxically, it is a thinker from the left, François Gemenne, director of The Hugo Observatory, who now believes more in the economy to win this fight. “Companies are more aware that climate change threatens their immediate interests, he tells us. Many realize that if the company does not become sustainable today, it will not be profitable tomorrow either. Companies have immense levers for action and can also influence political decision-making. I am struck by the number of people in companies who tell me that they do not understand why politicians are so timid. They are asking for a long-term manager. term that can establish the rules of the game for a fair market.” The answer is certainly found in the middle of these two strong observations, in a renewed partnership between politics and the economy, rid of their prejudices. In this increasingly uncertain world, we need more than ever courageous public visionaries who dare to think long-term and private pragmatists determined to achieve ambitious goals by putting the means into them. The winning cocktail lies in these public-private partnerships, which are certainly emerging at European level, but whose urgency requires them to become a massive priority.

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