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Climat et générations futures - Un examen critique du débat académique suscité par le Rapport Stern

  • Olivier Godard

    (CECO - Laboratoire d'econometrie de l'école polytechnique - CNRS : UMR7657 - Polytechnique - X)

Approuvé par plusieurs prix Nobel (Mirrlees, Sen, Solow, Stiglitz) le Rapport Stern sur l'économie du changement climatique a également été vivement critiqué par plusieurs économistes de renom, en particulier nord-américains. Le cœur des critiques concerne les choix en matière de taux d'actualisation, le traitement de l'incertitude et celui de l'adaptation des générations futures à la nouvelle donne climatique. L'équipe Stern est globalement accusée d'avoir manipulé la méthodologie économique afin de pouvoir dresser un tableau catastrophiste du problème. De l'examen du débat, il ressort que le rapport Stern n'est pas à l'abri de tout reproche mais qu'il a raison sur l'essentiel contre ses critiques si l'on reste dans le cadre de la philosophie utilitariste dont procède l'analyse coûts-avantages. Comme un boomerang, ce débat a permis de révéler le lot d'hypothèses contestables ou mal fondées qui sous-tendaient les évaluations avancées par nombre d'économistes prisonniers de concepts et de conventions de méthode inadaptées au problème du changement climatique planétaire. L'approche séquentielle de la décision, plus en phase, n'a jusqu'à présent pas recueilli l'audience qu'elle mérite, elle aussi prisonnière d'un débat théorique largement décalé. Plus radicales, les alternatives non-utilitaristes rencontrent des difficultés non négligeables, en particulier autour de l'idée de droits des générations futures. Les débats sur le climat mettent en évidence une relation difficile et confuse entre éthique et économie. Ainsi, l'habillage en termes d'efficacité économique dont est revêtu le débat critique sur le rapport Stern est largement trompeur, car le problème abordé est dominé par le statut éthique à reconnaître aux générations futures et la légitimité de transferts imposés de coûts en contexte asymétrique, deux questions qui échappent à l'analyse économique.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00243059
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