Politics takes over the economy

Posted on April 6, 2022 at 18:36Updated on April 6, 2022 at 18:50

The presidential campaign may not have interested all of France if we are to believe the media noise, but it addressed truly presidential issues: defense, international politics and Europe, energy… But above all, it highlights what the Covid, the war Ukraine or China’s imperial longing tell us: the return of politics as the engine of international life.

For thirty years, precisely since 1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall, the economy and the disappearance of borders have triumphed on the planet (the September 11 attacks and then Daesh had not broken the trend towards an increasingly higher). An analyst, Thomas Friedman, had brilliantly written it down in a formula that he had turned into a best-selling book in 2005: “The Earth is Flat.” This period is behind us.

Need for order and sovereignty

The rivalry between Washington and Beijing for the first place in the world, a pandemic that has shaken the entire planet, a Vladimir Putin invading a country 1,200 km from Strasbourg, a persistent malaise of the Western middle classes, all this makes them the leaders. politics taking control. It is the return of borders, of a need for order and sovereignty. In short, politics is more important than economics.

It is not deglobalization in the literal sense (trade will remain powerful, certainly more regional), but the politicization of globalization. Each country will be forced into one camp or another, as we currently see in Russian energy supply, and as evidenced by OPEC’s refusal to accede to Western demand for increased oil production quotas.

The climate, another political “driver”

We are just beginning to see the consequences for business. As in Iran yesterday and in Russia today, they will have to leave countries, and tomorrow China? Value-added chains will shorten and “zero stock” can no longer be the universal rule. Governments, in exchange for public support, will demand relocations. Consumers will pay more for certain products.

Another reason politics will take precedence is the weather. We cannot help but be surprised, since Monday, by the reactions of the younger generations after the publication of the new IPCC report, which explains that governments around the world have three years left to aspire to limit global warming to 1 .5° climatic (we are already at + 1.1°, with real negative consequences). Therefore, the greenhouse gas emissions ceiling must be reached in 2025. Not later.

The anxiety of the little ones

This alarm, because it is the umpteenth of its kind and the military and electoral news is intense, has finally made little noise in France. Except, it seems, among a certain number of students and young professionals, it is not a survey but chance encounters that convinces me of this. The word “anguish” is the one that appears often. With deep uncertainty to choose a vote on Sunday.

The challenge is truly colossal. To “meet” this 1.5° target, CO emissionstwo and the equivalents must decrease by 43% by 2030, this is unprecedented. By 2050, coal consumption must be reduced by 95%, oil by 60% and gas by 45%. Who really believes in him for the whole world? But if the technologies are available, it is the policies that eyes are drawn to.

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