Month: June 2023

The European Union’s new chemical regulations leave the bloc vulnerable to Chinese domination

The European Union’s Chemical Agency (ECHA) risks creating new problems for itself by moving from a risk to a hazard-based assessment of chemicals.

Sometimes, eliminating one set of problems only creates more dangers in their stead. The European Union’s Chemical Agency (ECHA) is about to do just that by moving from a risk to a hazard-based assessment of chemicals. Though seemingly just a change in words, the decision means regulators can label a substance as dangerous for its properties based on the material’s hypothetical characteristics rather than real-world exposure to harm. Simply put, policymakers will be able to introduce severe warning labels or prevent a product from entering the market if just one of its molecules could be dangerous based on hypothetical assessments under controlled laboratory setups. The ECHA’s new regulations threaten to undermine the European chemical market while making the Union progressively dependent on China for raw resources.

The case of essential oils encapsulates the problem. Essential oils are water or steam-based extracts integral to anything from perfumes and cosmetics to shampoos and natural insect repellents. They are vital components for the emergent market in clean beauty, with nine hundred ninety-two mixtures (including household names such as lavender, rose, and citronella) giving makeup its cleansing properties and deodorants their unique scent. When highly concentrated in doses containing 10% or higher quantities of emulsion, citronella, sage, and cinnamon also provide one to four hours of protection from mosquito and tick bites. And, unlike traditional DEET or picaridin sprays, they remain harmless to bees and the environment.

Despite all these benefits, essential oils’ designation as complex natural substances will have to change with the introduction of hazard-based thinking. Rule-makers will label the mixtures as dangerous chemicals or ban them entirely under EU regulation 2021/1902. In either case, European consumers tend to avoid buying products with skulls and crossbones stamped on them.

It is no understatement to say that the consequences for the 3.53-billion-euro EU market would be dire. Once the ECHA’s new rules are fully adopted, current EU and world leaders in the supply of essential oils, like Bulgaria, France, and Italy, stand to lose. Bulgaria will no longer be the top producer of rose oil, wasting between 800kg and two tonnes of the material and 92 million euros worth of exports. Italy is single-handedly responsible for 95% of the world’s bergamot production and will lose 174 million euros. France is the third-largest exporter and the second-biggest producer of lavender, worth 458 million euros in exports that it would have to give up on. Moreover, smaller producers in each of these countries stand to lose the most as it would be too expensive for them to replace essential oils with other products (putting the 4500 family businesses behind Italian bergamot in danger).

The story does not stop there. The ECHA’s decision will allow China to dominate the essential oils market with impunity. Chinese lavender production is already at an all-time high, with 40 tonnes harvested yearly, ten of which are reserved for exports. The contraction of the European market will allow China to step in and become the world’s substitute for essential oils, overcoming its previously estimated growth in the sector of 10.8% over the next eight years. The news would be welcome under ideal economic circumstances of free trade and open, voluntary specialization within a global market; however, in our world, the Chinese state controls Xinjiang Province’s lavender reserves. As such, the Chinese Communist Party could cut access to raw materials to make liberal democracies surrender. Far from being safer, consumers are left more exposed to geopolitical blackmail by authoritarian regimes.

Policymakers should urge the ECHA to reverse its hazard-based reasoning in favor of risk-oriented thinking. Regulators should emphasize safe levels of intended use, which, in the case of essential oils, means allowing the European market to thrive (stepping in only to prevent force and pseudo-scientific fraud).  In so doing, the European Union can benefit from diversifying its essential oil sources, thus protecting consumers from the vagaries of great power politics.

Originally published here

Hamilton should speed up end of exclusionary zoning

In a shocking U-turn, the City of Toronto has essentially ended exclusionary zoning citywide. Exclusionary zoning are the zoning regulations that limit the amount of homes that can be built on a single lot, excluding all forms of housing other than single family homes. Prior to the 18-7 vote by Toronto city council, upwards of 70 per cent of the city was zoned exclusively for single family homes. Now, duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes are allowed in all residential neighbourhoods.

These exclusionary zoning rules artificially limit the housing stock, which limits supply, and all but ensures that supply will never keep pace with demand. The consequence of exclusionary zoning is quite predictable: when supply can’t keep pace with demand, you have rising home prices and rising rents.

This is a huge step in the right direction to address the housing affordability crisis in Ontario, but this progress shouldn’t end within Toronto’s city limits. As anyone looking to buy or currently renting knows, the housing crisis isn’t limited to Toronto, with prices rising significantly in the Greater Hamilton area. In fact, in 2021 Hamilton was one of the top five least affordable cities in North America. In fact, Hamilton was only more affordable than Toronto and Vancouver, and significantly more expensive than major North American markets like Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Tampa Bay.

We know that ending exclusionary zoning works to calm the tide of rising prices, because we have seen it work in other cities. Minneapolis, which abolished exclusionary zoning before the pandemic is a perfect example. The city now appears to be bucking the trend of rising rental prices. Rents for one- and two-bedroom units are actually lower in 2022 than they were in 2019. Some of that presumably can be chalked up to having made it easier to build for increased density.

But, ending exclusionary zoning isn’t just the right policy for addressing the housing crisis. It is also the right policy for enhancing economic growth and protecting the environment.

Research on zoning rules in the U.S. has shown that, by freezing workers out of high-rent areas like New York and San Jose where their productivity would be higher, local zoning rules lowered U.S. economic growth by 36 per cent between 1964 and 2009. That is a significant lag on the economy, and without a doubt the same trend rings true in Canada’s high demand cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Hamilton.

For those who care about protecting the environment, changing the way Hamilton zones the city should be a priority. In factaccording to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) more compact cities could reduce urban emissions by upwards of 25 per cent. This should be intuitive for policy-makers. If people can live closer to where they work, the stores they shop at, the restaurants they dine at, or where they seek entertainment, they ultimately drive less. Whether it be by foot, transit or bike, compact cities actually allow for people to reduce their carbon footprint, not increase it.

And it isn’t just emissions that are reduced by zoning reform. The same goes for water usage. According to the peer reviewed journal Landscape and Urban Planning, single family irrigation rates are 48 per cent higher than multi family housing units.

Now, Hamilton has somewhat taken housing affordability seriously since Mayor Horwath took office. In fact, as leader of Ontario’s NDP she campaigned on zoning reform province wide. The city is currently in its “public meetings and stakeholder working groups” phase of its inclusionary zoning initiative, with policy change expected for the end of 2023.

Mayor Horwath, and city council, should be looking at Toronto and aggressively moving that timeline forward, because with every month supply fails to meet demand, home prices and rents increase. Now it is Hamilton’s turn to end exclusionary zoning.

Originally published here

Agriculture set to become next hot political issue

Whether it’s Mexico’s threat of banning the import of American corn, or the five-year revamp of the American Farm Bill, agriculture is not merely about growing food. As the politics of farming affects the livelihoods of each American, it transforms agricultural policy into an electoral issue.

The Biden administration recently announced the creation of a $1 billion grant fund to aid farmers in their renewable energy transition. The money comes from the Inflation Reduction Act and seeks to allow ranchers and rural farmers to make investments in their green energy efficiency. It is one of the many instances in which governments are seeking to reshape farming policies to match green agendas – whether it’s in Washington or over in Europe.

Agriculture is blamed for many environmental woes of our time, from carbon dioxide to methane and nitrous oxide emissions, despite the fact that the sector has for decades ensured that Americans buy their food at affordable prices while reducing its environmental footprint, especially compared to Europe. These “green” funding mechanisms act as a means to buy the consent of farmers who are constantly affected by stringent regulations on their profession. Arguably, there is leeway for politicians to buy the silence of farmers by simply injecting more subsidies into the equation, yet there are also discernible limits. One government that found that out the hard way is the Netherlands.

When the Dutch government decided to phase out a large chunk of livestock farming by simply buying farmers out of their profession, they took to the streets, setting hay bales on fire and blocking Amsterdam’s busy airport. The international news attention and the upset of the local population over food price inflation led to the Farmer’s Movement taking most seats in the recent Senate elections in the Netherlands, putting pressure on the government to change course. In fact, the effect of farmers turning into politicians has had ripple effects on European politics. The European People’s Party (EPP), the largest political group in the European Parliament (the legislative body of the European Union), now rejects the goal of the EU of cutting pesticide use by 50% by 2030. This puts one of the cornerstone policies of the European Green Deal in jeopardy.

In the United States, the vote of farmers themselves has been cornered by Republicans, who raked up a vast majority of their vote in 2016, according to polls. Under the Trump administration, a large section of Obama-era regulatory controls were rolled back. America’s most popular weed killer, atrazine, was no longer a target by the EPA, and the insecticide chlorpyrifos was re-authorized. However, the Biden administration has picked up where Obama left off, leaving farmers in a state of insecurity at a time when affordable food is in increasingly shorter supply. Granted, compared to Europe, where politicians are grappling with the very palpable geopolitics of Ukrainian grain imports and Russian fertilizer supplies, the American food system appears very resilient. That said, if the White House chooses – as it increasingly does – to go down a European-style agricultural reform, it jeopardizes the food security of Americans and the livelihood of farmers.

For Massachusetts, crop protection rules are as important as in states with larger agricultural production. Crops such as corn, tomatoes, blueberries, potatoes, pumpkins and other greenhouse and nursery crops represent a well over $100 million industry. Adding to that, if Massachusetts were to be compelled to enforce nitrous oxide emissions reductions such as those sought out in the Netherlands, it would decimate the over $80 million dairy and livestock sector in the state.

Food crops must compete with 30,000 species of weeds, 3,000 species of nematodes and 10,000 species of plant-eating insects. Despite the fact that chemical crop protection is used, farmers still lose between 20% and 40% of their crops each year. The more we restrict the toolbox available to farmers to fight pests, the less productive they can be. Innovation in the farming sector is key to improving the profitability of farms, and while USDA has understood the importance of new technologies, regulators and politicians need to understand that before they can realistically phase out the old, the new needs to be affordable and available to them.

A lot of agricultural policy is niche policy talk for nerds, but since the COVID-19 pandemic, voters have identified two key ways in which it affects their lives: is the food on the shelves, and how much does it cost? The ramifications of Biden’s regulatory approach to farming affect both of these questions, and that, politically seen, isn’t good news for Democrats.

Originally published here

Belajar dari Kebijakan Harm Reduction di Inggris untuk Mengurangi Jumlah Konsumsi Rokok

Industri vape atau rokok elektrik saat ini menjadi salah satu industri yang mengalami peningkatan dari tahun ke tahun. Saat ini, kita bisa dengan mudah menemukan berbagai orang yang menggunakan vape atau rokok elektrik dalam keseharian mereka, khususnya kita yang tinggal di kota-kota besar di seluruh Indonesia.

Pada tahun 2018 lalu misalnya, jumlah pengguna vape atau rokok elektrik di Indonesia adalah sebesar 1,2 juta. Berdasarkan data dari Kementerian Perindustrian, angka tersebut meningkat signifikan pada tahun 2020, menjadi 2,2 juta pengguna vape yang ada di Indonesia (vapemagz.co.id, 24/01/2021).

Semakin pesatnya industri vape yang ada di Indonesia ini juga tentunya membawa dampak terhadap perekonomian, salah satunya pembukaan lapangan kerja. Pada tahun 2022 kemarin misalnya, berdasarkan data dari Asosiasi Personal Vaporizer Indonesia (APVI), terdapat lebih dari 100 distributor atau agen dan 200 produsen vape yang ada di Indonesia. Hal tersebut telah mampu menyerap sekitar 80.000 sampai dengan 100.000 tenaga kerja (liputan6.com, 13/6/2022).

Akan tetapi, tentunya tidak sedikit pihak-pihak yang memiliki kekhawatiran dan pandangan negatif terhadap semakin meningkatnya industri vape tersebut. Beberapa organisasi medis di Indonesia misalnya, meminta pemerintah untuk melarang peredaran vape karena dianggap sama berbahayanya dengan rokok konvensional yang dibakar. Tidak hanya itu, beberapa waktu lalu misalnya, Wakil Presiden Republik Indonesia, Maaruf Amin, juga menyatakan bahwa vape atau rokok elektrik bisa dilarang bila terbukti berbahaya (cnnindonesia.com, 27/01/2023).

Padahal, sudah beberapa tahun yang lalu, lembaga kesehatan dari beberapa negara di dunia sudah mengeluarkan laporan yang menyatakan bahwa vape atau rokok elektrik merupakan produk yang jauh lebih tidak berbahaya bila dibandingkan dengan rokok konvensional yang dibakar. Sangat penting dicatat bahwa, jauh lebih tidak berbahaya bukan berarti tidak ada bahayanya sama sekali. Bahaya tetap ada, tetapi jauh lebih kecil, dan oleh karena itu bisa digunakan sebagai produk alternatif.

Lembaga kesehatan publik asal Inggris, Public Health England (PHE) misalnya, pada tahun 2015 lalu, mengeluarkan laporan yang menyatakan bahwa vape atau rokok elektrik merupakan produk yang 95% lebih aman bila dibandingkan dengan rokok konvensional yang dibakar. Untuk itu, Pemerintah Inggris menganjurkan konsumsi vape sebagai salah satu langkah yang bisa digunakan oleh warganya yang menjadi perokok, untuk membantu mereka menghentikan kebiasaan merokoknya yang sangat berbahaya bagi kesehatan (theguardian.com, 28/12/2018).

Pemerintah Inggris juga memberlakukan berbagai kebijakan yang ditujukan untuk membantu warganya berhenti merokok. Negara kerajaan tersebut sendiri memiliki jumlah perokok yang tidak sedikit. Pada tahun 2021 lalu misalnya, diestimasikan ada sekitar 6,6 juta populasi perokok aktif yang ada di Inggris, yang merupakan sekitar 13,3% dari populasi (ons.gov.uk, 6/12/2022).

Ada beberapa program yang dilaksanakan oleh pemerintah Inggris untuk menanggulangi kenaikan dan mengurangi jumlah populasi perokok aktif yang ada di negara tersebut. Salah satunya adalah, pada bulan April lalu, pemerintah Inggris mengumumkan akan mengesahkan program baru, yakni dengan memberikan alat vape bebas nikotin gratis kepada 1.000.000 perokok aktif yang ada di negara tersebut (filtermag.org, 13/4/2023).

Tidak hanya melalui pemberian alat vape gratis, pemerintah Inggris juga akan menyediakan program untuk mengubah kebiasaan para perokok untuk berhenti merokok dan beralih ke produk alternatif lain yang lebih aman. Program ini sendiri rencananya akan dilaksanakan selama dua tahun, dan dikhususkan kepada komunitas-komunitas yang rentan terhadap adiksi rokok, seperti komunitas berpenghasilan rendah dan kelompok-kelompok marjinal.

Tujuan utama dari program ini sendiri adalah menjadikan Inggris sebagai negara dengan tingkat perokok yang sangat rendah. Angka yang menjadi target dari program ini sendiri adalah, jumlah populasi perokok di Inggris bisa mencapai di bawah 5% pada tahun 2030.

Langkah yang dilakukan oleh pemerintah Inggris ini tentu merupakan sesuatu yang sangat patut untuk diapresiasi, dan juga bisa dijadikan contoh kebijakan yang bisa diberlakukan oleh negara-negara lain, terutama negara-negara dengan jumlah perokok aktif yang tinggi. Indonesia sendiri, sebagai salah satu negara dengan jumlah perokok aktif tertinggi di dunia, justru sepertinya memberlakukan kebijakan yang terbalik dari apa yang dilakukan oleh Inggris terkait dengan kebijakan harm reduction.

Pada akhir tahun lalu misalnya, pemerintah memutuskan untuk meningkatkan cukai cairan vape di Indonesia sebesar 15%. Hal ini tentu niscaya akan meningkatkan harga rokok elektrik yang dijual di Indonesia, dan akan lebih sulit untuk menarik para konsumen, khususnya mereka yang masuk dalam kelompok menengah ke bawah yang mendominasi populasi perokok aktif yang ada di Indonesia.

Sebagai penutup, sebagai salah satu negara dengan jumlah perokok terbesar di dunia, sudah seharusnya Indonesia memberlakukan kebijakan yang berfokus pada harm reduction. Sehubungan dengan hal tersebut, langkah kebijakan yang diambil oleh pemerintah Inggris bisa menjadi salah satu contoh kebijakan yang bisa dijadikan acuan.

Originally published here

Anti-alcohol extremists should not determine alcohol policy

It is increasingly clear that the temperance lobby is increasing its influence both globally and domestically

Since last August, when the Canadian Centre for Substance Use and Abuse (CSSA) published its updated alcohol guidelines, telling Canadians that having more than two drinks per week is a problem, alcohol policy has been placed back under the microscope. It’s certainly important to discuss what Canada’s alcohol guidelines should be, and what is or is not considered low-risk drinking, but it would be wise to first put anti-alcohol lobby groups under the microscope before proceeding with any type of policy change.

It is increasingly clear that the temperance lobby, those who think drinking any amount of alcohol is unsafe, is increasing its influence both globally and domestically.

Internationally, the World Health Organization has moved from declaring the COVID-19 pandemic over to narrowing its sights on alcohol. The latest example of the WHO’s mission creep is its alcohol “guide for journalists,” which Christopher Snowden of the Institute for Economic Affairs has describedas “a catalogue of anti-drinking tropes, half-truths, and brazen lies.”

The guide starts off by stating that “no amount of alcohol is safe to drink.” But this “no safe amount” claim has been repeatedly debunked by peer-reviewed research that finds a “J-Curve” relationship between moderate drinking and all-cause mortality. Those who consume moderately, usually one to two drinks per day depending on the study, actually have a lower mortality rate than those who abstain entirely, with the risk then increasing after that one-to-two drink threshold. The J-curve has been found in peer-reviewed studies going back as far as 1986, and has been confirmed since in at least eight different studies. The J-curve is not reason to drink if you don’t, but it does undermine the premise of the WHO’s policy on alcohol consumption.

The WHO’s departure from evidence-based policy wouldn’t matter much to Canadians if those half-truths weren’t making their way into our politics, but they are. The CCSA’s new guidelines, built on many of the same false premises as the WHO’s, are gradually becoming what is considered the gold standard for alcohol policy.

Take, for example, B.C. Cancer’s new campaign in partnership with the province’s ministry of health. Focused on how drinking causes cancer, it cites the CCSA’s report, stating that it “provides evidence-based advice on alcohol.” But it doesn’t, so much so that the International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research (ISFAR) called it “a pseudo-scientific amalgamation of selected studies of low scientific validity that fit their preconceived notions.”

And what are those preconceived notions? In sum: temperance, the idea that no one should ever drink, under any circumstances. In fact, the WHO officially partners with temperance lobby groups like Movendi, an international temperance group that preaches a zero-consumption approach to alcohol. Movendi was founded in the 1800s under the name “The Order of Good Templars,” but rebranded itself in 2020, likely because the old name sounded too fusty to be taken seriously. But fusty is what temperance is.

Unfortunately for those who drink responsibly, these groups are being taken more seriously both here and abroad. There is no question that alcohol, when misused, is dangerous. Alcohol policy should therefore always be on the table (as it were). But serious discussion about it should be based on accurate information.

Originally published here


L’écologisme moderne n’est pas pro-humain, il est anti-impact. Sauf pour le coût des politiques qui s’en inspirent…

La tendance des écologistes à bloquer les routes européennes pour plaider en faveur d’une isolation financée par le gouvernement, de l’interdiction des voitures ou de l’interdiction des jets privés – selon ce qui les intéresse ce jour-là – a commencé l’année dernière et n’a pas encore pris fin.

Dans l’UE, l’Allemagne, l’Autriche et la France sont les pays les plus touchés par ces écologistes qui pensent que leurs priorités politiques l’emportent sur les trajets domicile-travail, les trajets domicile-école ou même les trajets des véhicules d’urgence. En Allemagne, un certain nombre d’ambulances ont été bloquées dans les embouteillages lorsque des militants se sont collés sur les autoroutes.

Les statistiques ne font pas état du nombre d’ambulances arrivées en retard à l’hôpital en raison de blocages, et de l’impact que cela a eu sur la santé des patients. Dans six des huit cas signalés, le bilan fait état d’une arrivée tardive, dans deux cas – parce que les véhicules étaient bloqués dans un embouteillage – d’autres ambulances ont dû être alertées. Dans tous les cas, la police allemande examine l’opportunité d’ouvrir une enquête.

« On n’a plus d’autre choix que d’embêter les gens », expliquent des activistes français, même s’ils risquent deux ans d’emprisonnement (qu’ils ne vont probablement pas recevoir).

Les conséquences de l’activisme

Qu’il s’agisse de se coller à une route ou de jeter de la peinture sur un tableau célèbre, l’écologisme n’est plus ce qu’il était. On pourrait dire que les écologistes de la fin du XXe siècle avaient une vision plus large. Oui, ils s’opposaient au nucléaire autant que leurs successeurs le font aujourd’hui, mais ils s’opposaient également aux guerres étrangères, à la corruption et aux intrusions dans nos libertés civiles.

Aujourd’hui, les écologistes portent toujours les mêmes vêtements, mais la différence essentielle est qu’une grande partie des militants écologistes sont de classe supérieure, et que leurs points de vue sont en train de devenir des politiques courantes au sein de l’Union européenne. Il fut un temps où ils étaient considérés comme des hippies, des représentants d’une certaine contre-culture opposés aux autorités. Aujourd’hui, ils se soucient très peu des libertés civiles, et leurs efforts pour interdire toute tentative d’instaurer une société moderne qui recherche l’abondance sont soutenus par les gouvernements européens.

L’état d’esprit d’un enfant de la classe supérieure qui se colle à une route, pour défendre l’idée qu’il faut augmenter le prix de l’essence, est tellement déconnecté de la réalité que même les auteurs de satires les plus drôles n’auraient pas pu l’inventer.

Tout cela se produit à un moment où les effets de l’écologisme sont clairement visibles. La tentative de transition énergétique de l’Allemagne a été un désastre : avec les prix de l’électricité les plus élevés de toute l’Europe, la puissance industrielle qu’est l’Allemagne s’est remise à brûler du charbon.

Il s’avère que l’énergie éolienne et l’énergie solaire ne garantissent en rien la sécurité énergétique de la construction automobile ou de la production de puces, mais permettent au contraire à l’Allemagne de rester dépendante du gaz naturel. L’énergie nucléaire a été complètement abandonnée par le gouvernement allemand, au détriment de sa stabilité économique.

Où en est la surpopulation ?

L’ironie de la chose, c’est que bon nombre des innovations technologiques contre lesquelles les écologistes s’insurgent sont en fait le moyen de vaincre et d’augmenter les émissions au fil du temps. L’énergie nucléaire n’émet pratiquement pas de CO2 et les technologies agricoles modernes, grâce au génie génétique, réduisent les besoins en eau, en pesticides ou en engrais.

Tout cela montre bien que pour les écologistes, il ne s’agit pas d’environnement, mais d’une soif primitive de contrôle et d’une possession idéologique. L’idéologie qui anime les écologistes n’est pas « comment faire pour que les 10 milliards de futurs habitants de cette planète vivent mieux ? », mais plutôt « comment oser avoir un impact sur le rocher flottant qu’est cette planète et sur son écosystème ? ».

L’écologisme moderne n’est pas pro-humain, il est anti-impact. Son approche de la nature glorifie les arbres et autres plantes comme des divinités de leur propre volonté, qui ne peuvent être blessées pour le bien de l’humanité. À l’instar de certains écologistes qui affirmaient lors de Covid-19 que « nous sommes le virus », l’humanité est considérée comme un fléau pour la planète, qui ferait mieux de disparaître.

C’est exactement la raison pour laquelle l’auteur Paul R. Ehrlich est encore populaire dans les milieux écologistes. Dès la fin des années 1960, Ehrlich affirmait que la population humaine était trop nombreuse et que, si l’ampleur des catastrophes pouvait être atténuée, l’humanité ne pouvait pas empêcher les famines graves, la propagation des maladies, les troubles sociaux et les autres conséquences négatives de la surpopulation. Ses théories sur la surpopulation ont été démenties depuis des décennies, mais depuis quand cela a-t-il arrêté un mouvement qui réclame davantage de contrôle de la part du gouvernement ?

Un prix inconnu

Le Green Deal européen est emblématique de ce phénomène politique : les politiciens qui le soutiennent tentent de faire croire que ces plans, qui réduisent notre bien-être, sont en fait nécessaires.

Ce Green Deal est ambitieux. Il vise à atteindre zéro émission nette d’ici 2050, avec une « croissance économique découplée de l’utilisation des ressources ». Pour ce faire, il prévoit des réformes structurelles dans le domaine de l’agriculture, la décarbonation du secteur de l’énergie et la mise en place de nouveaux régimes fiscaux afin d’éviter les importations non durables en Europe. Toutefois, la question qui se pose est la suivante : à quel prix ? Les dépenses supplémentaires annuelles pour l’Union européenne (entre 2020 et 2030) s’élèveront à 260 Mds$. Mais ce n’est pas tout.

Fin septembre 2021, la Commission européenne a publié une étude d’impact qui répond à cette question. Ce document n’a fait l’objet d’aucun commentaire de la part des fonctionnaires de la Commission ou des médias en général, ce qui est surprenant car il contient des données cruciales.

Dans la plupart des modèles présentés dans l’évaluation, on s’attend à ce que le Green Deal entraîne une contraction de l’économie. Ce phénomène est étroitement lié à la baisse de l’emploi, de la consommation et des exportations. Cette dernière sera particulièrement dévastatrice pour les pays qui dépendent fortement des industries d’exportation, lesquelles emploient des personnes dont les possibilités de réemploi sont limitées. Comme les industries de services – telles que le secteur financier – seront moins touchées, le fossé des opportunités sur le marché du travail s’élargira.

Les personnes collées à nos routes n’ont pas réfléchi à leurs politiques. Mais ce qui est encore plus effrayant, c’est que les personnes qui tentent de les mettre en œuvre ne l’ont pas fait non plus.

Originally published here

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