Conflicts of sustainability question our development model
Humanity is facing a series of interdependent challenges that can be analyzed as “conflicts of sustainability”. Preserving the habitability of the whole planet imposes its own pace and demands on public action. It implies fighting climate change and protecting biodiversity and sometimes contradicts the search for equity and social justice. On the other hand, demographic upheavals (ageing, migration) weigh on the sustainability of our social model. Tensions, or even international (geo)political crises - as we experience with the war in Ukraine and its consequences - can slow down the necessary transformations, particularly in the area of energy or food, and force us to revise the trajectories of the ecological transition...
We know that the costs of inaction will only increase, yet we often react too slowly and too shyly to these challenges. This inertia is due in part to the fact that the mobilization of traditional public policy levers (debt, growth, taxes, regulation, etc.) seems powerless to resolve these conflicts. Whether considering the question of repayment (or borrowing) capacities or of the tax base, the financial sustainability of our economic model is correlated with sufficient growth in our GDP. From the end of WWII, this model has made it possible to finance increasingly broad social protection mechanisms, growing coverage of social risks, public services and redistributive mechanisms to contain inequalities.
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