Les «plombiers» de la science au secours du climat

Esther Duflo, co-director and co-founder of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at MIT, suggests that the fight against climate change should learn from the fight against global poverty. Instead of relying on "miracle solutions," she advocates for multiple concrete measures that have proven effective. Over the past 30 years, significant progress has been made in reducing extreme poverty worldwide, with the poverty rate decreasing from 15% to 8%. This achievement resulted not only from China and India's economic growth but also from a shift in focus towards various development areas like education, health, women's rights, and the environment.

Esther Duflo, alongside MIchael Kremer and her husband Abhijit Banerjee, who is also co-director and co-founder of J-PAL, won the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics for their pragmatic and evidence-based approach. Duflo and her team have improved policies and programs for over 600 million people, primarily in developing countries. By testing and implementing approaches like providing free mosquito nets to combat malaria and simplifying the water connection process for the poor in Morocco, they have achieved significant positive outcomes.

Duflo aims to challenge the misconception that financial assistance makes people lazy, emphasising that evidence repeatedly disproves this notion. However, progress in poverty reduction is threatened by climate change, disproportionately impacting developing nations. Duflo urges moving away from a search for a single miraculous solution to climate change, advocating instead for multiple coordinated actions over time to yield tangible progress, much like the approach taken in poverty reduction.

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