What transition should water serve? The politicization of the ecological transition in the hydroelectric and agricultural industries

By Arnaud Thomas

This article shows how, in the face of river continuity policies that aim to restore aquatic biodiversity, the defense of hydroelectric and agricultural activities involves politicizing their role in adaptation to climate change. Thus, actors in these industries seek less to depoliticize water issues than to reaffirm their political dimension by providing other problematizations and other frameworks for interpreting the ecological emergency. This article is based on an analysis of the multi-scalar political work of actors in these industries using some fifty interviews and gray literature. The results show that the politicization of climate issues enables them to transform the frameworks for legitimizing water policy and to reproduce their industrial uses of watercourses. Finally, the results invite us to observe the ecological transition less as a homogeneous object opposed to other principles of action than through the competing political uses made of it.

  • ecological transition
  • water policy
  • politicization
  • legitimization
  • depoliticization
Go to the article on Cairn-int.info