Hacer el bien de manera eficiente

COPENHAGUE – Los estrategas políticos pueden pergeñar muchas excusas para no invertir en proyectos de ayuda y desarrollo global. Hace tres semanas, me sumé a un grupo de cinco premios Nobel y tres distinguidos economistas para echar por tierra una de estas excusas, proporcionando información sobre dónde el dinero puede hacer el bien de la manera más eficiente.

Para cada cuestión que examinamos, nos concentramos en la relación entre costos y beneficios. Para guiar nuestro pensamiento, nos preguntamos: si nos sobraran, digamos, 75.000 millones de dólares para gastar, ¿dónde podríamos lograr el bien de manera más eficiente? Pusimos cada desafío en igualdad de condiciones. El sensacionalismo de los medios masivos sobre algunos problemas fue considerado irrelevante.

En la parte inferior de nuestra lista figuraban las inversiones menos costo-efectivas que el mundo podía hacer, mientras que los mejores lugares donde invertir el dinero figuraban en la parte superior. El lugar más bajo (ver la lista) quedó en manos de la reducción del cambio climático a través de recortes en las emisiones de dióxido de carbono. Esta conclusión se basó, en parte, en la investigación realizada por un prestigioso autor para el Panel Intergubernamental sobre Cambio Climático -el grupo que compartió el premio Nobel de la Paz el año pasado-, quien observó que invertir 800.000 millones de dólares en el transcurso de 100 años sólo en mitigar las emisiones reduciría los aumentos inevitables de temperatura en apenas 0,2 grados Celsius para fin de este siglo. Aunque tomáramos en cuenta parte del daño ambiental fundamental causado por el calentamiento, perderíamos dinero en la inversión, al ser los retornos de apenas 685.000 millones de dólares.

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