Megaproject VirginiaDoT/Flickr

L'ère des mégaprojets

WASHINGTON, DC – Il semblerait que nous entrons dans une nouvelle ère de mégaprojets. Car les pays, en particulier ceux du G-20, mobilisent le secteur privé dans des investissements massifs de plusieurs millions (voire de plusieurs milliards ou milliers de milliards de dollars) en initiatives d'infrastructure, pour des pipelines, des barrages, l'eau, les systèmes électriques et les réseaux routiers.

Les dépenses en mégaprojets s'élèvent déjà à près de 6 à 9 mille milliards de dollars par an, soit à peu près à 8% du PIB mondial, ce qui en fait « le plus gros boom en investissements de l'histoire humaine. » Et la géopolitique, la poursuite de la croissance économique, la quête de nouveaux marchés et la recherche de ressources naturelles encouragent encore plus le financement de projets d'infrastructure à grande échelle. À l'aube de cette explosion potentiellement sans précédent de tels projets, les dirigeants du monde et les prêteurs semblent relativement insensibles aux leçons coûteuses du passé.

Assurément les investissements dans les infrastructures peuvent répondre à des besoins réels, en particulier à une augmentation inattendue de la demande en nourriture, en eau et en énergie. Mais si l'explosion des mégaprojets n'est pas soigneusement redirigée et gérée, l'effort risque bien d'être contre-productif et non-durable. Sans contrôles démocratiques, les investisseurs peuvent privatiser les gains et socialiser les pertes, tout en verrouillant d'autres approches écologiquement et socialement dommageables à forte intensité en carbone.

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