Megaproject VirginiaDoT/Flickr

La era de los megaproyectos

WASHINGTON, DC – Parece que estamos entrando en una nueva era de megaproyectos: los países –en especial los del G20– movilizan al sector privado para que invierta fuertemente en iniciativas de infraestructura de millones, miles de millones, o billones de dólares, como ductos, represas, sistemas eléctricos e hídricos, y redes de caminos.

El gasto en megaproyectos ya representa aproximadamente entre 6 y 9 billones de dólares al año, aproximadamente el 8 % del PBI mundial, y constituye «la mayor bonanza de inversiones en la historia humana». Y la geopolítica, junto con la búsqueda del crecimiento económico, de nuevos mercados y de recursos naturales, canalizan aún más financiamiento hacia los proyectos de infraestructura de gran escala. En la cúspide de una posible explosión sin precedentes de este tipo de proyectos, tanto los líderes mundiales como los prestamistas parecen relativamente ajenos a las costosas lecciones que nos ha dejado el pasado.

Ciertamente, las inversiones en infraestructura pueden atender a necesidades reales y ayudar a cubrir el esperado aumento en la demanda de alimentos, agua y energía. Pero, a menos que la explosión de los megaproyectos se redirija y gestione cuidadosamente, es probable que el esfuerzo resulte contraproducente e insostenible. Sin controles democráticos, los inversores pueden privatizar las ganancias y socializar las pérdidas, consolidando enfoques con elevadas emisiones de carbono y que generan otros perjuicios ambientales y sociales.

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