Gas station pump Wang Xiao/ZumaPress

La oportunidad del precio del petróleo

WASHINGTON, DC – La marcada caída del precio del crudo desde fines de junio ha venido acaparando los titulares en todo el mundo -y generando, al mismo tiempo, muchas explicaciones contradictorias-. Algunos atribuyen la caída principalmente a las expectativas de crecimiento global en baja. Otros ponen el ojo en la expansión de la producción de petróleo y gas de Estados Unidos. Hay quienes, inclusive, sospechan de un acuerdo tácito entre Arabia Saudita y Estados Unidos destinado, entre otras cosas, a debilitar a rivales políticos como Rusia e Irán.

Sea cual fuere la razón de la caída del precio –razón que probablemente se encuentre en alguna combinación de estos factores-, las consecuencias son las mismas. Si bien, como observó la directora gerente del Fondo Monetario Internacional, Christine Lagarde, los precios más bajos del petróleo pueden impulsar el crecimiento global general, siendo las economías avanzadas importadoras de petróleo las más beneficiadas, el impacto en los esfuerzos por combatir el cambio climático podría ser devastador.

Por cierto, una caída sostenida de los precios del petróleo no sólo haría que las fuentes de energía renovable resultaran menos competitivas ahora, sino que impediría su competitividad futura al desalentar la investigación y la inversión. En términos más generales, reduciría el incentivo para que los consumidores, las empresas y los gobiernos llevaran a cabo prácticas más eficientes en cuanto a consumo de energía.

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