Las políticas ambientales y la competitividad

BERLÍN – A medida que la crisis de la deuda europea se aleja, otro desastre económico parece acechar: el precio de la energía. Desde principios de la década del 2000, el promedio de precios de la electricidad que deben pagar las industrias europeas se ha casi duplicado. ¿Se puede afirmar que las muy ambiciosas políticas ambientales europeas, que buscan elevar los costes de las fuentes de energía “perjudiciales”, están destruyendo la base industrial del continente?

A primera vista, las cifras parecen confirmar la perspectiva de los pesimistas. ¿Cómo puede ser que una brecha semejante en los precios no acabe por afectar la competitividad? Pero si el alza de los precios de la energía tiene como consecuencia una reducción de las exportaciones, ¿cómo se explica que Alemania, que exhibe algunas de las políticas ambientales más ambiciosas del planeta, haya duplicado sus exportaciones desde el 2000?

De hecho, las evidencias empíricas demuestran que, en muchos casos, seguir reduciendo las emisiones de dióxido de carbono podría ayudar a las industrias a ser más competitivas. Si se explorara este potencial, podrían abrirse importantes oportunidades no solo para paliar el cambio climático, sino además promover la solidez económica a largo plazo de Europa.

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