Economía y cambio climático

181
Colombia se halla en la lista de países que más tala bosques en el ámbito mundial.

Iván Posada Pedraza

La Academia de Ciencias de Suecia otorgó este año el Premio Nobel de Economía a los norteamericanos William Nordhaus y Paul Romer, por sus estudios para abordar uno de los temas más preocupantes de la época: el crecimiento sostenible en la economía mundial y el cambio climático.

La Academia Sueca premió al economista Paul Romer por sus aportes a la integración del cambio climático y la tecnología a los estudios macroeconómicos. En los trabajos de Romer se trata de demostrar la forma en que el conocimiento puede convertirse en el motor del crecimiento económico en el largo plazo. El argumento de Romer es que el crecimiento basado en las innovaciones es sostenible a futuro. Por ejemplo, una compañía podría recuperar la inversión en las innovaciones, lo que justificaría a su vez el uso de patentes -por tiempo limitado- para incrementar la nueva tecnología y permitir que otras empresas utilicen estas patentes. El otro escenario que propone Romer es que en las condiciones de la libre competencia, no se estimule las tecnologías que aceleran el cambio tecnológico.

Crecimiento sostenible

El premio Nobel fue compartido con el también economista William Nordhaus, el primero en desarrollar un modelo que relaciona el clima y la economía, que hoy día se utiliza para determinar las consecuencias de las políticas estatales sobre el tema, como, por ejemplo, imponer impuestos por la utilización del carbón como fuente energética y a otras industrias contaminantes. La idea es que con los recursos obtenidos de estos impuestos se mitiguen los daños ocasionados por el cambio climático. Como quien dice: “el que contamina, paga”. “Su investigación muestra cómo la actividad económica interactúa con la química y física básica que produce el cambio climático”, señaló en uno de sus apartes la decisión de la Real Academia. El premio a Nordhaus se otorga -añade la Academia- por “haber integrado el cambio climático en el análisis macroeconómico a largo plazo”.

Las investigaciones de Nordhaus coinciden con el reciente informe del Panel Intergubernamental de Expertos sobre el Cambio Climático, IPCC, que pone en discusión los pro y contra de limitar la temperatura promedio mundial en 1,5 grados para los próximos diez años, en lugar de la meta inicial de 2 grados centígrados. Este debate se lleva a cabo en el marco de la Conferencia de la ONU para el Cambio Climático que se realizará en diciembre de 2018 en Polonia. En el primer escenario, o sea, llegar al objetivo de 1,5 grados, que ya de por si pone en riesgo las condiciones climáticas, es un alivio relativo con relación a la segunda de 2,0 grados en el mismo periodo (la próxima década). Al lograr la primera meta el aumento del nivel del mar se reduciría, habría menos extinción de especies, asi como también se obtendrían otros beneficios económicos como resultado de un menor impacto del cambio climático.

Del mismo modo los científicos del Panel Intergubernamental señalan que alcanzar este límite de los 1,5 grados requiere cambios radicales en el plano socio – económico. Por ejemplo, eliminar el carbón como materia prima para la producción de energía, ya que es una de las fuentes mas contaminantes; mayor presupuesto de los gobiernos para proteger la biodiversidad a nivel mundial; iniciar en el corto plazo la transición hacía fuentes de energía no contaminantes como la eólica, solar, geotérmica, etc.

No hay compromisos

Estados Unidos, con su potencial económico y militar, es el enemigo número uno de los cambios para la seguridad ambiental de la humanidad. A partir de 1992 esta nación ignoró los últimos tres tratados para combatir el cambio climático. El Senado norteamericano ratificó, en forma simbólica, los tratados de clima y desertificación pero no hizo nada para su implementación. Recientemente, en 2015 se adoptaron a nivel mundial, los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible (ODS) y el Acuerdo Climático de París. Estados Unidos, una vez mas, ignoró losl ODS y el presidente Donald Trump ya anunció su decisión de excluir a los Estados Unidos del Acuerdo Climático de Paris a partir de 2020.

La Amazonia colombiana

Colombia, uno de los países más biodiversos pero a su vez más vulnerable al cambio climático, necesita con urgencia, diseñar las políticas de desarrollo acorde al cambio climático. Una prioridad es modificar el modelo extractivista de materias primas y recursos naturales (locomotora minero – energética), por un modelo basado en las energías no contaminantes. Una segunda prioridad para las autoridades ambientales colombianas es detener la creciente deforestación de la Amazonia y de los bosques, ya que constituyen la fuente de la biodiversidad en el país. Para lo anterior se requiere una política pública ambiental de largo aliento con asignación de recursos humanos y económicos que contribuyan a preservar el rico ecosistema colombiano.

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