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Bjorn Lomborg

Get the facts straight

2 Nov2017

The Green Opportunity: Having our cake and eating it too

Published by National Post

The concept of trade-offs has become unfashionable. Politicians around the world like to pretend that their choices will bring us nothing but superlative benefits. Nowhere is this whitewashing more pervasive or accepted than in climate change. There is a prevalent, comforting notion that we can have our cake and eat it too: that cutting carbon need not involve financial sacrifice. We hear this rhetoric so often that we almost don’t notice it. In announcing plans to make the UK a global hub for “green finance,” the British minister of state for climate change and industry Claire Perry said, “...

30 Oct2017

It’s impossible to meet all 169 SDG targets. Choose wisely

Published by Hindustan Times

This week, government representatives and policy experts from south and south-west Asia will gather in Kathmandu to discuss the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. This is a set of targets that determines how much of national governments’ and the international development community’s budgets will be spent between now and 2030. Since the targets were passed in 2015, policy-makers are finding it difficult to deliver the extensive list of 169 different well-meaning ambitions at once. The sustainable development agenda was the result of a well-meaning but...

28 Oct2017

Digital Solutions Can Help Even The Poorest Nations Prosper

Published by Wired

Among the spending choices for governments of poorer nations, kick-starting the technological revolution may at first seem like a low priority. Compared with critical infrastructure, healthcare, or schools, improved digital access and less waiting times for birth certificates feel like luxuries that should come further down the road, or perhaps be left to private enterprise. But there is reason to rethink this. Fast economic growth is the best way to reduce poverty. A recent Tufts University study found that digitization is one of the biggest drivers of a nation’s economic success. The report...

22 Oct2017

How to avoid the political pitfalls of carbon taxes

Published by The Globe and Mail

A carbon tax is much discussed as a solution to climate change. It is simple and straightforward: a climate price tag makes industry and consumers take into account the implicit negative effects of their actions, whether it is the aircraft fuel for a vacation, or fossil fuels for food fertilizers or to heat and cool a home. I have argued for a well-designed carbon tax for more than a decade. But five important caveats, almost universally breached by politicians, affect the likelihood of such a policy working. First, a carbon tax has to be uniform across the entire economy. Saving one tonne of...

19 Oct2017

The Mis-Measure of Development

Published by Project Syndicate

A new scorecard that purports to grade countries on development progress tells us little about how we are faring against humanity’s biggest challenges. Instead, it highlights the shortcomings of today’s unfocused global development agenda. The major new report, led by Jeffrey D. Sachs and issued by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Germany’s Bertelsmann Stiftung, provides a color-coded dashboard to demonstrate how well every country is doing at implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the hugely important agenda that succeeded the highly...

16 Oct2017

The youth prioritizes agriculture

Published by The Daily Star

Discussions about development spending and reducing Bangladesh's climate vulnerability are often dominated—understandably—by politicians and donors. These are the decision-makers who affect how funds are spent. By way of example, the Danish government recently announced it has earmarked Tk 383 million (30 million kroner) to help Bangladesh face climate change. The lion's share, Tk 255 million (20 million kroner), will support roadworks in the district of Noakhali, while Tk 64 million (five million kroner) will go to protecting water sources, toilets and latrines from flooding. Another five...

14 Oct2017

Climate change: Paris Agreement makes too little difference

Published by The Australian

Recent weather disasters — flooding across Asia and hurricanes hitting the US and Caribbean — have only increased the volume from commentators and politicians who tell us: “This is what climate change looks like.” The destruction, they say, provides added reason to double down on the Paris Agreement, the climate pact adopted in December 2015. Those who don’t think this way are haters and wreckers, no different from Donald Trump, who cancelled US involvement in the treaty. The US approach to climate change is obviously deeply problematic. The President has failed to even acknowledge that...

12 Oct2017

Now even climate-change believers count as ‘deniers’

Published by New York Post

Al Gore recently had a telling altercation with a journalist. The Spectator’s Ross Clark wanted to ask him about Miami sea-level rises suggested in the new film, “An Inconvenient Sequel.” The reporter started to explain that he had consulted Florida International University sea-level-rise expert Shimon Wdowinski. Gore’s response: “Never heard of him — is he a denier?” Then he asked the journalist, “Are you a denier?” When Clark responded that he was sure climate change is a problem but didn’t know how big, Gore declared, “You are a denier.” I was recently on the receiving end of a similar...

10 Oct2017

Carbon cuts are always a mixture of pain and gain

Published by Herald Sun

The concept of trade-offs has become unfashionable. Politicians around the world like to pretend that their choices will bring us nothing but superlative benefits. Nowhere is this whitewashing more pervasive or accepted than in climate change. There is a prevalent, comforting notion that we can have our cake and eat it too: that cutting carbon need not involve financial sacrifice.

4 Oct2017

Why American Overseas Aid Should Focus on SDGs?

Published by Inter Press Service

The average American believes the US spends a whopping third of its federal budget on foreign aid. Consequently, a majority of people think that too much is spent on foreign aid. That is one reason US President Donald J. Trump, who has campaigned on putting the needs of Americans first, has proposed deep cuts to foreign aid in his 2018 budget. The problem is, this common understanding is very wrong. US foreign aid in 2017 will cost $41.9 billion out of a total federal budget of $4.15 trillion or one percent. When informed of this, support for cutting aid halves, while support for increasing...

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