LinkedIn
Bjorn Lomborg

Get the facts straight

25 Mar2017

Earth Hour is bad for the poor

Published by USA Today

At 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, in the U.S. and around the world, around one billion people are expected to switch off their lights for one hour as a political statement against climate change and fossil fuels, and in support of carbon cuts and renewable energy. This feel-good exercise not only does absolutely nothing for the planet, but it ignores the reality that what the world’s poorest need right now is more light and energy, much of which will be powered by fossil fuels, not darkness.

23 Mar2017

Using Data to Find the Middle Ground

Published by Project Syndicate

A sad reality of this hyper-partisan, politicized era is that many policy proposals are immediately identified as either “left-wing” or “right-wing” and lauded and derided by partisans as if by rote, with little room for discussion about soundness or impact. But there is an alternative that could help us get past this political divisiveness: using data to help us focus on the policies and investments that would have the biggest positive impact on society. This may sound like an idealistic thought experiment dreamed up in an ivory tower, but data-driven policies are having a real-world impact...

3 Mar2017

If our foreign aid is to work, we have to stop throwing money around blindly

Published by The Telegraph

A new report by spending watchdog the National Audit Office has generated concern about UK foreign aid by revealing that allegations of fraud have risen more than four-fold in five years. Aid always has an element of risk, which agencies such as the Department for International Development (DfID) strive to keep to acceptable levels. But there is a broader problem globally with the way that development funds are allocated. Priorities are set based on a myriad of inputs, including a nation’s diplomatic, economic and even military objectives, and political reality. Things that look bad in...

2 Mar2017

An Alternative Plan for Development in Haiti

Published by LinkedIn Pulse

In every country, considerable resources are spent by the government and businesses, various national agencies, and often local and foreign NGOs, to improve the standard of living. Haiti is no exception. The national budget is 203 billion Gourdes (USD$3 billion) annually, and another 67 billion Gourdes (USD$1 billion) is received in aid each year. On top of this, there are earthquake recovery resources and the money that is spent by private industry, donors, or sent home by the Haitian Diaspora.

27 Feb2017

Making the SDGs smarter

Published by The Daily Star

Over the next 15 years, the Sustainable Development Goals will influence more than USD 2.5 trillion of money in development aid and trillions more meant to help reduce poverty, hunger and disease, and improve education and the environment. Bangladesh, along with all other nations, now has to decide where to spend scarce resources to do the most good. And clearly not all of the many, many UN targets are equally good, smart or effective. Since its inception, the UN has had a lot of well-meaning targets, goals and declarations that have made very little impact. At the turn of this century,...

14 Feb2017

Learning from Bill Gates

Published by Project Syndicate

Everyone – from elected officials and bureaucrats to voters and taxpayers – can learn from the world’s largest charitable foundation about effective development spending. And these lessons are particularly relevant at a time when 56% of Europeans believe their governments should focus solely on domestic issues and let recipient countries deal with problems as best they can (opposition to aid is even higher in France, Poland, Italy, Hungary, and Greece). The United Kingdom’s largest-circulation Sunday newspaper recently launched a petition calling for an end to ring-...

2 Feb2017

A ‘Green Leap Forward’ in China? What a Load of Biomass

Published by Wall Street Journal

Excitement crackled through the environmental movement when China’s National Energy Administration announced last month that the country will spend at least $360 billion on green energy through 2020. Green elites are now toasting the communist country: While President Trump threatens to end costly climate policies, Chinese President Xi Jinping promises his nation will continue to fight climate change. It’s an interesting narrative, but the facts tell a different story. China’s announced investment works out to around $72 billion a year, much less than the $103 billion the...

26 Jan2017

The tragedy of killing TPP

Published by Boston Globe

With a stroke of the pen, President Trump has eliminated one of the most significant poverty-reduction measures that would have been enacted this decade. Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership took half a decade and covered 40 percent of the world’s economy. While the agreement was already on death row thanks to a lack of support from Congress, President Trump’s executive order withdrawing US involvement sends a clarion signal about his administration’s outlook on trade. Supported by Presidents Obama and George W. Bush, the TPP would have been overwhelmingly positive...

18 Jan2017

Geoengineering Climate Change

Published by Project Syndicate

Even climate activists increasingly recognize that the lofty rhetoric of the global agreement to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, concluded in Paris just over a year ago, will not be matched by its promises’ actual impact on temperatures. This should make us think about smart, alternative solutions. But one such alternative, geoengineering, is a solution that many people refuse to entertain. Geoengineering means deliberately manipulating the Earth’s climate. It seems like something from science fiction. But it makes sense to think of it as a prudent and affordable insurance policy...

17 Jan2017

Oxfam's upside down inequality study

Published by USA Today

Today there is a commonplace — and wrong — impression that inequality is inexorably rising. Oxfam just contributed to the misunderstanding by claiming that the richest eight people own the same amount as half the world’s population. Oxfam measures net wealth, not income. Crucially, it includes ‘negative’ wealth, meaning the 5% of Americans with student loans or negative equity in their houses are considered among the world’s poorest — poorer than three-quarters of all Africans. This means that even the most impoverished soul you could imagine —...

Pages