Bjorn Lomborg

Get the facts straight

23 Apr2015

The Right Health Investments

Published by Project Syndicate

West Africa’s Ebola epidemic has dominated headlines for much of the last year. But, as devastating as that outbreak has been, its death toll of less than 20,000 people is dwarfed by that of preventable diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, which together caused more than three million deaths in 2013, hitting the world’s poorest people the hardest. This need not be the case; indeed, addressing these diseases would be an extraordinarily good investment.

22 Apr2015

Bjørn Lomborg: Measurable goals for a stronger Earth

Published by USA Today

For this Earth Day it is especially important we focus on the world's top priorities. In September, all 193 governments will meet at the UN to set targets for the world for the next 15 years in what is explicitly labeled "Sustainable Development Goals." So, it is worth looking at what we should do first. At my think tank, the Copenhagen Consensus, we've asked 60 teams of top economists including several Nobel laureates to evaluate the economic, social and environmental costs and benefits of the targets, so we can pick the best ones. Here is what we should do in environment.

17 Apr2015

It’s time to stop subsidizing fossil fuels

Published by Globe and Mail

Phasing out fossil fuel subsidies is an obvious target for the world’s next development goals. The world spends $548 billion subsidizing fossil fuels, mostly in developing countries. A disproportionate share of the subsidies goes to the middle class and the rich – after all, they are the ones who can afford a car in poor countries. Now is the time to cut fossil fuel subsidies. Thanks to plummeting oil prices, it is easier to reduce the subsidies needed to guarantee regulated consumer prices, taking off public pressure against such reforms. Cutting fossil fuel subsidies will help the...

16 Apr2015

The Gigantic Cost of Domestic Violence: $8 Trillion a Year

Published by Huffington Post

Civil wars and conflicts rumble far too long in far too many places like Syria and the Sudans, and they are devastating for those involved. Economists have measured the costs of all such conflict, from the death toll from civil wars, regular wars, terrorism along with the costs of refugees but also including the way conflicts can blight countries' economic growth for decades. Yet, their total impact, though important in specific hot-spots, is globally fairly small, with a total cost of about 0.2% of global GDP.

8 Apr2015

Push for Cleaner Stoves in Poor Countries to Cut Pollution

Published by New York Times

NEW DELHI — Every evening, hundreds of millions of Indian women hover over crude stoves making dinner for their families. They feed the flames with polluting fuels like kerosene or cow dung, and breathe the acrid smoke wafting from the fires.

27 Mar2015

Earth Hour: Turn On the Lights, Celebrate Electricity

Published by LinkedIn

At 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, people and public places across the globe will switch off their lights for one hour to raise awareness about the impact of energy use on climate change. Unfortunately, this Earth Hour event is nothing but an ineffective feel-good event. It does little for the climate in terms of reducing CO emissions and distracts us from the real problems and solutions — especially giving light to those in the darkness.

26 Mar2015

Limit U.N. Development Goals for 2030, Get More Value for Money: Study

Published by NY Times

COPENHAGEN — Focusing on a few global U.N. targets for 2030, such as cutting child malnutrition or phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, will give better value for money than a scattergun list, an expert panel said on Thursday.

20 Mar2015

Cut $548 billion of fossil fuel subsidies to alleviate poverty: Lomborg

Published by ABC

Bjorn Lomborg first grabbed world attention in 1998 as 'the sceptical environmentalist', questioning global action on climate change. He's currently in Australia for his fourth visit, this time to talk about global poverty and development, more so than climate issues. In recent years, he's been an advocate for using cheap fossil fuels to alleviate poverty. But he now says abolishing $548 billion of global fossil fuel subsidies would be a 'smart' sustainable development goal for the United Nations to adopt later this year.

12 Mar2015

The Price of Biodiversity

Published by Project Syndicate

Biodiversity - the species we share our planet with - is under pressure. Post-2015 Consensus research finds that a global target to prevent the loss of coral reefs will gives at least $24 of environmental benefits per dollar spent. Likewise, reducing the current loss of forests by half would likely do about $10 of good for each dollar spent. However, increasing protected areas, because it is very costly but only somewhat helpful, is likely to do less than $1 of good per dollar spent.

11 Mar2015

Danish economist warns Bangladesh about ‘climate politics’ Danish economist warns Bangladesh about ‘climate politics’

Published by Bdnews24 recently met Lomborg, whose maverick 'cost benefit analysis’ indicates it is a long way before those wind turbines on the coast start producing power. On the sidelines of the ‘Post 2015 Consensus Journalist Seminar’ held in Dhaka on Mar 9, he cautioned Bangladesh about what he saw as the pitfalls of global climate politics.