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Bjorn Lomborg

Get the facts straight

7 Dec2015

Climate aid is a poor response to global challenges

Published by The Age

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's diversion of $1 billion of development funds to climate aid might please climate activists at the Paris summit, but it's one of the least effective ways of helping the world's poor. What would help is support for an end to the $680 billion wasted on annual fossil fuel subsidies that not only increase CO₂ but suck dry the public purse in many developing countries, keeping funds from areas that need it. In diverting money to climate aid, Turnbull joins US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who will each invest $4.15 billion ($...

3 Dec2015

Mark Zuckerberg's billion-dollar chance to change the world

Published by Telegraph

The decision by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan to use 99% of their Facebook shares to fund charitable initiatives over their lives is an overwhelming statement of generosity. The massive challenge for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will be how to achieve the most good with this money. Individual philanthropists play a vital role in development, not least because – unlike political initiatives or groups dependent on fundraising – billionaires can afford to ignore lobby groups and popular attention...

23 Nov2015

Blowing hot air: Governmental carbon-cutting promises are inadequate

Published by Hindustan Times

Paris will soon host the 21st global climate conference (November 30-December 11) — and environmentalists have high hopes that this time, negotiators will agree on a carbon-cutting treaty. In 20 years there have been a few highs such as a treaty negotiated in Kyoto in 1997 and many lows like the political chaos and disappointment of Copenhagen in 2009. There has been one constant: despite all the talk, there has been no real impact on temperature rises. The Kyoto Protocol fell apart, and the only significant global carbon cuts have come from economic downturns, not international pacts...

18 Nov2015

Make it cheaper to go green

Published by Boston Globe

With leaders gathering in Paris later this month for a major climate summit, it is clear that our modern-day approach to climate change is backwards. We spend a massive amount of effort trying to make carbon too expensive and unappealing for the world to use. Instead, we need to make green energy much cheaper. Our dependency on carbon-emitting fuels is overwhelming. The fact is that the world will not stop using fossil fuels for many decades. Despite all the excitement about green energy, globally we get a minuscule 0.4 percent of our energy from wind and solar panels.

18 Nov2015

Pre-Judging Paris

Published by Project Syndicate

The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris later this month is being billed as an opportunity to save the planet. It is no such thing. As I show in a new peer-reviewed paper, even if successful, the agreement reached in Paris would cut temperatures in 2100 by just 0.05° Celsius. The rise in sea level would be reduced by only 1.3 centimeters. This may seem surprising: we constantly hear how every country has made important commitments to reduce CO2 emissions – the so-called “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions,” or INDCs. According to the UN’s...

17 Nov2015

Gambling the World Economy on Climate

Published by Wall Street Journal

The United Nations climate conference in Paris starting Nov. 30 will get under way when most minds in the French capital will still understandably be on the recent terror attacks. But for many of the 40,000 attendees, the goal is to ensure that climate change stays on the global economic agenda for the next 15 years. The Paris conference is the culmination of many such gatherings and is expected to produce agreements on combating climate change. President Obama and the dozens of other world leaders planning to be in Paris should think carefully about the economic impact—in particular...

11 Nov2015

Impact of Current Climate Proposals

Published by Global Policy

This article investigates the temperature reduction impact of major climate policy proposals implemented by 2030, using the standard MAGICC climate model. Even optimistically assuming that promised emission cuts are maintained throughout the century, the impacts are generally small. The impact of the US Clean Power Plan (USCPP) is a reduction in temperature rise by 0.013°C by 2100. The full US promise for the COP21 climate conference in Paris, its so-called Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) will reduce temperature rise by 0.031°C. The EU 20-20 policy has an impact of...

21 Oct2015

This Child Doesn’t Need a Solar Panel

Published by Wall Street Journal

In the run-up to the 2015 U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, rich countries and development organizations are scrambling to join the fashionable ranks of “climate aid” donors. This effectively means telling the world’s worst-off people, suffering from tuberculosis, malaria or malnutrition, that what they really need isn’t medicine, mosquito nets or micronutrients, but a solar panel. It is terrible news...

21 Oct2015

Blowing It On the Wind

Published by Project Syndicate

When considering climate change, most people think wind turbines and solar panels are a big part of the solution. But, over the next 25 years, the contribution of solar and wind power to resolving the problem will be trivial – and the cost will be enormous. The International Energy Agency estimates that about 0.4% of global energy now comes from solar and wind. Even in 2040, with all governments implementing all of their green promises, solar and wind will make up just 2.2% of global energy. This is partly because wind and solar help to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions only from...

20 Oct2015

TPP will help the poor — but not as much as a global trade deal

Published by National Post

If ratified, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that was recently agreed to in Atlanta will be one of the most significant poverty-reduction measures this decade. And what really needs to happen next in the fight against poverty is the introduction of global free trade, so nobody misses out. The TPP agreement is significant, but covers just 40 per cent of the world’s economy. Negotiations have been going on for five years...

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