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Bjorn Lomborg

Get the facts straight

23 Feb2016

The Paris climate deal won’t even dent global warming

Published by New York Post

Two months after the Paris climate-treaty negotiations concluded with fanfare, the world is figuring out it was sold a lemon. In December, global leaders patted each other on the back and declared a job well done. The treaty will come into force later this year after it has been signed by representatives of at least 55 nations representing 55 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions. This will provide “a turning point for the world,” according to President Obama. “Our children and grandchildren will see that we did our duty,” says UK Prime Minister David Cameron...

16 Feb2016

When is Fighting Corruption Worth It?

Published by Project Syndicate

Some $1 trillion was lost to corruption last year. This is money that was not available for expanding health care, broadening access to education, improving nutrition, or cleaning up the environment. According to Transparency International, 68% of the world’s countries have a serious corruption problem, and no country is completely immune. Corruption is one facet of poor governance; indeed, it correlates with ineffective public administration, weak accountability, low transparency, and inconsistent implementation of the rule of law. So it is little wonder that the United Nations’...

25 Jan2016

Why Africa Needs Fossil Fuels

Published by Project Syndicate

SANTIAGO – Africa is the world’s most “renewable” continent when it comes to energy. In the rich world, renewables account for less than a tenth of total energy supplies. The 900 million people of Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) get 80% of their energy from renewables. While a person in Europe or North America uses 11,000 kWh per year on average (much of it through industrial processes), a person in Sub-Sahara Africa uses only 137kWh – less than a typical American refrigerator uses in four months. More than 600 million people in Africa have no access...

18 Dec2015

A Climate Agreement Powered by Hypocrisy

Published by Project Syndicate

PARIS – The beautiful Champs-Élysées is lit with millions of sparkling lights. This year, they are powered by renewable energy. There is a wind turbine as tall as the Arc de Triomphe, and 440 solar panels take up much of the Champs-Élysées roundabout. One evening during the COP21 climate change conference this month, there was neither sunlight nor wind, so organizers asked those of us strolling down the avenue to power the lights via stationary bikes and hamster wheels. “Pedal power” delivered great images for the television crews that were here to cover the summit. But...

16 Dec2015

The trillion pound bill: That's what this respected expert says the climate summit may cost the world each year. And yet, he argues, it will hardly change a thing

Published by Daily Mail

As you might expect, the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, which reached an agreement yesterday to limit the rise in global temperature to less than 2C, has been an international festival of hot air. The bland, suburban conference centre hosting the two weeks of talks is populated by oversized animal cut-outs – a blue giraffe, a red camel – that we attendees use as landmarks to find our way around. You hear people shouting into their phone, ‘I’m waiting by the pink kangaroo!’ But the outwardly cheerful menagerie is actually a Noah’s Ark installation...

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...

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