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Bjorn Lomborg

Get the facts straight

12 Dec2017

Innovation needed to fight climate change

Published by China Daily

The follow-up meeting to the 2015 Paris climate accord on Dec 12 will be slightly less impressive than the original. Having dumped the Paris Agreement, US President Donald Trump is going to skip, and China and India are sending ministers instead of their leaders. But we will hear the same defiance coming from Paris as we have heard for the past two years: the Paris Agreement will continue, even without the US. That seems hardly the point, though. The Paris Agreement is supposed to respond to global warming-and its ability to do so has always been overstated. Despite claims it will keep...

1 Dec2017

Watch out for flawed arguments about climate change and hurricanes

Published by Chicago Sun Times

In the wake of Harvey, Irma and Maria, there is intense pressure to use hurricanes to galvanize support toward carbon emissions cuts. This is unfortunate. The pundits have convinced more than half of Americans of something that is factually wrong. Hurricane Harvey had no sooner struck in August of this year than the pundits jumped in: A Politico commentator wrote, “We knew this would happen, decades ago.” Joe Romm at ThinkProgress warned ominously, “Harvey is exactly the kind of off-the-charts hurricane we can expect to see more often because of climate change.”

22 Nov2017

The R&D Road to Development

Published by Project Syndicate

When famine strikes, governments and international donors step in with life-saving aid. And rich countries give more than $130 billion each year not only to feed the starving, but also to build crucial infrastructure and reduce gaps in access to education, health care, and clean water and sanitation worldwide. All of this is vitally important. But one of the most powerful investments the development community could make is not in today’s problems, but in research that will address tomorrow’s challenges. A dollar spent on research and development has been shown consistently to deliver some of...

21 Nov2017

Development talks - Fighting poverty in the most effective way

Published by Sida Sverige

"In 2017, Sida - Styrelsen för Internationellt Utvecklingssamarbete will spend around 20 billion SEK on aid, with the mission to reduce poverty and help people to improve their lives. Different kinds of interventions are funded to reach this goal, but how do we know that poverty is being fought in the most effective way? What drives the decisions leading up to what to prioritize, and how can we ensure more "bang for the buck"?" This the was the topic of a talk given by Bjorn Lomborg for Sida in November or 2017.

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...

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