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Bjorn Lomborg

Get the facts straight

17 Jan2018

Is Global Warming Making Us Hungrier?

Published by Project Syndicate

For more than a decade, annual data showed global hunger to be on the decline. But that has changed: According to the latest data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) hunger affected 815 million people in 2016, 38 million more than 2015, and malnutrition is threatening millions. Research from my think tank, Copenhagen Consensus, has long helped to focus attention and resources on the most effective responses to malnutrition, both globally and in countries like Haiti and Bangladesh. Unfortunately, there are worrying signs that the global response may be headed...

4 Jan2018

Climate-Change Policies Can Be Punishing for the Poor

Published by Wall Street Journal

Freezing temperatures in the U.S. Northeast have pushed up heating costs, creating serious stress for many Americans. Although the rich world’s energy poor are largely forgotten in discussions about climate policies, they bear an unfair burden for well-meaning proposals. That reality is being laid bare this icy winter as energy and electricity prices surge. When we think about energy poverty, we imagine a lack of light in the world’s worst-off nations, where more than one billion people still lack electricity. This is a huge challenge that the world can hope to address as it reduces poverty...

20 Dec2017

A Climate Cure Worse than the Disease

Published by Project Syndicate

Two years after the Paris climate agreement was signed, the French capital this month again attracted the world’s good and great, who gathered for President Emmanuel Macron’s One Planet Summit. In turns blasting US President Donald Trump for withdrawing from the Paris accord and telling each other that it remains on track, politicians formed a self-congratulatory huddle with celebrity campaigners and business leaders. We should treat such smug bonhomie with caution. Goodwill isn’t enough to stop climate change, and history is littered with well-meaning policies that turned out to be unhelpful...

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...

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