In the absence of unlimited resources, we need to prioritize our spending


Bjorn Lomborg
Dear <<First Name>>,

Despite Covid-19, Copenhagen Consensus has continued to inspire policy-makers to be smarter in 2020. Thanks for your interest in, and support of, that mission!

In Ghana, we've worked with the national government, departmental ministries, the planning commission and many others to help identify the best investments going forward. And earlier this year, the World Health Organization highlighted our research in the fight against tuberculosis.

We also published the first analyses around the impact of Covid-19 related restrictions in developing countries for Ghana, Malawi, India and Nigeria, showing that the cost of lockdowns vastly outweighs the health benefits in poorer countries.

This year, I published my new book False Alarm, a peer-reviewed article, and many climate articles on why we need to stop scaring children and focus on the smartest climate policies.

We're already working with the government of Malawi and top economists to find out where each dollar or kwacha can do the most good. And we're finishing up a report on global maternal health that shows how $2.8 billion can save 162,000 mothers and 1.2 million newborns every year. Of course, through all this we  continue to keep you updated so you can share in our progress!
Your support keeps us going. Do consider supporting us with $10, $25, or $100 — or more! It will help us push the message of rational, data-driven policies even further. Your donation is just one click away.

I hope you and your loved ones are well and safe, and wish you a wonderful holiday season.
All the best,


The electric car won't get us very far

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson just announced a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 in an attempt to jump-start the market for electric cars in the UK. Bjorn Lomborg cautions in Britain's largest-circulating broadsheet newspaper The Telegraph that electric cars won't be a miracle cure for climate change, as they provide only marginal emission reductions at very high cost.

Even if we managed to get 140 million electric cars by 2030, the IEA estimates this would reduce global emissions by a mere 0.4%. It's important we don't lose sight of the big picture: right now, electric car subsidies are something wealthy countries can afford giving rich elites to show virtue. But we need to find affordable climate solutions for China, India and nations in Africa and Latin America if we really want to make a difference.

Lomborg discussed Johnson's pledge of phasing out gas and diesel cars on Britain's talkRADIO, and he also published a similar article on electric cars in The Australian, with more publications around the globe to follow soon.

Why Ghana should invest in digitisation, malaria, maternal health and TB

No country, however prosperous, can do everything. That is why it is crucial resources are spent in the best possible way. To achieve that goal, the Ghana Priorities project for over a year has worked with 28 teams of specialist economists from Ghana and abroad to study the costs and benefits of 80 concrete policy solutions to improve the future of the country.

Recently, an eminent panel of seven distinguished economists including a Nobel Laureate met in Accra to evaluate more than 1000 pages of research across all sectors of government. At the end the panel’s hard task was to prioritize where Ghana can best spend public funds. Here is their top 10:
1 Digitised property and business fees
2 Universal malaria testing and health facility treatment
3 Strengthen community health system (GEHIP)
4 Land titling programme
5 TB patient education for adherence
6 Logistics for faster and more accurate TB testing
7 Active TB case finding in high risk groups
8 Ambulance maintenance in rural areas
9 Preventive malaria medicine for children in Guinea Savannah
10 Complementary infant feeding promotion

The top solution, digital revenue collection in Ghana’s municipalities through the implementation of a software called District Local Revenue (dlRev), will ensure a faster data collection process, improved efficiency and increased revenue for the municipalities which they can use to provide better services to their constituents. As the Finance Ministry pointed out in the justification for its ranking: “Nothing happens without revenue availability.”

Copenhagen Consensus and its project partner, the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), presented these findings to all of Ghana's ministries, which was widely reported across Ghana's media landscape.

Shortly after, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, launched the "automated digital revenue management solutions" program based on the dlRev software, showcasing the immediate policy impact of Ghana Priorities.

In an op-ed for Ghana's leading newspaper Daily Graphic, Bjorn Lomborg and eminent panel member Prof. Augustin Fosu point out that these findings are the kick-start for the conversation about Ghana’s top development priorities for development. Together with the NDPC, Copenhagen Consensus is determined to continue this evaluation of cost-effective solutions and help translate academic evidence into policy for the benefit of all Ghanaians.

What the Biden presidency will mean for climate policy

During his electoral campain, US president-elect Joe Biden promised to spend $2 trillion on climate over the next four years. Many of his proposed policies are ineffective and expensive, and they might not pass a Republican-controlled Senate.

However, one smart proposal in Biden's plan is to spend $75 billion per year on green R&D, four times what the rich world is currently spending each year. Research shows innovation is the most effective way to spend resources on fixing climate. If Biden keeps his promise and leads the world on a path of technological solutions, he will likely do more for the climate than hundreds of international summits have achieved over the past decades.
Lomborg's analysis of Biden's climate plan was published in newspapers around the world, including Los Angeles Daily News, Handelsblatt (Germany), Berlingske (Denmark), Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden), The Australian, Punch (Nigeria), Milenio (Mexico), Perfil (Argentina), La Tercera (Chile), Los Tiempos (Bolivia), La Prensa (Nicaragua), Jakarta Post (Indonesia), New Zealand Herald, Aftenposten (Norway) and News Today (Bangladesh).

EU must get smarter to lead on climate change

The European Union wants to be seen as the global leader in climate action. Because of the ever-increasing climate alarm and the youth climate protests, the EU now wants to up its promise from 40 percent emissions reduction below 1990-levels in 2030 to 55 percent.

Unfortunately, this is an enormously costly way of achieving almost nothing. The costs of this new target are likely to exceed the total cost of the COVID crisis and the recovery package. Yet, it will postpone global warming by only six weeks (and due to carbon leakage more likely two weeks) by the end of the century.
Read Bjorn Lomborg's op-ed for EURACTIV, one of the most influential media outlets among members of the European Parliament. The article was also published by major newspapers in Germany (Die Welt), Sweden (Svenska Dagbladet) and Denmark (Jyllands-Posten).

Should we abolish fossil fuels to stop global warming?

Bjorn Lomborg recently won a virtual debate at the renowned Soho Forum, arguing against the motion that in order to combat climate change, the world's nations must make it their highest priority to completely replace the burning of fossil fuels within the next 20 years.

Presenting evidence from his new book False Alarm, Lomborg argued that this kind of apocalyptic rhetoric costs us trillions, hurts the poor, and fails to fix the planet. More than 86% of the audience agreed with Lomborg at the end of the debate, up from 60% beforehand.

Climate change not climate panic

Mikhaila Peterson recently invited Bjorn Lomborg to her podcast to talk about his new book False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet.

During the hour long interview they discuss the real challenge of climate change, the cost of climate panic, green energy, interpreting data properly and why innovation will always be the best solution.

Lomborg on social media:

Covid-19 will at least reverse 5 years of poverty reduction

Puzzled scientists seek reasons behind Africa's low fatality rates from pandemic

Why do we donate so much time & money inefficiently?

No, China is not a green giant

Interview with Warsaw Enterprise Institute

Wind energy to power UK by 2020, government said 13 years ago

More global articles and interviews:

Das Märchen von den billigen erneuerbaren Energien
Die Welt (Germany)

Wie Deutschland die Klimarettung simuliert
Die Welt (Germany)

Interview with SophieCo.Visionaries
RT (Russia)

Cambio climático: la ineficiente solución de los autos eléctricos
El Universo (Ecuador)

About Bjorn Lomborg and the Copenhagen Consensus 

Dr. Bjorn Lomborg researches the smartest ways to do good in the world, and has repeatedly been named one of Foreign Policy’s top 100 public intellectuals.

He is the author of several best-selling books, Visiting Professor at Copenhagen Business School, Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and works regularly with many of the world’s top economists, including seven Nobel Laureates.

His think tank, the Copenhagen Consensus Center, was named Think Tank of the Year in International Affairs by Prospect Magazine. It has repeatedly been top-ranked by University of Pennsylvania in its global overview of think tanks.

Lomborg is a frequent commentator in print and broadcast media, for outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, CNN, FOX, and the BBC. His monthly column is published in dozens of newspapers across all continents.
Thank you for your continued interest and we hope you enjoy these occasional updates, if you do not wish to receive news about Bjorn Lomborg and the Copenhagen Consensus in the future, you can easily remove your email from our mailing list.

Best wishes,
David Lessmann
Communications Manager
Copenhagen Consensus Center
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