Reducing inefficiencies in India’s power sector could free up resources for education and health.


Bjorn Lomborg

Let there be more than light

There is a strong, direct connection between access to electricity and a person's wealth and well-being. Over the past 16 years, nearly every person who gained access to electricity did so through a grid connection, mostly powered by fossil fuels. And yet donors say that many of the 1.1 billion people who are still without electricity should instead try solar panels.
The benefits of expanding fossil fuel access massively outweigh the climate costs, and the movement against this - including from major donors - is disturbing, and flies in the face of the evidence. 

Bjorn Lomborg argues in his new column for Project Syndicate (available in six languages) that the world's wealthy are being hypocritical. The article was published by newspapers around the world, including The Australian, El Tiempo (Colombia), My Republica (Nepal), The New Times (Rwanda), Times of Oman, Finmag (Czech Republic), The Daily Star (Lebanon) and Tageblatt (Luxembourg).

Making better pre-school education available to more Indian children

New research released by India Consensus shows how to expand pre-school education access to even more Indian children, and how to lift the quality of education offered.

Offering cash incentives to the families of four-year-olds to attend pre-school education programs can yield lifetime benefits worth 10 rupees for every rupee invested in both Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh, as access to early childhood learning translates into an increase in future wages.

Partnering with accredited localized organizations in order to increase the quality of early childhood education and development offers even higher returns on investment, as Bjorn Lomborg and Saleema Razvi explain in the world's largest circulating English-language newspaper The Times of India.

Improving educational quality is needed in India

To achieve its full potential, it is crucial that India enacts education reforms to enhance human capital. Government policies have so far lifted school enrolment and retention rates, but new research for India Consensus starkly shows that the focus must shift to interventions that will deliver greater benefits at the lowest cost.

The most promising solutions include computer assisted learning and teaching children at the right level by grouping them based on their learning levels. Both in Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan, these policies offer phenomenal returns between 44 and 74 rupees of social good for every rupee invested.

Read Bjorn Lomborg and Saleema Razvi's op-ed for Delhi's most influential daily newspaper, The Hindustan Times.

Reducing power losses could unlock economic benefits

Inadequate and poor-quality power supply leads to frequent interruptions, poor voltage levels, and dissatisfied consumers across much of India. Adding up all the losses in the system, India’s total energy losses came to 24% in 2015-16, significantly more than international norms.

Two new research papers for India Consensus propose to introduce a high-voltage distribution system (HVDS), by upgrading the network and replacing transformers. In addition, replacing inefficient pump sets with energy efficient ones further enhances the return on investment, allowing each rupee to generate up to ₹3.4 of social benefits through lower pump breakage along with energy and carbon savings.

Read Bjorn Lomborg and Manorama Bakshi's op-ed in Mint.

The Paris climate treaty fails to fight global warming

Political language on climate change often amounts to empty puffery: bold promises that are not going to be delivered, and aspirational rhetoric that proves impossible to achieve. It is therefore remarkable that former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott just acknowledged that Australia would not have signed the Paris Treaty had he known in 2015 that the USA would withdraw, and that trying to reach national targets would damage the economy.

Bjorn Lomborg argues in an essay for The Australian that internationally, very few politicians have admitted the inherent failings of the Treaty, but the truth is that it was always oversold.

Excerpts of the article are also available in prominent commentator Andrew Bolt's column for Australia's largest circulating newspaper, The Herald Sun.

Lomborg's op-ed was also published across Latin America in Spanish language, e.g. in Milenio (Mexico), La Tercera (Chile) and La Prensa (Panama).

The economic evidence that can help fix the world's woes 

Released by world-renowned academic publishing house Cambridge University Press, Bjorn Lomborg is the editor of a unique guide to making the world a better place. Experts commissioned by Copenhagen Consensus apply a critical eye to the UN's Sustainable Development agenda, which is affecting the flow of trillions of dollars of development aid.

Renowned economists determine what pursuing different targets will cost and achieve in social, environmental and economic benefits. A panel of Nobel Laureate economists identify a set of 19 phenomenal development targets, and argue that this would achieve as much as quadrupling the global aid budget.

The book is available on Amazon now.

Lomborg on social media:

The world is getting better

More and more people have access to electricity

Could we please stop with the misleading fire stories?

Why am I paying for your solar panels?

Every day in Sub-Saharan Africa 60,000 people escape poverty

Going 100% organic means plowing up nature equivalent to the area of at least one Australia

More global articles and interviews:

Should We Have Smaller Families To Save The Planet?
BBC Radio 4, More or Less

Is organic food really better?
BBC Radio 5, Sunday Session (segment starts 16:50 minutes into the show)

Engaging the private sector in achieving the SDGs
Dhaka Tribune (Bangladesh)

»Venstrefløjen er fanget af en lille caffelatte-elite, der bebrejder den fattige mor, at hun ikke køber bæredygtige fødevarer til sine børn«
Berlingske (Denmark)

»Hvis du har købt en elbil, føler du, det er okay at tage flyet til Hawaii«
Jyllands-Posten (Denmark)

Himmelen ramler ikke ned
Ny Tid (Norway)

La dictadura verde no es la respuesta al cambio climático
El Nuevo Siglo (Colombia)

Que políticas de combate à pobreza funcionam?
Jornal de Negocios (Portugal)

About Bjorn Lomborg and the Copenhagen Consensus 

Dr. Bjorn Lomborg researches the smartest ways to improve the environment and 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, an adjunct professor at Copenhagen Business School 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 by Prospect Magazine, in US International Affairs. 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 19 languages, in 30+ newspapers with more than 30 million readers globally.
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