The world's poverty rate has halved during the past 20 years, let's wish for a prosperous 2014
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Bjorn Lomborg

Let them burn coal

3.5 million people die of indoor air pollution each year because they cook and keep warm burning dirty fuels like wood and dung. 860 million Africans have as much electricity as 6.5 million Arizonans.

Yes, global warming is a problem. But for many parts of the world, fossil fuels is the best way lift three billion people out of the smoke and darkness of energy poverty.

Read Lomborg's oped in The New York Times, New York Times China (Chinese) or de Volkskrant (Dutch).

The Fossil Fuel Dilemma

In his Project Syndicate column for newspapers around the world Lomborg highlights the inevitable trade-offs between development and climate.

While cheap coal-fired power has certainly contributed to high CO2 emissions and outdoor air pollution in China, it has also helped the average Chinese to become more than 13 times richer over the past 30 years.

Most other developing countries would gratefully seize the opportunity to replicate China’s growth pattern – including its pollution.

Read the full commentary in The Australian, La Nacion (Spanish), Die Welt (German), Tempo (Indonesian) or six languages on Project Syndicate.

Help the UN set smart goals

Lomborg was invited to deliver a keynote speech to the UN General Assembly Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals. It is essential to weigh the proposed targets by their cost-benefit ratio. Here is his presentation.

In an ideal world, we would tackle all global problems, but unfortunately our funds are limited. That's why the Copenhagen Consensus post-2015 project is engaging some of the world's top economists to help the UN make sure we get the biggest bang for our buck.

The Biofuels Boondoggle

Biofuels take up an area of European farmland larger than the size of Belgium, enough land to feed 100 million people, while costing billions in subsidies. Unfortunately, the EU Council of Ministers recently failed to agree on a proposal to cap their use. A reduction would have been good for the world’s poor, good for the environment and good for taxpayers.
Read more in Britain's biggest broadsheet newspaper Daily Telegraph. Lomborg's analysis was also published in La Tribune (French),  Napi Gazdaság (Hungarian) and Svenska Dagbladet (Swedish).

Q&A at National Press Club

The National Press of Australia Club invited Lomborg to discuss the smartest solutions to improve the environment and the world. Broadcast live on ABC 24, Lomborg's much appreciated talk and the following Q&A on hurricanes, solar panels, fracking, population, sea level rise, doing good, green revolution, recycling and automatic cars can be watched here.

We Wish the World a Prosperous New Year

Contrary to public perception, the World Bank newest data shows that poverty in the developed world has dropped dramatically. In 1990, 43% of the developing world lived below $1.25/day. In 2010, the proportion of poor had been halved at 21%.

This does not mean there are no problems. There are still more than 1.2bn people below the $1.25 poverty line (read more on Lomborg's facebook).
But overall, the world is a much better place when it comes to poverty. And this is good news for entering 2014.  Happy New Year!

New university textbook:

Global Problems, Smart Solutions
- Costs and Benefits

Peer-reviewed research from over 50 of the world's top economists for our flagship project Copenhagen Consensus 2012 published by Cambridge University Press.

We can do an enormous amount of good if we spend our aid money the smartest way possible. Across ten topic areas, the research rigorously examines different approaches to tackling one global challenge. 

Each research paper offers new insight into the best ways to approach a global problem from malnutrition and malaria, to armed conflicts and climate change. A set of three papers has been written for each topic, to provide a range of world-class and innovative thinking.

An expert panel, including four Nobel Laureates looked at all of the solutions to all of the problems, and identified the most cost effective ways of achieving good in the world. The final outcome: a list of priorities with all the solutions identified by the scholars ranked by the expert panel according to the potential of each solution for solving the world’s greatest challenges most cost effectively.

One of the top solution shows that $3bn/year over the next 4 years for better nutrition could avoid 100 million stunted children, resulting in more education and three times more productive adults, doing $59 worth of good for every dollar spent.

Order the book on or learn more about the project on the Copenhagen Consensus Center's website.
Thank you for your continued interest and we hope you enjoy these occasional updates, if you do not wish to receive news about Bjørn Lomborg and the Copenhagen Consensus in the future, you can easily remove your email from our mailing list.
Best wishes,
Zsuzsa Horvath
Executive Assistant to Bjorn Lomborg
US online phone number: +1-347-903-0979
Office cell in Budapest: +36-306920720 

Recommended links:

Green R&D is the key to climate change
RTÉ Radio 1 (Ireland) interview

The give and take in greenhouse gas reduction
CHEManager interview

Inequality is slightly declining in poor countries
But increasing in the rich world

GMO scare paper retracted
But scary pictures stick

Quinto Poder
TV Azteca (Mexico) interview (starts at 5:30)

Grajmy w zielone. Ale mÄ…drze
Gazeta Wyborcza (in Polish)

VIH/SIDA: Lecciones para América Latina
El Diario (Bolivia, in Spanish)

El crecimiento verde
El País (Uruguay

Tifón Haiyan y cambio climático: el enfoque equivocado
La Prensa (Panama)

Japan leads the world to a smarter climate policy
Huffington Post Japan (in Japanese)

About Bjorn Lomborg and the Copenhagen Consensus Center 

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 regularly works with many of the world’s top economists, including seven Nobel Laureates. 
His think tank, the Copenhagen Consensus Center was ranked by the University of Pennsylvania as one of the world’s "Top 25 Environmental Think Tanks".

Lomborg is 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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