EU admits: border taxes become a “matter of survival for our industry” due to expensive climate policy


Bjorn Lomborg

Spend billions on green innovation, not trillions on premature carbon cuts

Across the world, politicians are going out of their way to promise fantastically expensive climate policies. US President Biden has promised to spend $500 billion each year. The EU will spend 25% of its budget on climate. Now, European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans is admitting that climate policies would be so costly that it would be a “matter of survival for our industry” without huge, protective border taxes.

Bjorn Lomborg assesses the proposed policies in a new op-ed for New York Post, warning that the economic hardships they bring about would likely result in the loss of social cohesion as they did in France. Moreover, rich countries won't be able to achieve substantial slowing of global warming by themselves, because developing nations cannot afford to follow their example.

The column was syndicated around the globe, e.g. in National Post (Canada), Berlingske (Denmark), Milenio (Mexico), Perfil (Argentina), La Tercera (Chile), Punch (Nigeria), Business Day (South Africa), Bergens Tidende (Norway), Jakarta Post (Indonesia), Phnom Penh Post (Cambodia), Listin Diario (Dominican Republic) and Los Tiempos (Bolivia).

False Alarm - tone down the climate panic and focus on smart solutions

The Oxford Karl Popper Society recently asked Bjorn Lomborg to present his latest book False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet.*

False Alarm continues to be an international bestseller; it currently stands as the second-most popular book on Amazon in the "Environmental Policy" category. Publications around the world have praised the book, e.g.
  • US magazine National Review says Lomborg's "approach is undoubtedly the optimal one…If you buy only one book on climate change…this should be the book."
  • Britain's newspaper of record The Times calls the book a "calm, rational analysis of climate change and what to do about it... False Alarm is an essential book. If anyone in your family or circle of friends has succumbed to XR mania, this could be an invaluable corrective, providing balance, solutions and optimism."
  • Germany’s newspaper of record Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung concludes that the book is "unorthodox, remarkable and superbly written."
  • Financial Times finds that "Lomborg argues powerfully" and "many of his points hit home"
  • Denmark's leading newspaper Jyllands-Posten concludes in its book review that "Lomborg's insights are more important now than ever, and he presents them razor-sharp with a wealth of useful and convincing data and examples."

*As an Amazon Associate Copenhagen Consensus earns from qualifying purchases.

John Kerry shows how hard it is to actually cut emissions

John Kerry's private jet trip across continents to accept a climate award shows that we will never fix climate change with 'just manage with less' slogans. Kerry is showing us that you can’t just ask people to cut back on flying, cut back on driving, cut back on heating and cooling the house. And even if we all stopped flying and switched to electric cars, the climate impact would be very small.

That's why we need investment in innovation, to make green energy more affordable than fossil fuels. Then, everyone will switch. Innovation can eventually make green energy so much cheaper that we’ll use it to heat and cool our homes, drive our car and even power Kerry’s private plane.

Take a look at Bjorn Lomborg's interview on FOX & Friends.

Introducing the Malawi Priorities Project

Copenhagen Consensus is proud to announce a partnership with the National Planning Commission of Malawi and the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) on the Malawi Priorities Project. The aim of the Malawi Priorities Project is to provide the African nation's government and its development partners with a systematic process to help prioritise the most effective policy solutions so as to maximize social and economic benefits of the investments. The project will facilitate a prioritisation of policy options for the country based on cost-benefit analyses. It will also seek to identify interventions that will enable the government to generate more financial resources to finance its development agenda. This will be achieved through academic research, stakeholder engagement and a targeted outreach strategy to determine the best investments.

Save the lives of mothers and newborns in Malawi

Every 30 minutes, one child or woman in Malawi dies from complications associated with pregnancy, childbirth or the post-partum period. Reducing infant and maternal mortality are long standing development aspirations goals as evidenced by the global health community’s efforts to address such tragic statistics.

A new study for Malawi Priorities identifies two initiatives with the potential to save the lives of mothers and their newborns very effectively: scaling up a package of five interventions for basic emergency obstetric and new-born care, and replacing existing iron and folic acid supplements given to pregnant women with multiple micronutrients. With benefit-cost ratios of 31 and 14 kwacha for every kwacha invested, maternal and neonatal health proves to be a very promising field for policy-makers to focus on.

Read more in an op-ed published in Malawi's largest newspaper The Daily Times and The Nation, as well as a policy brief prepared for decision-makers.

Practical solutions to reduce HIV/Aids in Malawi

While Malawi continues to register considerable success in the management of HIV/AIDS, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced additional stress and pressure on its already weak health system; and the budgetary demands on the same which ordinarily require an allocation of more than US$200 million annually.

A new study for Malawi Priorities shows that two interventions focusing on female sex workers (FSWs) could generate benefits more than double the original investment. The first is a Comprehensive Ambipolar Package (CAP) that provides prevention and treatment options simultaneously. It includes testing; provision of preventative drugs (pre-exposure prophylaxis) for FSWs who haven’t been exposed to the disease; and anti-retroviral treatment (ART) initiation, counselling and support for those who are living with HIV/AIDS. The second is limited to ART counselling, with a focus on improving treatment adherence among positive cases to support improved health outcomes for HIV/AIDS-positive FSWs and reduce onward infections.

Read more in an op-ed published in Malawi's largest newspapers The Daily Times and The Nation, as well as a policy brief prepared for decision-makers.

Blackouts in Texas highlight importance of reliable energy

The Texas rolling black-outs have become a Rorschach test where everyone sees what they’d like to see. Wind skeptics point out that wind turbines are frozen, renewable energy campaigners point out that gas, coal and nuclear power plants also cut out.  But the much more fundamental point is: Not having enough power when you need it can be deadly. This is relevant for the attempt by the Biden administration to get rid of fossil fuels in the electricity sector by 2035. It will create a lot of problems, especially if it is focused on intermittent renewables.

Bjorn Lomborg argued in an interview with FOX and Friends that we need to invest a lot more in green innovation — basically ways that could generate green power much cheaper than fossil fuels and still very reliably. This would be cheaper solar and wind, but also focus on baseload power like cheaper nuclear, fusion, and ways to mitigate the problems like much better batteries.

Lomborg on social media:

As we get more and more renewables, energy for the consumer becomes more expensive

Your risk of dying from climate-related disasters dropped 99% since 1920

Kerry wants you to believe climate change also leads to *colder* temperatures

No, we don't just have 9 years left to tackle climate change

Economic policy matters 17 times as much as climate policy for malnutrition

Despite breathless climate reporting, deaths from malaria, heat, diarrhea, malnutrition and dengue *lower* by 2050

More global articles and interviews:

Smarter Ways to Protect the Environment
Hold These Truths with Rep. Dan Crenshaw (USA)

Experts say Biden energy policies will drive up electricity prices in the US
FOX and Friends First (USA)

Joe Biden’s climate plan will do ‘virtually nothing
Sky News Australia

Interview on the Brian Kilmeade Show (USA)

What President Biden’s Climate Change Plan Means For Climate Science, Policymakers & More
Southern California Public Radio

Better solutions for maternal health
Deccan Herald (India)

Mejores soluciones para la salud materna
El Heraldo (Honduras)

Interview on Chicago morning radio

El regreso de EUA al Acuerdo de París no solucionará el cambio climático
La Prensa Grafica (El Salvador)

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.
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