Evidence on what works and what doesn't.


Bjorn Lomborg

Copenhagen Consensus one of the world's top think tanks

The University of Pennsylvania asked over 1,950 scholars, public and private donors, policy makers, and journalists from around the world to rank the world's best think tanks and achievements in 2014.

The Copenhagen Consensus Center's advocacy for data-driven prioritization of development goals was voted into the top 20 worldwide, along with NGOs with up to 100 times larger budgets.

The economics of optimism

In a major article on the post-2015 development goals The Economist describes some of the best bang-for-the-buck targets established by the Copenhagen Consensus' 60 teams of economists. Among the 'no-brainers' for successful development goals are targets for trade liberalisation, access to contraception and reducing tax evasion.

See our list of all targets on www.post2015consensus.com/economist

Better roads, more food

One-quarter of all food in the world is lost each year. In the developing world it is not consumer food waste, but harvest and post-harvest losses. Every dollar spent on building reliable road, rail and electrical infrastructure e.g. for refrigeration, generates $13 of benefits.

More agricultural R&D to increase yield growth could save 79m people from hunger and avoid 5m children being malnourished over the next 15 years. For each dollar spent, this will achieve $34 of social benefits.

Reuters reported around the globe, e.g. in Huffington Post, Mint (India) and The Daily Star (Bangladesh). Lomborg published articles across Latin America, e.g. with El Universo (Ecuador) and Los Tiempos (Bolivia).

The world’s deadliest environmental problem

2.8 billion heat and cook with dirty fuels, and the polluted air inside their homes kills 4.3 million a year.

The Times and The Australian reported new research from the Post- 2015 Consensus showing that hundreds of thousands of lives each year could be saved, with improved cooking stoves and LPG or electricity.

Bjorn Lomborg writes in China DailyEl Universal (Venezuela) and Listin Diario (Dominican Republic), that every dollar spent could do as much as $10 worth of good.

Climate: Not everything is 'ever worse'

We are being told that climate is 'ever worse.' But this is both unhelpful and untrue. Global warming is real, and a problem we need to tackle. But scaring isn't working. And truth is that some things about global warming are worse than we expected, but some are better. Lomborg argues in Wall Street Journal that we urgently need balance if we are to make sensible choices and pick the right climate policy that can help humanity slow, and inevitably adapt to, climate change.

A digital road from poverty

Broadband has become a vital technology, promising to boost economic growth, lift people out of poverty, and improve their health, nutrition and education. Tripling access to mobile broadband to 60% in developing countries by 2030 would be a worthwhile target, with every dollar invested returning $17 in benefits.
Lomborg's new column for Project Syndicate is available in nine languages. It was published around the world, e.g. in The Australian, The Korea Times, Die Welt (Germany) or Sydsvenskan (Sweden).

Strengthen health systems and save 7 million lives

Improving health infrastructure and expanding health systems in developing countries could reduce premature deaths by 40% by 2030 – and save 7 million lives. This comes at a substantial cost of $444 billion a year in 2030, but for every dollar spent we’ll do $4 worth of good.
If low-income countries, which currently spend just $14 per person on health, used an extra $34 dollars more per person, they would save 2 million lives annually. This would do $13 of good per dollar spent for the world's poorest billion, as Lomborg writes in articles for TIME and in Spanish e.g. Milenio (Mexico) and Los Tiempos (Bolivia).

Fight corruption with IDs

Corruption last year cost the world more than one trillion dollars. While good governance programs sound like a good way to help countries develop, measuring their impact on ending extreme poverty remains elusive.
Instead of pushing well-meaning slogans with little content, the world should focus on providing a legal identity for all citizens during the next 15 years. The benefits would at least equal the cost of every dollar invested, new Post-2015 Consensus research shows.

Lomborg writes in Forbes, across Latin America e.g. La Prensa (Honduras) and El Universo (Ecuador), and additional global coverage to the research from Reuters.

Youth Voices in the post-2015 discussion

Students are being asked to rate the Post-2015 Consensus targets in the same way as the Nobel Laureate Expert Panel. Their priorities will be distributed to the media, government, and at the UN. The first Post-2015 Youth Forum took place on Friday 30 January in Accra, organized by the Youth Bridge Foundation, Ghana. We will have the results in shortly.

Recommended links:

Ebola kills far fewer than Aids, TB and malaria. What should we prioritise?
The Guardian

Saving neonatal lives
Harvard School of Public Health

The World in 2030

Cleaner cooking, electricity can improve millions’ lives
Daily News (Egypt)

Ikke kun peanuts

Kendte danskere siger nej tak til kød

Dårlig prioritering at hjælpe ulande med klima
Børsen (Denmark)

Current climate models are running way too hot
Predicted at least 60% too much heat over past 30 years

Cambiamenti climatici, fa più danni l’allarmismo della Co2
Tempi (Italy)

Los retos de la ONU
Esquire Latino America

Mali: la violence faite aux femmes coûte 6.2 mrds $ par an
Journal du Mali

Hogyan oldjuk meg az éghaj-latváltozás problémáját?
Napi Gazdaság (Hungary)

Blog for Berlingske (Denmark)

Grøn støtte til sort energi

Nej – lav oliepris skyldes ikke Kinas klimapolitik

Naturkatastrofer dræber stadig færre

Deja-vu fra Kyoto

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 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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Zsuzsa Horvath
Executive Assistant to Bjorn Lomborg
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