The Sustainable Development Agenda is woefully underfunded. We have to prioritise what we want first.


Bjorn Lomborg

The media got it wrong on the new US climate report

Activists tend to exaggerate the impacts of climate change while underestimating the costs of tackling it. The reception to the new US climate assessment was instructive. Sadly, accurate science doesn’t make for good television; predicting the end of times does.

Lomborg explains in New York Post that the well-reported idea that warming will shrink the economy by 10 percent disregards huge economic growth, assumes twice the damages of the worst-case temperatures the report itself expects and even then only finds such high costs stemming almost exclusively from easily preventable heat deaths.

Ban the beef?

For many environmental campaigners, eating meat is fast becoming as repellant as smoking – behavior to be discouraged or even banned. But is your hamburger really to blame for climate change, and would going vegetarian really help?

In a developed-country setting, the reality is that going entirely vegetarian for the rest of your life means reducing your emissions by about 2 percent. Instead of banning meat eaters from restaurants, we need more R&D to reduce the carbon impact of farming, as well as to develop and produce at scale artificial meat, which could cut greenhouse-gas emissions by up to 96 percent, relative to conventionally produced meat.

Read Bjorn Lomborg's new column for Project Syndicate in six languages. It was published by media outlets around the world including The Australian, Shanghai Daily (China), Berlingske (Denmark), Die Presse (Austria), Channel NewsAsia (Singapore), Vecer (Slovenia), El Tiempo (Colombia), Times of Oman and Finmag (Czech Republic).

As hunger is increasing: Focus on top 19 SDG targets

Three years have passed since world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with 169 targets that must be reached to transform the planet. We are one-fifth of our way towards 2030, but miles behind on achieving the lofty goals to reduce poverty, increase prosperity, protect the planet and advance peace.

In the world's largest circulating newspaper in English language, The Times of India, Bjorn Lomborg argues that the UN and countries implementing the SDGs need to focus on the 19 most effective targets. This would achieve about four times more benefits than just thinly spreading funds among all 169 targets.

The article was also published across Latin America in Spanish language, e.g. in Milenio (Mexico).

Time to abandon wishful thinking and over-the-top rhetoric on climate

Politicians are gathering in Poland for a climate summit being billed as the most important conference since the Paris Treaty was signed in 2015. Around the world, the chattering classes have declared that more political willpower is needed to solve global warming. This is deluded: it ignores the privileged place climate change has among all of humanity’s challenges and misses the real reasons for our failure.

Lomborg argues in The Australian that climate change is real but it’s not our only problem—and it’s not the apocalypse painted in the media. We should focus on tackling all of humanity’s challenges, including smart, effective and workable solutions to climate change.

Lomborg on social media:

 Why the IPCC 1.5C report expanded the carbon budget

“Thirty years ago, we had a chance to save the planet." Sorry, that's not correct.

Where to help first?

How to save 79m people from hunger and prevent 5m children being malnourished

How the world should cope with rubbish

A "policy menu" for Bangladesh

More global articles and interviews:

The global cost of domestic violence
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Renunciar a comer carne
Perfil (Argentina)

Zrezygnowanie z hamburgerów nie uratuje planety
Listy z naszego sadu (Poland)

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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