UK to spend £600 million on family planning, because it is one of the best investments according to Copenhagen Consensus


Bjorn Lomborg

No Greta, we are not 'evil'

Speaking at the UN, 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg said that if humanity really understands the science of climate change and still fails to act, we’re “evil.” Lomborg responds in Canada's newspaper of record, The Globe and Mail, that we don’t emit CO2 with malign intent. Indeed, it is a byproduct of giving humanity access to unprecedented amounts of energy which has allowed billions to escape poverty.

Ms. Thunberg tells us that if we don’t cut off fossil fuels by 2028, the young generation will never forgive us. This, however, is reflective of a blinkered first-world view. When the United Nations asked 10 million people around the world what they prioritize, they highlighted five issues: health, education, jobs, corruption and nutrition. Climate came last of 16 choices.

The article was also published in many other languages, including German (BILD), Danish (Jyllands-Posten) and Spanish (e.g. Milenio).

How climate policies hurt the poor

A new study suggests that the massive cost of the Paris climate agreement will lead to an increase in poverty of around 4%. And the authors issue a stark warning that “stringent mitigation plans may slow down poverty reduction in developing countries.”

In his new column for Project Syndicate (available in four languages and syndicated with newspapers around the world), Lomborg argues that the world is in great danger of spending scarce resources on climate policies that hurt rather than help its poorest people. Governments should instead focus on growth-enhancing measures such as trade liberalization, which provide a pathway to increased welfare and greater equality.

UK Aid to spend £600 million on family planning

During the UN General Assembly, the UK government announced new funding that will provide 20 million more women and girls in the world’s poorest countries with access to family planning. The reason? The government cited Copenhagen Consensus research:

"Family planning is one of the best investments in development. According to the Copenhagen Consensus, family planning is among the most cost-effective interventions - long-term benefits accrue from avoiding unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions, and averting infant and maternal deaths. Every $1 invested in meeting the unmet need for contraceptives in the long-term can yield up to $120 in accrued annual benefits."

Affordable solutions are better than exaggerations

We are constantly told scare stories about climate change, even though the evidence does not support the claims. What's behind the overblown rhetoric? Nearly three decades of policy failure. In fact, since climate talks began in 1992, the world has emitted as much carbon dioxide from fossil fuels as all of humanity did before that from the beginning of time.

We need to change the script: instead of scaring people into accepting expensive policies that have failed for decades, we should focus on innovating green technologies so they eventually outcompete fossil fuels.

Lomborg's article was published in newspapers around the world, including China Daily, The Herald Sun (Australia), Børsen (Denmark), Il Foglio (Italy), Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden), Milenio (Mexico), Listin Diario (Dominican Republic) and Los Tiempos (Bolivia).

Ending poverty will benefit the environment, too

In an interview with South China Morning Post, Bjorn Lomborg argues that the best way to make people resilient against extreme weather is helping them escape poverty:

“Back in the 1920s, about half a million died from climate-related problems per year, but since then, it’s declined to 20,000 per year. It’s not because disasters have become less frequent, it’s simply because by becoming rich, we are not nearly as affected by them.”

And helping developing nations to overcome poverty with the help of plentiful, reliable energy also has positive side effects for the environment:

“As we become rich, we’ll be able to clean up the air. Likewise, improvements in farming methods mean that we could produce far more food on less land, and can leave more land for nature – no longer do we need to cut down rainforest in Brazil to make way for pastures.”

Presidential candidates should stick to facts on Syria

Is global warming to blame for the Syrian war? Despite better knowledge, Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg, Beto O'Rourke and Bernie Sanders promote the idea of climate wars because superficially, it’s a compelling message — and a way to link to one of Americans’ greatest fears.

If we think about it, though, it’s an utterly ridiculous — even offensive — conceit that the best way rich Americans could help people in Syria is by cutting carbon emissions. We need to fix man-made climate change by ensuring that innovation can drive down the cost of low-carbon energy alternatives. But linking rising temperatures to every single challenge facing humanity just distracts from what we really need to focus on, as Lomborg argues in USA Today.

What politicians get wrong about hurricanes and climate

As Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the Bahamas and the US East Coast, global-warming activists, newspaper columnists, TV commentators and politicians drew links between climate change and hurricanes. Lomborg demonstrates in New York Post that their claims aren't supported by the facts, and they divert our attention from smart policies to ineffective ones.

No wonder researchers who study extreme weather and climate change warn that overselling the link risks eroding “scientific credibility” and distracting from the things we need to do to be better prepared for extreme weather.

Arguing for sensible climate solutions on US television

Bjorn Lomborg recently visited New York City to attend events related to the UN General Assembly such as Gates Goalkeepers. During his time in the Big Apple, he was booked by several of the country's most prominent talk shows to discuss climate policy, such as Tucker Carlson Tonight (interview starts at the 6:35 minute mark), Varney & Co and Making Money.

A climate of burning money

World leaders just met in New York for a climate summit that did little more than add to the hysteria drowning out any sober talk on climate policy. Enough is enough. We must confront climate change, but hyperbole and bluster do the planet no favours.

Lomborg writes in The Australian that this was the time we should have had a sensible discussion on cost-effective ways to reduce the worst of climate change’s damages. But sadly, growth policies, adaptation, green R&D and an optimal CO2 tax are not what we've heard from the climate summit in New York.

Digitize land records to fight corruption in Bangladesh

The government of Bangladesh is aiming for a complete digitization of its land record management system by 2020, following recommendations by the Bangladesh Priorities panel of eminent economists that ranked land records digitisation as a top priority for the country. This is because electronic records can make transfers simpler, reduce corruption and promote good governance in the economic sectors.

New research evidence from Copenhagen Consensus and BRAC shows that at present, there is still no positive return from e-Mutation investment due to the current low outreach. Lomborg and Hasanuzzaman write in BDNews24 that if e-Mutation is scaled up nationwide, the evidence suggests a return of Tk 6 for each taka spent. Adding the spill-over effects toward economic growth suggests a phenomenal return of Tk 619 of benefits for every taka spent.

Interviews with Germany's leading newspapers

Following a presentation to members of the German Parliament, Bjorn Lomborg talked to many of the country's top newspapers about smart solutions to climate change and other global problems. These interviews were published e.g. in Germany's largest-circulating newspaper BILD, the largest business paper Handelsblatt, one of the largest broadsheet papers in the country, Die Welt, and Berliner Zeitung.

Lomborg on social media:

Why the SDGs disappoint

Maize yields still increasing despite climate change

Amazing: Under-5 mortality dropped from 20 million in 1950 to 5.4 million in 2017

Electric cars often cause more air pollution

E-scooters are not greener

Americans want “aggressive” climate action, unwilling to paying for it

More global articles and interviews:

Climate Alarmism Isn't Rational
PragerU (USA)

Podcast interview on climate
Ricochet Podcast (USA, interview starts at 42:11)

Klimasortsyn forvrænger vores verdensanskuelse og kan føre til dårlig politik
Berlingske (Denmark)

Invertir en lucha contra la desnutrición infantil, un ‘buen negocio'
El Tiempo (Colombia)

O perigo dos profetas do desastre climático
Jornal de Negocios

Bill Gates : "Le monde peut encore prévenir le pire"
Le Journal du Dimanche (France)

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.
Thank you for your continued interest and we hope you enjoy these occasional updates, if you do not wish to receive news about Bjorn Lomborg and the Copenhagen Consensus in the future, you can easily remove your email from our mailing list.

Best wishes,
David Lessmann
Communications Manager
Copenhagen Consensus Center
Support the non-profit Copenhagen Consensus Center: donate hereforward this email to a friend, or read archived letters.

Copyright © 2019 Copenhagen Consensus Center, All rights reserved.
unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences