Even if we completely abandoned air travel for the 4.5 billion passengers taking flights every year, temperatures would be reduced by just 0.03°C / 0.054°F by the end of the century.


Bjorn Lomborg

Why family planning is a smart investment

The United Kingdom recently announced that it will spend £600 million ($779 million) to provide 20 million more women and girls in the developing world with access to family planning. Their decision – based on research by the Copenhagen Consensus Center that shows family planning is one of the smartest possible development investments – is a vitally important one. 

Achieving universal access to contraception would save and improve millions of lives, and put societies on a faster track to shared prosperity. Each year we would see 640,000 fewer newborn deaths, 150,000 fewer maternal deaths, and 600,000 fewer children losing their mothers. With so much at stake, the world should be devoting far more attention and resources to this goal.

Lomborg's new column for Project Syndicate (available in five languages) was published by newspapers around the globe, including The Australian, Shanghai Daily (China), Irish Examiner, Berlingske (Denmark), My Republica (Nepal), Jordan Times, Telegrafi (Albania) and Acento (Dominican Republic).

Climate activists are focused on the wrong solutions

As it is becoming obvious that political responses to global warming such as the Paris treaty are not working, environmentalists are urging us to consider the climate impact of our personal actions. Don’t eat meat, don’t drive a gasoline-powered car and don’t fly, they say. But these individual actions won’t make a substantial difference to our planet, and such demands divert attention away from the solutions that are needed.

Lomborg argues in New York Post that the solution to climate change cannot be found in personal changes in the homes of the middle classes of rich countries. Instead, we need to focus on technological solutions that will bring forward the day when green-energy alternatives are cheaper and more attractive than fossil fuels not just for the elite but for the entire world.

Finding the best policies for Ghana

We are helping set priorities for Ghana. Recently, 25 teams of economists presented the initial findings in Accra to almost three hundred sector experts from across the country — in fields such as health, education, gender, environment, poverty, agriculture, and infrastructure. The project essentially seeks to find out where each cedi (or dollar) spent can yield the greatest economic, social and environmental benefits. 

The project has full support from the agency advising the president. The Director General of the National Development Planning Commission, Dr Mensah-Abrampa, is excited to make this "an ongoing and continual process." He added: "So if we get new resources coming into the national budget, we will know where exactly to put these resources so we can make the most gains."

Over the coming months, researchers from Ghana and abroad will assess the costs and benefits of more than 80 policy proposals, which will be presented to an Eminent Panel that includes some of Ghana’s most accomplished economists, the Finance Minister, the Minister of Planning and a Nobel Laureate in May 2020.

The project is receiving great interest from local media, with many of Ghana’s leading newspapers such as Daily Graphic, Daily Guide, Ghana Business News and News Ghana as well as multiple TV channels reporting.

Help people get rich to defuse the 'population bomb'

During a recent visit to New York City, Bjorn Lomborg was interviewed by Stuart Varney on the Fox Business Channel. He argued that exaggerations about the consequences of global warming are leading to poor policy proposals such as the Green New Deal, and explained that the answer to global population growth is contraception and lifting people in the developing world out of poverty.

The limits of 'leapfrogging'

Many western donors love the idea that instead of dirty, coal-fired power-plants, poor nations should ‘leapfrog’ straight to cleaner energy sources such as off-grid solar technology. But many cases around the developing world show that solar panels are mostly useless for tackling the main power challenges of the world’s poor.

Three billion people continue to suffer from the dangerous effects of indoor air pollution, burning dirty fuels like wood and dung to cook and keep warm. Solar panels don’t solve that problem because they are too weak to power clean stoves and heaters. Nor can off-grid solar panels power machinery for agriculture or factories that create jobs and pathways out of poverty.

Lomborg writes for Forbes and the two Australian newspapers Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun (print) that telling the world’s poor to live with unreliable, expensive, weak power is an insult.

Lomborg on social media:

New York Times wrong: Southern Vietnam won't disappear in the floods

Do we want to "shut down" society to get to 1.5°C?

'Plastic recycling is a myth': what really happens to your rubbish?

The Bigotry of Environmental Pessimism

Electricity price in the EU will at least double by 2030

A broken promise that matters

More global articles and interviews:

Should frequent flyer programs be banned?
(starts at the 51:45 min mark)
BBC Radio 4 (UK)

Polluters and Scapegoats
Hoover Digest (USA)

Solange gnadenlos übertrieben wird, ist eine pragmatisch-vernünftige Klimapolitik ein Ding der Unmöglichkeit
Neue Zürcher Zeitung (CH)

Cómo las políticas climáticas afectan a los pobres
El Tiempo (Colombia)

La verdad del impacto de nuestras acciones
El Comercio (Peru)

¿Por qué Greta está equivocada?
La Prensa (Nicaragua)

Las políticas climáticas afectan a los pobres
La Capital (Argentina)

Una visión contestataria: ‘Reducir emisión de CO2 es inviable’
El Tiempo (Colombia)

O zmianie klimatu: ludzkość nie jest „nikczemna”
Listy z naszego sadu (Poland)

Syryjskiej wojny domowej nie wywołała zmiana klimatu
Listy z naszego sadu (Poland)

Como as políticas climáticas prejudicam os pobres
Jornal de Negocios (Portugal)

Wollen wir „das Klima retten“ – oder doch lieber Menschenleben?
Die Presse (Austria)

Der Journalist als Missionar: Beim Klima ist Skepsis plötzlich verboten
Focus (Germany)

Why fortified rice is a game changer

Scaling up nutrition in Nepal
Kathmandu Post (Nepal)

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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