Copenhagen Consensus

Copenhagen Consensus is based on the aim to improve prioritization of limited means. The world is faced with a countless number of challenges such as diseases, environmental degradation, armed conflicts and financial instability. Copenhagen Consensus takes a new and critical-analytical approach to assessing the effects of international opportunities for solving the challenges. (Public Policy)

Denmark's Environmental Assessment Institute (headed by Bjorn Lomborg), together with The Economist

Notes from original 2004 project

It has been strongly criticised by NGOs such as Oxfam for drawing attention away from the existing consensus built up over several years and codified in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

The 10 areas of challenge (International Development), with principal authors:

  • Climate change, by William Cline of the Centre for Global Development.

  • Communicable diseases, by AnneMills of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

  • Armed conflicts, by Paul Collier of Oxford University.

  • Education, by Lant Pritchett of the Kennedy School.

  • Financial instability, by Barry Eichengreen of the University of California, Berkeley.

  • Governance and corruption, by Susan Rose Ackerman of Yale University.

  • Malnutrition and hunger, by Jere Behrman of the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Population and migration, by Philip Martin of the University of California, Davis.

  • Sanitation and water, by Michael Hanemann of the University of California, Berkeley.

  • Subsidies and trade barriers, by Kym Anderson of the University of Adelaide

conclusions: 2004-05-28-CopenhagenConsensusLive

Analysis was re-done in 2008

As with the 2004 project, Lomborg's ranking scheme placed efforts to cut Carbon Dioxide emissions last. Gary Yohe, one of the authors of the Global Warming paper, subsequently accused Lomborg of "deliberate distortion of our conclusions"[9], adding that "as one of the authors of the Copenhagen Consensus Project's principal climate paper, I can say with certainty that Lomborg is misrepresenting our findings thanks to a highly selective memory". Kåre Fog further pointed out that the future benefits of emissions reduction were discounted at a higher rate than for any of the other 27 proposals[10], stating "so there is an obvious reason why the climate issue always is ranked last" in Lomborg's environmental studies. In a subsequent joint statement settling their differences, Lomborg and Yohe agreed that the "failure" of Lomborg's emissions reduction plan "could be traced to faulty design".[11].

  • That "joint statement" said: Authors of the challenge paper ultimately recommended a portfolio of policies that included mitigation, significant early investment in research and development (R&D) designed to accelerate the development and diffusion of carbon-friendly energy technologies as well as carbon capture and sequestration, and targeted adaptation in the health sector. This option produced discounted benefits that were 2.7 times higher than cost.

v3 in 2012!

Given the budget restraints, they found 16 investments worthy of investment (in descending order of desirability):[3]

  • Bundled Micronutrient interventions to fight hunger and improve education
  • Expanding the Subsidy for Malaria Combination Treatment
  • Expanded Childhood Immunization (Vaccination) Coverage
  • Deworming of Schoolchildren, to improve educational and health outcomes
  • Expanding Tuberculosis Treatment
  • R&D to Increase Yield Enhancements, to decrease hunger, fight BioDiversity destruction, and lessen the effects of Climate Change
  • Investing in Effective Early Warning Systems to protect populations against Natural Disaster
  • Strengthening Surgical Capacity
  • Hepatitis B Immunization
  • Using Low‐Cost Drugs in the case of Acute Heart Attacks in poorer nations (these are already available in developed countries)
  • Salt Reduction Campaign to reduce chronic disease
  • Geo‐Engineering R&D into the feasibility of solar radiation management
  • Conditional Cash Transfers for School Attendance
  • Accelerated HIV Vaccine R&D
  • Extended Field Trial of Information Campaigns on the Benefits From Schooling
  • Borehole and Public Hand Pump Intervention

2014 - post-2015 project

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