Copenhagen Consensus 2004 was the very first Copenhagen Consensus project. The basic idea was to improve prioritization of the numerous problems the world faces, by gathering some of the world's greatest economists to a meeting where some of the biggest challenges in the world would be assessed.
Copenhagen Consensus 2004 aimed to provide a meticulously prepared, thorough basis for global decision-making, thereby helping to ensure better living conditions reach the world’s population. This was be done by gathering existing knowledge about a number of the most pressing challenges and utilizing the minds of some of the best economists in the world to prioritize possible solutions.
From May 24 to May 28 2004 the Danish Environmental Assessment Institute, directed by Bjørn Lomborg. assembled nine prestigious economists, including four Nobel Laureates, in Copenhagen. The unique approach was to use this expert panel to make a ranking of various economic estimates of opportunities that would meet these challenges. Thorough challenge papers were commissioned from leading specialists - the challenge paper authors - for each challenge.
Utilizing the challenge papers and opponents’ commentaries, the experts made a prioritization of the opportunities meeting the challenges, based on estimations of costs and benefits. The outcome was a prioritized list of opportunities meeting the biggest challenges. This list became beneficial to decision-makers all over the world.