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Environment

Environmental issues remain at the forefront of our research. Air pollution affects millions, especially in the developing world. And preserving biodiversity carries many economic benefits itself. 

Summaries and download links to all our research papers on Environment below.

Publications

Haïti Priorise: Cuisinières, Larsen

Description du problème La pollution de l’air domestique due aux combustibles solides est le quatrième facteur de risque le plus grave en Haïti en ce qui concerne la mortalité et les infirmités,...

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Haïti Priorise: Cookstoves, Larsen

Description of Problem Household air pollution from solid fuels is the fourth-most serious risk factor in Haiti for death and disability, after child and maternal malnutrition, unsafe sex, and high...

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Haïti Priorise: Agroforestière, Ariste

Description du problème Entre 70 % et 95 % de l’énergie utilisée pour la cuisson en Haïti provient du bois et du charbon de bois, ce qui est préjudiciable pour les forêts du pays. La superficie...

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Haïti Priorise: Agroforestry, Ariste

Description of Problem Between 70% and 95% of the energy used for cooking in Haiti is from wood and charcoal, which is detrimental to the country’s forests. Original forest area is now only 3.5...

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Bangladesh Priorities: Livability, Alam

Research by Khorshed Alam, an associate professor of economics at the University of Southern Queensland, explores the smartest ways to deal with three growth-related issues in the capital: solid...

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Bangladesh Priorities: Outdoor Air Pollution, Larsen

The research examined a simple retrofitting into “improved zigzag” kilns, all the way to the top-of-the-line new hybrid Hoffman kilns. Hybrid Hoffman kilns promise large overall benefits...

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Bangladesh Priorities: Indoor Air Pollution, Larsen

When it comes to cooking indoors over open fires, the harmful health effects can be equal to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. This indoor air pollution plagues nearly nine out of every 10 Bangladeshi households, which use wood and other biofuels to cook inside.

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Assessment Paper

Post-2015 Consensus: Air Pollution Assessment, Larsen

The last two decades have seen a large body of evidence of substantial health effects for long term exposure to air pollution – especially fine particulate matter – be it in the form of outdoor ambient air pollution (AAP) or household air pollution (HAP) from the use of solid fuels. There are compelling arguments that air pollution should feature in a new set of post-2015 development goals.

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Perspective Paper

Post-2015 Consensus: Air Pollution Perspective, Jeuland

The assessment paper provides an accessible entry into a problem of major global importance for both health and environmental sustainability.

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Perspective Paper

Post-2015 Consensus: Air Pollution Perspective, Holland

As realization has grown of the impact of air pollution, so too has it become clear that the effects of individual pollutants (particles, SO2, NOx, NH3 and volatile organics) are linked and that they should not be considered in isolation. Health has become the prime driver of air pollution policies in North America and Europe since the mid-1990s, following new analysis that found detectable effects at levels previously considered ‘safe’ and no evidence for an exposure threshold for fine particulates.

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Assessment Paper

Post-2015 Consensus: Biodiversity Assessment, Markandya

The post 2015 agenda seeks to replace the MDGs with new goals that “move beyond meeting basic human needs and promote dynamic, inclusive and sustainable development”. There has been an active debate on what precisely these goals should be and what indicators should be used to track them. The Zero Draft of proposed goals and targets from the UN Open Working Group includes under Goal 14 ten targets focused on marine resources, while Goal 15 has 12 targets dealing with terrestrial natural resource issues.

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Perspective Paper

Post-2015 Consensus: Biodiversity Perspective, McVittie

This perspectives paper explores in greater depth part of the cost-benefit analysis undertaken by Markandya, particularly for Sustainable Development Goal 15.2: By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all type of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests, and increase afforestation and reforestation by x% globally.

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Perspective Paper

Post-2015 Consensus: Biodiversity Perspective, Brander

This perspective paper makes a proposal for improved methodologies for conducting large scale assessments of the costs and benefits of meeting targets for biodiversity and ecosystem change. This is driven by the recognition that currently applied approaches, such as those used by Markandya in the challenge paper, do not produce sufficiently accurate information for use in cost-benefit analysis. For example, the enormous span of results for the wetland program implies that we cannot estimate even the order of magnitude of benefits.

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Policy Advice

Preliminary Benefit-Cost Assessment of Final OWG Targets

This report assesses the targets in the OWG’s Final Outcome Document from 19 July 2014. This builds upon the information presented in similar documents which the Copenhagen Consensus Center released...

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Policy Advice

Preliminary Benefit-Cost Assessment for 12th Session OWG Goals

The Copenhagen Consensus has updated our benefit-cost assessment of UN Post-2015 Millennium Development Goals for the 12th session of the Open Working Group. The Copenhagen Consensus will present...

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Policy Advice

Preliminary Benefit-Cost Assessment for 11th Session OWG Goals

Some of the world’s top economists have assessed the targets from the 11th session Open Working Group document into one of five categories, based on economic evidence: Phenomenal, Good, Fair, Poor and Uncertain.

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Assessment Paper

A Scorecard for Humanity: Ecosystems & Biodiversity

Much has been written and said on the loss of biodiversity that we have been experiencing in recent decades. Species are estimated to be going extinct at rates 100 to 1000 times faster than in geological times. Moreover there is reason to believe that these extinctions are associated with economic and social losses.

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Assessment Paper

A Scorecard for Humanity: Air Pollution

The biggest environmental problem in the world is, perhaps surprisingly, air pollution. Perhaps even more surprisingly, it has been declining for past 110 years. This is because most air pollution deaths are caused by indoor pollution from cooking and heating with dirty fuels.

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Assessment Paper

Third Copenhagen Consensus: Biodiversity Assessment, Hussain Markandya et al

An Assessment Paper on Biodiversity has been written by S. S. Hussain , A. Markandya, L. Brander, McVittie A, de Groot , Vardakoulias O, A. Wagtendonk and P. Verburg and released by the Copenhagen...

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Perspective Paper

Third Copenhagen Consensus: Biodiversity Perspective, Whitehead Chambers

A Perspective Paper on Biodiversity has been written by John Whitehead and Paul Chambers in response to Salman Hussain, Anil Markandya, et al.'s Assessment Paper for the Third Copenhagen Consensus.

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Perspective Paper

Third Copenhagen Consensus: Biodiversity Perspective, Siikamäki

A Perspective Paper on Biodiversity has been written by Juha Siikamäki in response to Salman Hussain, Anil Markandya, et al.'s Assessment Paper for the Third Copenhagen Consensus.

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Assessment Paper

Second Copenhagen Consensus: Air Pollution Assessment, Larsen Hutton Kkanna

An Assessment Paper on Air Pollution was prepared for the second Copenhagen Consensus by Bjorn Larsen, Guy Hutton, Neha Kkanna. The working paper used by the Expert Panel is available for download...

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Perspective Paper

Second Copenhagen Consensus: Air Pollution Perspective, Shah

Air pollution causes 2.5 million deaths each year, the vast majority in the developing world. Improving both indoor and outdoor air quality - in particularly moving away from indoor cooking fires -...

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Assessment Paper

Copenhagen Consensus Latin America: Environment

By Roger A. Sedjo. The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of the benefits of forests and biodiversity in Latin America and to move toward the selection of cost-effective solutions for the protection of these resources.

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Bill Gates for a Day: Biodiversity

Dan Biller presented his paper on loss of biodiversity at the Bill Gates for a Day event in March 2007. The slideshow presentation can be downloaded here.

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Assessment Paper

Bill Gates for a Day: Biodiversity

Estimating the value of biodiversity is very difficult, uncertain, and controversial. Research usually focuses on estimating the benefits of conserving or using biodiversity in a sustainable way in a particular ecosystem or through specific species.

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Bill Gates for a Day: Air Pollution presentation

Guy Hutton's presentation for the Bill Gates for a Day conference held in March 2007...

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Projects

A Scorecard for Humanity

A Scorecard for Humanity fits into the ongoing conversation between optimists and pessimists for the last half century. The central question has been: what is the state of the world? The results of our study have been published by Cambridge University Press under the book title How Much Have Global Problems Cost the World? A Scorecard from 1900 to 2050

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Copenhagen Consensus

The Copenhagen Consensus was our first 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.

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Copenhagen Consensus III

In 2004 and 2008, the Copenhagen Consensus Center held two major projects that helped to shape overseas development spending and philanthropic decisions for years to come. The third Copenhagen Consensus was the latest iteration of our ongoing work to prioritize the best solutions.

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Post-2015 Consensus

In 2015, the UN's Millennium Development Goals are expiring and the international community will set new goals. The Post-2015 Consensus brings together the world’s top economists, NGOs, international agencies and businesses to identify the goals with the greatest benefit-to-cost ratio for the next development agenda.

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Copenhagen Consensus II

The second Copenhagen Consensus took place 25-30 May in Copenhagen. Once again, our Expert Panel tackled the question, Imagine you had $75 billion to donate to worthwhile causes. What would you do, and where should we start? The Panel released a prioritized list recommending how best to tackle ten of the world's most pressing issues.

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Copenhagen Consensus for Latin America

Copenhagen Consensus for Latin America and the Carribean took place in San José, Costa Rica, 22-25 October 2007 at the INCAE Business School, Alajuela, in cooperation with the Inter-American Development Bank

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Bangladesh Priorities

What should be the top priorities for policy makers, international donors, NGOs and businesses? With limited resources and time, it is crucial that focus is informed by what will do the most good for each taka spent. The Bangladesh Priorities project works with stakeholders across Bangladesh to find, analyze, rank and disseminate the best solutions for the country.

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