Copenhagen Consensus Center

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Copenhagen Consensus Center
Logo Copenhagen Consensus Center.png
MottoIn a world with limited budgets and attention spans, we need to find effective ways to do the most good for the most people.
TypeNonprofit think tank
HeadquartersTewksbury, MA, United States
President and Founder
Bjørn Lomborg
Key people
  • Roland Mathiasson
  • Scott Calahan
  • Loretta Michaels
Revenue (2015)
Expenses (2015)$1,947,489[1]

The Copenhagen Consensus Center is a US non-profit think tank, founded and headed by Bjørn Lomborg.[2] The Center organizes the Copenhagen Consensus, a conference of prominent economists held every four years, where potential solutions to global issues are examined and prioritized using cost-benefit analysis.

The most recent Copenhagen Consensus titled the Post-2015 Consensus was held in 2015.[3] It focused on the costs and benefits of the 169 global development targets of the United Nation’s Global Goals. The Post-2015 Consensus brought together an expert panel of economists including two Nobel Laureates who reviewed the research produced by the project and identified 19 targets that represent the best value-for-money in development over the period 2016 to 2030, offering more than $15 back on every dollar invested.[4]

Recently, the Copenhagen Consensus Center has refocused its efforts into nationally oriented research, and is currently working extensively in Haiti and Bangladesh, while also planning expansion to India, where it is partnering with high profile and influential organisations.[5][6]


The Center was originally formed in 2006 in Copenhagen, funded by the Danish government, with Lomborg as director. This came two years after Lomborg's first Copenhagen Consensus conference in 2004. The Center was tasked with organizing future conferences, and with expanding on the mandate of the Environmental Assessment Institute, a research body for environmental impact assessment under the Danish Ministry of the Environment, of which Lomborg had been director since its inception in 2002, until his resignation in 2004.[7][8][9]

Government funding of £1m annually was reported as the primary income, with some private funding from benefactors that included the Carlsberg Group and the EU.[10] In 2012, Denmark withdrew its funding, and the Center faced imminent closure.[11] Lomborg left the country and reconstituted the Center as a US non-profit organization, based in Lowell, Massachusetts.[12][13] In fact the address is a post box, and at this time, the actual location of its operations remains unverified.


The Center conducts economic research and promotes the results. It performs cause prioritization for global human welfare concerns by "[synthesizing] expert opinion and research in the fields of development economics and welfare economics." Results are ranked according to what seems most cost-effective, and the outcomes are intensively disseminated with the intention of influencing global leaders.[14] The Center publishes reports and volumes of collected works, organizes high-level brainstorming projects, like the flagship Copenhagen Consensus and conducts country-specific projects.


The Center organizes conferences where guest economists analyze and prioritize solutions to problems. These have included the second and third editions of the original Copenhagen Consensus.[15]

Country-specific projects[edit]

For more than a decade, the Copenhagen Consensus approach has been applied at a global level. In 2015 The Copenhagen Consensus Center launched the Bangladesh Priorities project, the flagship country-specific project to apply the Copenhagen Consensus approach on a national scale. The project sought to answer the question: what should the top priorities for policymakers, international donors, NGOs, and businesses be in order to do the most good in Bangladesh for each taka spent.

In 2016 the Copenhagen Consensus center launched its second country-specific project, this time focused on priorities for Haiti. The project was completed in October 2017.

In 2017 the project, India Consensus, was launched to research priorities for the Indian states of Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh[16].

Views on climate change[edit]

Although the Center does not challenge the scientific consensus that human emissions of greenhouse gasses cause climate change, reports from the Center do not promote taking action to strongly reduce emissions, and advocate that there are other more important issues that should be tackled first. A 2014 paper[17] assessing climate change was criticized by several experts in the field[18] claiming that it underestimates the harm and misrepresents the papers cited.


The Center publishes collections of its research papers, labeled textbooks, usually through Cambridge University Press, Lomborg's publisher for The Skeptical Environmentalist.[19][20]

  • Lomborg, Bjørn (ed.). Global Crises, Global Solutions, Cambridge University Press, November 2004.
  • Lomborg, Bjørn (ed.). How to Spend $50 Billion to Make the World a Better Place, Cambridge University Press, June 2006.
  • Lomborg, Bjørn (ed.). Solutions for the World's Biggest Problems: Costs and Benefits, Cambridge University Press, November 2007.
  • Lomborg, Bjørn (ed.). Global Crises, Global Solutions: Costs and Benefits (2nd ed.), Cambridge University Press, July 2009.
  • Lomborg, Bjørn (ed.). Latin American Development Priorities: Costs and Benefits, Cambridge University Press, February 2010.
  • Lomborg, Bjørn. Smart Solutions to Climate Change: Comparing Costs and Benefits, Cambridge University Press, October 2010.
  • Lomborg, Bjørn. How to Spend $75 Billion to Make the World a Better Place, Copenhagen Consensus Center, 2012.
  • Lomborg, Bjørn (ed.). RethinkHIV: Smarter Ways to Invest in Ending HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa, Cambridge University Press, November 2012.
  • Lomborg, Bjørn (ed.). How Much Have Global Problems Cost the World?: A Scorecard from 1900 to 2050, Cambridge University Press, October 2013.
  • Lomborg, Bjørn (ed.). Global Problems, Smart Solutions: Costs and Benefits, Cambridge University Press, December 2013.
  • Lomborg, Bjørn. How to Spend $75 Billion to Make the World a Better Place (2nd ed.), Copenhagen Consensus Center, 2014.
  • Lomborg, Bjørn (ed.). Prioritizing The World, Copenhagen Consensus Center, 2014.
  • Lomborg, Bjørn. The Nobel Laureates' Guide To The Smartest Targets For The World, Copenhagen Consensus Center, 2015.


The Center is a US 501(c)(3) tax-exempt registered non-profit corporation and accepts donations. Funding sources have not been disclosed, apart from a statement that the Center does not accept donations from fossil fuel companies, though it does accept fees.[21] DeSmogBlog has identified some of the funding sources.[22][23]


  1. ^ a b "Copenhagen Consensus Center USA, Inc" (PDF). Foundation Center. 24 October 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  2. ^ Confino, Jo (12 March 2014). "Bjørn Lomborg: the climate-centric agenda is squeezing out other issues". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  3. ^ "Post-2015 Consensus | Copenhagen Consensus Center". Retrieved 2017-06-14.
  4. ^ "Nobel Laureates Guide to Smarter Global Targets to 2030 | Copenhagen Consensus Center". Retrieved 2017-06-14.
  5. ^ "Haïti Priorise | Copenhagen Consensus Center". Retrieved 2017-06-14.
  6. ^ "Bangladesh Priorities | Copenhagen Consensus Center". Retrieved 2017-06-14.
  7. ^ "Our Story". Copenhagen Consensus Center. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  8. ^ Kaalund , Lars. "Denmark: Policy and Regulatory". EUGRIS. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  9. ^ "Bjorn Lomborg: About". Bjorn Lomborg. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  10. ^ Lewis, Mark (28 September 2011). "World's leading climate sceptic sees his funding melt away fast". The Independent. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  11. ^ "Bjorn Lomborg's climate sceptic thinktank to close". The Guardian. 23 Jan 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  12. ^ Kloor, Keith (21 Oct 2013). "Bjørn Lomborg: The resilient environmentalist". COSMOS Magazine. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  13. ^ "Press Contact". Copenhagen Consensus Center. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  14. ^ Hurford 2013, p.3-4.
  15. ^ "What we do". Copenhagen Consensus Center. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  16. ^
  17. ^ Galiana, Isabel (10-05-2014). "Climate Change Assessment Paper" (PDF). Copenhagen Consensus. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  18. ^ Karp, Paul (2017-05-20). "Experts reject Bjørn Lomborg's view on 2C warming target". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  19. ^ "Textbooks". Copenhagen Consensus Center. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  20. ^ "Bjørn Lomborg". Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  21. ^ "Make a donation". Copenhagen Consensus Center. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  22. ^ "The Millions Behind Bjorn Lomborg's Copenhagen Consensus Center US Think Tank". DeSmogBlog. Retrieved 2015-12-12.
  23. ^ "Exclusive: Bjorn Lomborg Think Tank Funder Revealed As Billionaire Republican 'Vulture Capitalist' Paul Singer". DeSmogBlog. Retrieved 2015-12-12.


External links[edit]