Investing In R&D To Boost Agricultural Productivity, Rather Than Relying On Climate Policies, May Be More Effective In Addressing Global Hunger
Project Syndicate: Is Global Warming Making Us Hungrier?
Bjørn Lomborg, visiting professor at the Copenhagen Business School and director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center
“…Unfortunately, there are worrying signs that the global response [to malnutrition] may be headed in the wrong direction. … Relying on climate policies to fight hunger is doomed. … In fact, well-intentioned policies to combat global warming could very well be exacerbating hunger. … There are effective ways to produce more food. One of the best, as Copenhagen Consensus research has shown, is to get serious about investing in research and development to boost agricultural productivity. … Investing an extra $88 billion in agricultural R&D over the next 32 years would increase yields by an additional 0.4 percentage points every year, which could save 79 million people from hunger and prevent five million cases of child malnourishment. … By the end of the century, the extra increase in agricultural productivity would be far greater than the damage to agricultural productivity suggested by even the worst-case scenarios of the effects of global warming. … We are at a turning point. After achieving dramatic gains against hunger and famine, we run the risk of backsliding, owing to poorly considered choices. The stakes are far too high for us to pick the wrong policies” (1/17).