Copenhagen Consensus Global Priorities

The Copenhagen Consensus Center (CCC) is a think tank that researches the smartest solutions for the world’s biggest problems, advising policymakers and philanthropists how to spend their money most effectively.

In 2015 the UN set 169 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for 2030.

CCC estimates the cost to achieve these goals to be around $ 2.5 trillion every year, whilst the funds available for these goals are only around $ 140 bn.

The average return of dollars invested in the 169 goals is around 1:7.

If one was to focus on what the CCC calculates are the top 19 goals, then these goals would probably be achieved, and the returns ratio would increase significantly.

The CCC particularly recommends the following :

  • Cheap investments can be made in fixing micronutrient deficiencies in children.

  • Investing an extra $8 billion annually in agricultural R&D would increase yields globally, generating more food at lower cost. It could save 79 million people from hunger and prevent 5 million cases of child malnourishment. Each dollar spent produces about $35 of social benefits.

  • The World Bank has found that productivity growth in agriculture can be up to four times more effective in reducing poverty than growth from other sectors.

  • As in China, free trade can lift hundreds of millions out of poverty. Reviving the WTO’s Doha Round would lift around 145 million people out of poverty by 2030. It could make the average person in the developing world $1,000 better off every year.

  • Other recommendations include achieving universal access to contraception and family planning, ending tuberculosis by 2030, ending fossil fuel subsidies, and protecting coral reefs.

Focusing on these top 19 targets is estimated to achieve four times more benefits than just thinly spreading funds among all 169 targets.

CCC’s full list of recommended top 19 goals can be downloaded as a pdf here.