The Copenhagen Consensus approach is to look at global issues and to ask: how could economic science help us to improve decision-making?
Each day decisions are made about global political priorities. Governments, philanthropists, and international bodies choose to support some worthy causes while others are disregarded. Unfortunately, these decisions frequently do not take fully into account a comprehensive view of the effects, benefits, and costs of solving one problem instead of another. The conflicting demands of the media, stakeholders, and politicians mean that priorities are set in an obfuscated environment. The idea behind the Copenhagen Consensus is to render this process less arbitrary, and to provide more evidence upon which informed decisions can be made by politicians and others.
Much of the time, society is presented with a menu of choices, but with very little information on their costs and benefits. The Copenhagen Consensus process aims to put prices and sizes on the menu, making choice easier and more informed. To inform this process in practice, we ask: if you were to spend an additional $75 billion over the next four years to do good for humanity and the environment, where would you spend it first?