World's leading climate sceptic sees his funding melt away fast

 

A A A

The world's most high-profile climate change sceptic is set to have his funding scrapped.

Bjorn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and bête noire of climate change activists around the world, has been told that the incoming Danish government will cut off his £1m a year funding.

Mr Lomborg, whose 2001 book suggested the planet should adapt to global warming rather than wasting resources trying to prevent it, has made his name by accusing scientists and others of exaggerating the extent and effects of climate change.

He was once compared to Adolf Hitler by the head of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri. He also appears to have few friends in power after Helle Thorning-Schmidt became Denmark's first woman Prime Minister after a slim victory for her centre-left coalition in this month's election.

Ida Auken, who is widely tipped as the next Environment Minister in the new administration, told The Independent that Mr Lomborg could no longer expect government funding for his Copenhagen Consensus Centre.

"The reason he received funding in the first place was ideological," said Ms Auken, environment spokesman for SF, the junior partner in the incoming coalition. "We believe that it is wrong to give funding to specific ideological researchers."

In 2004, Copenhagen Consensus Centre research relegated global warming to near the bottom of the list of the 10 most pressing global problems.

By 2008 similar analysis moved it halfway up the list, but still below problems related to malnutrition and the need to fight diseases such as malaria and HIV-Aids.

Ms Auken said Mr Lomborg's research compared areas which cannot be compared, adding: "I don't see... why we should fund research like that.

Mr Lomborg defended the centre's research record. "We are disappointed if the new government does not wish to continue to support the centre which has published volumes of pioneering, world-class economic research and works closely with Nobel laureates and decision-makers to improve funding decisions in areas like development aid."

The centre has received funding from private sources in the past, including the Carlsberg Group and the EU. However, the lion's share of its income comes from the Danish state.

Mr Lomborg said he would not discuss possible motivations for the new government's likely decision. But the centre's staff have been steeling themselves for a funding crisis since it became clear the former, right-leaning government was doomed.

However, the self-styled "sceptical environmentalist" tone seems to have changed.

The centre's latest book, Smart Solutions to Climate Change, has even received an unlikely endorsement from Mr Pachauri, who wrote: "I would recommend this book as much for the fact that Lomborg supports the view that we have 'long moved on from any mainstream disagreements about the science of climate change', as for the rich diversity of analysis it presents on a range of possible solutions."

Mr Lomborg has denied in the past that the 2010 book represented a volte-face. He was, he says, never a climate-change denier. Rather, he was hostile to governments' "bogus promises" to cut carbon emissions.

In his own words

"Climate change will not cause massive disruptions or huge death tolls. Actually, for the world in general, the direct impact of climate change in 2050 will mean fewer dead, and not by a small amount."



"We have looked extensively at what we can do about global warming. It turns out that we can do fairly little at fairly high costs."



"Many other issues are more important than global warming. We need to get our perspective back."

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Maths Teacher

£90 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Science Teacher (mater...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for an ...

Maths Teacher

£22000 - £37000 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: A West Yorkshire School i...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week