Sceptical green urges smart billions to fight warming

COPENHAGEN, September 5, 2010 (AFP) – Bjoern Lomborg, the bad boy of the climate debate who has rejected for years “alarmist” prophecies from environmentalists, stresses in a new book the need to invest billions to fight global warming. In “Smart Solutions to Climate Change,” Lomborg lashes out at current policies to curb greenhouse gas emissions but also highlights the need to spend 100 billion dollars a year on intelligent research and green technologies.

By spending billions in a smart way, the world could essentially resolve the climate change problem by the end of this century, insists Lomborg, who edited the new book containing proposals from 28 economists — including three Nobel laureates — gathered ahead of last year’s climate summit in Copenhagen.

This may seem like an about-turn by the self-proclaimed sceptical environmentalist who had earlier said reducing greenhouse gas emissions should not be a priority as long as there are problems like poverty and famine.

But the 45-year-old Dane, with his mop of blond hair and boyish grin, insists he has not shifted positions.

“I am saying what I have always said: that the climate is a real and important, man-made problem, but that we are handling it badly,” he