Appropriate Civilization versus New Despotism: State of Play on 20th February 2017, one month into the Trump presidency

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Suddenly believers in the possibility of a better civilization, one rooted in increasing human co-operation and harmony, find ourselves in a world where demagogues can now realistically plot the polar opposite: a new despotism rooted in rising isolationist nationalism and human conflict. The more we dig into how the demagogues and their supporters have organised their recent successes, in particular in using technology to manipulate voter beliefs on an industrial scale, the more terrified many of us find ourselves. Yet at the same time, tantalisingly, our visions of a better civilization, one appropriate for common security and prosperity among... read more...


G20 climate risk report is a wake-up call for fossil-fuel investors

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My latest for Recharge:

It is rare for a report to hold the potential to change the world, but one study published last month may do just that. The Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD — a group of experts assembled by the G20’s Financial Stability Board) aims to give investors, lenders and insurers visibility of how climate-change risk will affect individual businesses, and a road map for reacting to it.

The report presents the results of a year of deliberations by 32 representatives of companies with a combined market capitalisation of $1.5trn and... read more...


Two heart-warming competitions aiming to accelerate the revolution

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In an era of populist leaders prepared to ignore both the clean energy revolution and the imperatives for it, favouring wilful denial and incumbents that are uneconomic or soon to be, companies and governments with eyes open face much greater leadership responsibilities than they would have in a world unified by respect for the rational. One of their options in this role is the staging of competitions to reward front-running revolutionary innovators. Let me describe two such competitions, under way at the moment, that I am exciting by and involved in.

DSM is a global science-based health, nutrition and materials conglomerate which began... read more...


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Latest blog posts

State of The Transition, December 2016: As fossil fuel diehards take over The White House, the evidence of a fast-moving global energy transition has never been clearer

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As captains of the fossil fuel industries and their lobbyists prepare to take over the White House – appointed by a President elected by a minority, claiming to represent the people on an anti-elite ticket yet possessing by far the highest cumulative wealth of any cabinet ever – they will face evidence breaking out all around them of a fast-moving global energy transition threatening to... read more...


State of The Transition, November 2016: Steps forward continue to outnumber steps back, notwithstanding the Trump election. But.

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The global energy transition remains in a state of net forward momentum as of the end of November. However, evidence that the society is in danger of reaching its eventual target of complete or near-complete energy decarbonisation too late to save the planet from runaway global warming was particularly clear this month. As if we didn’t know it before the events of November, this is going... read more...


State of The Transition post-Marrakech: Unity is strength as the “irreversible” climate train rolls towards Trumpism

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My latest for Recharge:

Donald Trump’s would be climate saboteurs might have hoped that merely the mention of their intention to quit the Paris Agreement would be enough for the climate talks to fall apart at the annual climate summit in Marrakech. Exactly the reverse happened: the rest of the world pulled together. In the second week, with ministers and some heads... read more...


Trump’s win will slow climate action and renewables, but as the reactions at COP 22 show already, he will fail in his fossil promises

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My latest for Recharge:

The unexpected election of Donald Trump is undoubtedly a setback for the international climate talks and the renewables industries. The shock dominated the first week of COP 22, the first annual meeting of the nations party to the Paris Agreement, in Marrakech. But by week end the message was clear. The rest of the world will march on towards emissions cuts and clean... read more...


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The chronicle which accompanies The Winning of The Carbon War

Act de Triumph

Paris - Triumph

On Saturday December 12th, 2015, I witnessed something that nothing else in human history comes close to, in terms of scale and stakes. Most of the nations on Earth, 195 of them, adopted the world’s first universal agreement to fight an existential threat to civilisation and indeed life, as we know it, on the planet.
Going into the Paris Climate Summit, there were three possible outcome... read more...


The full Chronicle >>

The Paris Climate Summit begins. The world watches. And my Chronology of the Carbon War, charting the years running up to this unique event in human history, closes. But for one more entry.

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With this image of the atmosphere over Paris at night, this is the penultimate entry in my Chronology of the Carbon War. The last one will be made after the summit ends, with its outcome hopefully clear. The drama that will no doubt unfold in the next two weeks I will describe in the last few chapters of The Winning of the Carbon War, to be published as a free-download e-book in the first week... read more...


Latest interviews, presentations, videos and Tweets

Selected interviews:

“The solar revolution is coming… fossil fuels could be facing extinction”: BBC Click


BBC TV News’s popular Click programme summarises the state of play in solar, and how step-changes in cell efficiency could be “icing on the cake”, as I put it.… Read-morescreenshot-2016-10-01-12-49-23

More Interviews >>