State of The Transition, July 2016: Might the fossil fuel industries implode faster than the clean energy industries can grow to replace them?


In a memorable recent statement, some of Germany’s top scientists argued that “controlled implosion of fossil industries and explosive renewables development” can deliver the targets in the Paris agreement on climate change. Taking this premise at face value, and setting aside the thought that other factors might also be needed, the course of events in July does not offer much hope that “controlled” is a word easily applicable to the array of existential problems currently battering the energy incumbency. And while the clean energy industries continue to make progress, they are clearly not “exploding” as fast... read more...

Thoughts on significance of Solar Impulse as it finishes epic round-the-world trip

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Latest blog posts

State of The Transition, June 2016: A long list of advances, a short list of setbacks – including Brexit.

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The list of main setbacks for the global energy transition in June includes a potentially big one: Brexit. But when you view that vote in the light of the month’s long list of main advances, and the other such long lists for January through May 2016, plus the three years before, dots join to tell a story. If the British are collectively ill advised enough to go ahead with their exit from the... read more...

Summary and update of The Winning of The Carbon War, Amsterdam, 8 June 2016

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State of The Transition, May 2016: Talk of twilight

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World records tumbled in renewable energy this month. Utilities, facing short-term existential threat in the face of clean-energy growth, continued to wrestle with the imperative of escaping the energy incumbency. Oil and gas companies, facing longer term threat to business-model viability, read dire assessments of their prospects in places they could not have imagined possible until recently. Investors... read more...

Imagine being responsible for the balance sheet of the company driving the nuclear fiasco slowing deployment of green energy in the UK

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Spot the CFO. (Thomas Piqemal and Jean-Bernard Lévy of EDF).

This article is an extended version of my latest column for Recharge:

The speed with which the renewables industries will be able to grow in the years ahead will be much affected by the course of the gas and nuclear industries’ efforts to grow. Having considered gas in my last column,... read more...

Read more blog posts >>

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.

Paris - atmosphere over

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:

Thoughts on significance of Solar Impulse as it finishes epic round-the-world trip

My interview on BBC World Service Newshour: the heroism of the adventurer pilots, Bertrand Picard and Andre Borschberg, and the feeling on the ground of what their beautiful story means – at least for many in the clean energy industries. Listen to the interview  … Read-moreScreenshot 2016-07-26 16.57.27

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Selected videos:

LSE lecture

The winning of the Carbon War The talk at the book launch. View the video (goes with the LSE presentation)… Read-moreScreen Shot 2015-03-27 at 14.38.37

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