Trump’s attempt to pull the USA out of the Paris Agreement: a personal reaction from Solaraid  

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I was barely listening as he delivered his speech. I had heard most of his mantras already. I also knew that he would be unable to complete a US pullout, legally, until his second term. And he surely can’t aspire to one of those now, with all the skeletons that are rattling in his closet. I was thinking instead about what people can do in the face of madness such as this.

One of the options is to focus on projects that demonstrate, in a way that is impossible to ignore, that he is wrong. And more, that the belief system he is a symptom of is wrong: rottenly, suicidally, wrong.

I stared at the little solar light on my desk as... read more...


FT and BBC articles agreed on something very important yesterday

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Coverage in the FT and BBC yesterday recounted how the SM100 solar light – developed by my team at SolarAid with Chinese solar giant Yingli, and designed by cool UK design company Inventid – is a big new opportunity to fight poverty in Africa and elsewhere.

With this light, SolarAid can turn £4 into £145 cash for local spending on food and essentials in east Africa ….in a time of famine. There cannot be many social-benefit paybacks as good as this, anywhere, today. On our website you can read how we calculate our costs for delivering solar lights to Africans, not-for-profit, so they can resell them, for profit.... read more...


An opinion on the problem of Mexico’s oil and Trump’s wall

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Op-ed by Jeremy Leggett for Energiahoy, slightly edited from the Spanish:

What do you do if you are running out of oil, and your neighbour’s President, who has plenty of oil, seems to hate you? The answer is that you develop a renewable-powered economy as fast as you can.

That Mexico’s proved oil reserves have declined by more than a third since 2013 is very bad news for the Mexican economy. The country will run dry in less than nine years if there are no new discoveries. Better news is that going renewable fast, including in transport where most oil is used, is eminently feasible in the current world. A great global transition... read more...


Appropriate civilization includes environmental balance, sustainable capitalism, empathic societies, racial and religious harmony, poverty alleviation at home and abroad, common security, and use of tech for social good.

New despotism includes environmental sabotage, reckless capitalism, isolationist nationalism, incitement to racial and religious hatred, retreat from aid, war mongering, and the use of tech for social harm.

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Latest blog posts

Appropriate Civilization versus New Despotism, month 3, 21st March – 20th April 2017

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 1. Climate action: Trump endeavours to dig a little coal 

President Trump moved to dismantle President Obama’s climate legacy with an executive order that seeks to dismantle the Clean Power Plan. Within a week, 17 US states filed a legal challenge. China immediately pledged to uphold its Paris climate commitments, including considerable efforts... read more...


Appropriate Civilization versus New Despotism, month 2, 20th February – 20th March 2017: Tech-for-good and truth take a pounding

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This month evidence of the potential use of AI and robotics for social benefit continued to lag portentous developments. On the one hand, the prospects for improving healthcare systems continue to grow. Google plans a health record tracking system loosely based on the bitcoin concept and using its DeepMind AI, for example. It aims for real-time tracking of data by hospitals, health organisations... read more...


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Action around the world on climate and air pollution continued to offer cautious grounds for hope this month. The IEA reported that carbon dioxide emissions have not increased for a third year in row, despite the global economy growing. Fighting climate change requires that they begin to fall soon of course, but growth of renewables has much to do with the current freezing of emissions, and that... read more...


How can renewables help to create a better civilization? Statement by Dr Jeremy Leggett, Executive Chair of SolarAid, to the Start Up Energy Transition Tech Festival, Berlin, 20th March 2017

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I speak today about the wider context of all the wonderful innovation and creative disruption we are hearing about from around the world at this inspiring event. My message is about how to maximise its impact, in the singular times in which we live. The first is to inspire allcomers with what that civilization – let us a call it a solar civilization – looks and feels like.... 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.

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:

“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 >>