UN Sustainable Development Goals – Let’s Not Sleepwalk to Disaster

February 1, 2015

In September 2015 the UN is due to adopt a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to replace the successful Millennium Development Goals and govern its development work over the next 15 years.

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BNEF: The shift to ‘base-cost’ renewables: 10 predictions for 2017

January 27, 2015

When Christopher Columbus and the other great explorers undertook their epic voyages of discovery in the 15th and 16th centuries, they navigated a world of extraordinary risks….

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Clean energy needs less regulation not more

July 3, 2014

For too long the left has been allowed to claim ownership of the environment. The right has implicitly accepted that protecting the environment is in opposition to a prosperous and free society. Now, as clean energy becomes competitive with fossil fuels, a new battlefield opens up. The solutions offered by the left are stifling competition and slowing down the uptake of clean energy. Only by releasing a maelstrom of entrepreneurial and competitive activity will the world be able to build a high-performing clean energy system without driving costs to unacceptable levels. And only by leading the process will the right find its natural voice on energy and the environment.

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Energy Policy: Open source software and crowdsourcing for energy analysis

October 28, 2012

Informed energy decision making requires effective software, high-quality input data, and a suitably trained user community. Developing these resources can be expensive and time consuming. Even when data and tools are intended for public re-use they often come with technical, legal, economic and social barriers that make them difficult to adopt, adapt and combine for use in new contexts. We focus on the promise of open, publically accessible software and data as well as crowdsourcing techniques to develop robust energy analysis tools that can deliver crucial, policy-relevant insight, particularly in developing countries, where planning resources are highly constrained—and the need to adapt these resources and methods to the local context is high. We survey existing research, which argues that these techniques can produce high-quality results, and also explore the potential role that linked, open data can play in both supporting the modelling process and in enhancing public engagement with energy issues.

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Towards a workable post-Kyoto international framework for emissions reduction

October 24, 2012

This is a white paper I published in December 2005 – seven years ago – in which I branded the Kyoto Protocol a failure and described an alternative approach for bringing countries into an accession-based system for emission controls, similar to the largeyly successful Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Under “Accession to GDP Less X%”, all countries would have the same goal: emissions to undershoot GDP growth by the same percentage. With the UNFCCC having essentially run into the sand, we need to look again at new approaches.

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Monty Python’s Black Knight Redux – energy policy version

October 23, 2012

“I am Arthur, King of the Guardian Readers. I seek the finest and the bravest knights in the land to join me in building my Clean Energy Camelot. Will you join me?” Musings on UK energy policy, with acknowledgements to Monty Python.

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BAA Terminal 5 Feedback

October 22, 2012

On my last trip through London Heathrow Terminal 5 BAA was (un)wise enough to ask me for feedback on the experience. I so much enjoyed writing down my thoughts that I decided to replicate them here.

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How to Save the Planet: Be Nice, Retaliatory, Forgiving & Clear

September 17, 2012

Five years ago this week, I published a white paper entitled “How to Save the Planet: Be Nice, Retaliatory, Forgiving and Clear”. In it, I postulated that climate is a prisoner’s dilemma, but one one which will be played repeatedly, not just once. The difference is critical: instead of shooting for an unachievable top-down climate deal, we should focus on accelerating the inevitable emergence of domestic action on climate change. Since then we have seen the failure of Copenhagen, and the emergence of strong national responses. Is it time to look again at the game theory behind climate change?

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Mail Online creates fake wind farm to make fake point

September 16, 2012

On 8 September the Mail Online carried an article entitled “Are wind farms saving or killing us? A provocative investigation claims thousands of people are falling sick because they live near them”, by well-known seeker of truth, James Delingpole, known to be “right about everything”. So why did he use a faked photo of a wind farm to make his point?

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A customer enters a climate conference…

September 15, 2012

“Look, matey, I know a dead Protocol when I see one, and I’m looking at one right now.” “No, no he’s not dead, he’s, he’s restin’! Remarkable bird, the Copenhagen Blue, innit, eh? Beautiful plumage!”. Musings on the Kyoto Protocol, with acknowledgements to Monty Python.

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