Analysis

2016:

Our first major report “The low-hanging fruit: Fossil fuel exploration and climate change” shows that it is time to stop fossil fuel exploration. (Executive summaries in five languages are available here.)

The post-Paris Carbon Budget tells us how much “carbon space” is left for further burning of fossil fuels. With Paris, the global energy transition has clearly started and we are well advised to use that carbon space wisely for transitioning our societies to post-carbon well-being. (Chinese version: 继《巴黎气候协议》后之全球碳预算)

2015:

21st Century Energy Security – In the face of the climate crisis and from a sustainability perspective, energy security should be redefined as long-term (sustainable) security. But it also needs a new distinction between “needs” and “wants”. 21st Century Energy Security secures the “needs” by combining renewable energies with efficiency and sufficiency. Through this new lens, we are surprisingly close to sustainable well-being for all. But we must cut fossil fuel based excesses.

How to win the Climate Game – A guide for players in the big game to save human civilization.

Paris Mirage – It looks as if we are reducing emissions everywhere around the globe. And at the same time global emissions are rising. Why? Because we are looking at the wrong numbers. Fossil fuel extraction is increasing globally and will continue to increase post-Paris, because the Agreement does not deal with extraction at all.

Game Changers for the Climate – We identified and presented a number of approaches that could bring about deep structural change.

“Fossil Energy Slaves” Metaphor – By comparing the amount of energy provided to modern “consumers” by fossil fuels to that of actual human “slaves” we get a new sense of proportion for our luxuries. And we start to understand that we have no “right” to use fossil fuels.

Oil Price Dynamics and Campaign Timing – Reminds us of the business cycles of fossil fuels. When prices are low, the supply side is weak. When prices are high, the demand side is weak. Timing campaigns accordingly increases chances of success. The same basic dynamic applies to other fossil fuels.

2014:

The LINGO and Life Manifesto – Solving the climate crisis can be boiled down to two simple goals: shutting down all mines and wells and protecting life. If we achieve this in our lifetimes, we will have done a good job in leaving our children a livable planet!

Poster: Understanding the Climate Crisis (or “Why Extraction Resistance is Essential”) – We created an infographic/poster that provides a new – and more accurate, we believe – perspective of the climate crisis, mapping fossil fuel reserves directly against the impacts, and tipping points that may get triggered if they were burnt. It also provides a first visual attempt to get closer to an answer to the question at what point global run-away climate change might get triggered. (Spanish version: La crisis climática y la resistencia necesaria a la extracción de combustibles fósiles.)

Extraction at the UNFCCC – We shared a very troubling insight: our whole mitigation approach is not working! It acts at the wrong point in the system by trying to reduce demand for fossil fuels and produces a lot of rebound. But it is possible to fix it – by starting  to include the extraction side in our mitigation policies.

2013:

Where to Keep it in the Ground? – At LINGO, we assume that we will manage in the end to overcome the climate crisis and transition to sustainable energy over the next decades. This will mean to leave the biggest part of our fossil reserves in the ground – there is no way around it. But in national discussions, this is not yet reflected. Only on a more abstract and global scale does the issue start to be recognized by more and more people. With this analysis we show some numbers on what part of their current reserves countries could extract while staying in line with a “carbon budget” that leaves a decent chance of staying below 2° warming.

2012:

The Transition Treaty – This document was our civil-society input to the big gathering in Rio de Janeiro in 2012 (the official Rio+20 government summit was only one part of several meetings and conferences). It charts out what we need to do to achieve the global energy transition.

Tipping Points against Fossil Fuel Reserves (draft) – What happens if we allow the tar sands to be extracted and burnt? What if the permafrost melts? When does run-away climate change start? What if Australia implements the moratorium on new fossil projects proposed by Beyond Zero Emissions? All these are very important questions. This graph is an attempt to provide a sort of “map”, that can help chart the answers to those questions. It includes important impacts of global warming, tipping elements and the amount of different kinds of fossil fuel reserves.

Resistance Against REDD+ around the World – There are many people fighting to stop REDD+. By learning who it is and what their reasons are you may gain an important perspective on this dangerous mechanism that sounds so “nice” the first time you hear about it from a promoter.

2011:

Systems Analysis, Part 1: The Climate Crisis, Part 2: Our Fossil Civilization – As an activist, you often ask yourself “Where should I invest my limited time and energy?” The most effective points to invest it are levers, that push a whole system into the direction we want it to go. A systems analysis can help identify good candidates for big leverage. The whole initiative of a Leave it in the Ground Coalition was born out of the insight that a cheap fossil supply is one of the longest levers on the system (see part 1).

Why REDD+ is dangerous (in its current form) – An explanation of what can go wrong with REDD+, and will, unless stopped or completely reformed.

2020 Emission Reduction Pledges in Per Capita Terms – An important question is missing from the UN climate talks: Where does each country stand on the road to a zero emissions life style, i.e. one that is compatible with a stable climate? We did the numbers with the pledges for 2020 under the Copenhagen Accord. This is what countries want to be emitting per capita in 2020. Way too much in many cases!

From “Polluter Wins” to Stabilizing the Climate – A look at the framing of the climate issue and a proposal on how to improve that framing.

Why Zero Emissions is the Way Forward

UNFCCC Talking Points – A few issues that should be taken seriously in order to overcome the climate crisis together. For those who are interested in the “real” issues that are given short shrift at the UNFCCC so far.

Mexico’s Energy Future – Mexico is looking at an energy transition by default. But not many Mexicans have woken up to that reality. The country will see major transformations over the next decade, because its oil bounty is coming to an end.

2010:

The First Carbon Bubble Graph – When few people were paying attention to the contradiction between huge amounts of fossil fuel reserves and the way-too-low reduction targets, we decided to do the numbers and draw a graph that was presented to participants of COP16 in Cancun, Mexico.

Zero Emission Plans Worldwide – We believe that it is not only necessary, but also completely possible to transition every single city, region and country to 100% renewable energy. And over the years we have found more than 100 examples from around the world, where people have already figured out how to do it.

The Future is Unwritten