Two Energy Futures: we don’t need fossil fuels to power the world

New interactive infographic based on latest research demonstrates that by 2035 everyone on the planet can have a high-quality lifestyle, fuelled by existing clean energy technologies

Explore the infographic

Fossil-Fuelled Future

Today we are launching a groundbreaking new web resource, which brings to life two possible models of energy production and consumption for the year 2035. The first, ‘Fossil-Fuelled Future‘, is the future the International Energy Agency forecasts we are heading for if governments and fossil fuel companies follow through on their current promises on energy and climate change. This future is not the worst-case scenario – it’s the best that politicians and businesses are currently offering us. In this world, global temperatures will rise by at least 4 to 6°C this century, making runaway climate change inevitable.

Cleaner Fairer Future

The second ‘Cleaner Fairer Future‘ draws on extensive research including the latest Zero Carbon Britain report by the Centre for Alternative Technology, which was released last week. This report lays out how the UK could face up to the challenges of climate change and fully decarbonise by 2030, using only currently available technology. The ‘Two Energy Futures’ infographic takes these calculations, and applies them to the whole world. It shows that currently available renewable energy technologies can meet the energy needs of our growing global population in an equal and environmentally sensitive way. In this world, there is a decent chance of avoiding runaway climate change. The health outcomes for the planet, humans and all other life are markedly better.

Danny Chivers, the researcher behind the infographic, said:

‘We’re constantly told by governments and industry that we need fossil fuels to power the world. This simply isn’t true. Here, for the first time, we’ve brought together research to show that a cleaner, fairer energy future is possible, and presented it in a publicly accessible way. We face a disastrous future if we accept our governments’ inadequate emissions reduction policies and the fossil fuel industry’s terrifying expansion plans. It doesn’t have to be this way. An alternative energy mix, without fossil fuels or nuclear power, is perfectly possible. The barriers are not technological, but political.’

Read Danny’s blog for Greenpeace: ‘Another energy future is possible’.

Jess Worth, from the UK Tar Sands Network, said:

‘We’re standing at a crossroads. It’s time for humanity to make a choice. Do we sit back and allow fossil fuel companies and oil-friendly governments to dig, drill and frack us into a dark and dirty future? Or do we stand together with communities around the world to stop these extreme energy projects, and head down a different path? There are people all over the planet taking action to ensure a cleaner, fairer world. We hope that this website will arm them with the information they need to help bring about a fossil-free energy future.’

The ground-breaking infographic, designed by Ken Turner and Daniel Sliwka and turned into an interactive website by Little Web Giants, allows users to visualise and explore these two energy futures in detail, learn about the impacts of different sources of fuel such as tar sands, biofuels and fracking, and bust the myths that we need fossil fuels to keep the lights on and allow poorer countries to develop. It aims to educate and inspire, and encourages users to write on an ‘Action Wall’ about what they are doing to bring about a cleaner fairer future, allowing groups and individuals to share campaigns, resources and ideas.

Coverage of our infographic so far:

CAT (Centre for Alternative Technology): From Zero Carbon Britain to Zero Carbon World
Greenpeace Energy Desk: Another energy future is possible
Blue and Green Tomorrow: We don’t need fossil fuels, says new interactive energy website
Red Pepper: We already have the technology for a fossil fuel-free world
Sustainable Witney: Powering the world without fossil fuels
New Internationalist: Another energy future is possible
World Development Movement: Another energy future is possible
New Left Project: A fossil-free future can be just around the corner
Sustainable Food Trust: Resource of the Week

  1. That is why I leased an all electric car and installed solar modules to furnish most of my electricity needs.When voting this Fall vote for knowledge and reason instead of superstition,ignorance and greed.


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