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Christiana Figueres Imagines A Fossil Fuel Free World

April 24, 2018

By Paul Homewood

h/t Robin Guenier

The BBC is running a series of short videos, which are intended to imagine provocative visions of the future – newtopias.

It includes this one from Christiana Figueres, which more sensibly belongs on Jackanory:


It must be difficult to squeeze more ridiculous nonsense into two and a half minutes. These are her main points:

1) Imagine a future with no cars and trucks.

OK, she dresses this up as “not having to smell the fumes”. In reality though, the future she envisages is one of universal public transport, which takes away the hard earned freedom of the current generation to go where you want, when you want and do what you want.

2) Imagine governments no longer needing to subsidise fossil fuel production – trillions of taxpayer dollars are freed up.

That hoary old chestnut again!

Many nations subsidise fuel for their citizens, because it is something that is vital for their well being. But this is not subsidising production.

Some governments may also offer tax credits and so on, because the fossil fuel industry is so vital to their economies. Take away those industries, and those countries will be a lot worse off.

I would guess though that in most countries, fossil fuels, far from being a drain on exchequers, generate billions for governments in tax revenue.

3) Public health improves

She claims that doing away with fossil fuels will improve public health. Yet it is in those very countries, which don’t have access to plentiful, cheap energy, that public health suffers the most.

4) Our energy system is undergoing an unstoppable transformation

No, it’s not!

According to BP, in 2016 wind and solar power supplied a paltry 2% of global energy needs. Indeed, global energy consumption rose by more than that in the previous two years, meaning that wind and solar cannot even keep pace with rising demand.

5) The coal-fired power industry is being rapidly replaced by wind and solar power.

Coal power supplies 28% of the world’s energy. Since 2010, wind and solar’s share risen from 0.7% to 2.2%

At that rate, it will take 112 years to replace coal.

6) In this fossil fuel free world, electricity belongs to everyone

The “wind and sun are free” argument. Unfortunately, somebody has to pay for solar panels and wind turbines.

And, unless you want to go off grid and make do when the sun does not shine, you still have to pay for transmission networks and remote generation.

7) The Paris Climate Agreement bound nations to work peacefully for a fossil fuel free economy.

It did not do anything of the sort!

The Paris Agreement makes no statement of the sort.

8) Our collective mission is to bend the curve of emissions now, so that renewable energy outcompetes fossil fuels as the best new source of energy around the world by 2020.

If renewable energy truly is competitive, it would not need any “collective mission”.

What she really means is that either renewable energy is subsidised or fossil fuels are taxed, to enable the former to compete.

There is actually no secret about her true intention, as she told us in her TED speech about the Paris Agreement a couple of years ago:

On December 12, 2015, in Paris, under the United Nations, 195 governments got together and unanimously — if you’ve worked with governments, you know how difficult that is — unanimously decided to intentionally change the course of the global economy in order to protect the most vulnerable and improve the life of all of us. Now, that is a remarkable achievement.

Governments, of course, agreed no such thing.

A Freudian slip, Ms Figueres?

  1. Curious George permalink
    April 24, 2018 3:20 pm

    In her world the renewable energy is cheaper than fossil fuels. “Let’s assume that three equals four, and I’ll prove that witches fly on brooms.”

  2. Broadlands permalink
    April 24, 2018 3:25 pm

    Ms. Figueres clearly has no clue as to what the cost of lowering emissions to zero might be, nor what the really huge costs (monetary and social) of lowering atmospheric CO2 back to 350 ppm will be after reaching zero. This is a stunning admission that she has no idea of either the huge costs or the vast lengths of time involved. A remarkable achievement indeed. But, sadly she is not alone.

    • dennisambler permalink
      April 24, 2018 3:35 pm

      I don’t think she is really bothered, she has made a very lucrative career out of the AGW industry, having been involved in “carbon” trading for some time before she became UN FCCC exec sec. She is now based in London and burns quite a lot of fuel, jetting around the world.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      April 25, 2018 12:55 pm

      I think you could have stopped after the first six words….you had it covered by then.

  3. Chris Treise permalink
    April 24, 2018 3:29 pm

    If renewables are going to be the future, then subsidies must go, and renewables must become profitable in their own right. Until that happens, there will always be a requirement for fossil fuels, just to keep the lights on!

    • Broadlands permalink
      April 24, 2018 3:47 pm

      Renewables do nothing to lower atmospheric CO2 on a permanent basis… the whole idea behind negative emission, capture-and-store technology. Neither does planting lots of trees where food is being grown.

      • bobn permalink
        April 24, 2018 11:57 pm

        Thank goodness, since CO2 is good for nature and the planet. I am a CO2 producer who is doing all i can to save the planet by producing as much co2 as i can, as fast as I can. Get those yeasts fermenting.

  4. April 24, 2018 3:32 pm

    Ms. Figueres actually, by her own statements, “imagines” a “Capitalism Free World”.

    • John Palmer permalink
      April 24, 2018 3:51 pm

      Quite so, Joan…. she’s a total eco-enviro Marxist, by her own admission, it’s not about CO2 or all that, it’s about the complete redistribution of global wealth and power to the ‘more deserving’ members of humanity (like all her 3rd world chums).

  5. Dave Ward permalink
    April 24, 2018 4:09 pm

    Pedant alert: You’ve got her surname spelt wrong in the title

    • April 24, 2018 6:20 pm

      I wondered who’d be the first to spot that!! (NOT!)

      • bobn permalink
        April 25, 2018 12:00 am

        Who is christian go Figure anyway? Never heard of him.

      • Allan M permalink
        April 25, 2018 9:28 am

        Well, if we’re going to get her name wrong, Dotty Frigears is trying to keep her well-payed job.

  6. John F. Hultquist permalink
    April 24, 2018 4:12 pm

    Like atoms, Christiana just makes up everything.
    She, however, has no honor, so makes up lies.

  7. April 24, 2018 4:19 pm

    Imagining a world without fossil fuels is unimaginable. So-called renewables, solar and wind, provide essentially nothing to base-load – all they actually contribute is grid-destabilizing noise.

    If there were a real need to get away from fossil fuels, and no such need has been proven to exist, despite the baseless assertions concerning so-called man-made climate change, a massive world-wide conversion to nuclear energy is our only real option.

  8. Robin Guenier permalink
    April 24, 2018 4:40 pm

    In her TED talk, having told us proudly (and incorrectly) that “in Paris … governments unanimously decided to intentionally change the course of the global economy … a remarkable achievement” Ms Figueres went on to say this:

    … the same governments convened in Copenhagen and failed miserably … So … six months after this failure, I was called in to assume the responsibility of the global climate change negotiations. … No one believed that a global agreement could ever be possible. I decided right then … that I was going … to help the world change its attitude on climate change.

    What you would do if you were told your job is to save the planet? And you have full responsibility, but you have absolutely no authority, because governments are sovereign. … I do know one thing: … there is no way you can deliver victory without optimism…. Let’s understand it as courage, hope, trust, solidarity, the fundamental belief that we humans can come together and can help each other to better the fate of mankind. … And for six years, I have stubbornly, relentlessly injected optimism into the system

    And when we asked countries to begin to identify how they could contribute to global efforts … 189 countries out of 195 … sent their comprehensive climate change plans … but they are only the first step, and they will improve over time. And … the path itself toward a decarbonized and more resilient economy is legally binding.

    And as I look forward to other global issues that will require our attention this century — food security, water security, home security, forced migration — I see … we can take a page out of what we have done on climate change

    Wow – what a heroine! Not only has she saved the planet by solving the “impossible” climate change problem but, by doing so, she’s shown us how to tackle these other equally impossible global problems.

    • Curious George permalink
      April 24, 2018 5:21 pm

      Cheers for the Impossible Lady!

    • Fredar permalink
      April 24, 2018 9:09 pm

      “Save the planet” What an arrogant and self-righteous thing to say… Earth is 4.5b years old and has suffered a lot worse (volcanoes, ice ages, asteroids, mass extinctions, climate change) than humans who are only 100 000 to 200 000 years old, with industrial revolution only starting 200 years ago. It’s so arrogant to think that she can somehow “save the world”. Nothing she or everyone else does will make a difference in the grand scale of things. Things change, animals live and die, but the planet survives, until Mother Nature finally decides to end it once and for all.

      • Robin Guenier permalink
        April 25, 2018 9:54 am

        Fredar – too true. But it would seem from her (extraordinarily self-regarding) website (LINK) that a wide range of governmental, civil society and media organisations agree that she is a truly wonderful person.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      April 25, 2018 12:57 pm

      For her next miracle – solving the Irish border problem.

  9. Douglas Brodie permalink
    April 24, 2018 5:12 pm

    She is totally delusional, but unfortunately most of the Western establishment (USA now excepted) seems to agree with her. I recently posted a short article explaining in simple terms why the fairy-tale of the Emperor’s new clothes is the perfect analogy for the establishment’s purblind approach to alleged “climate change”. I combined it with criticism of the delusional climate change proposals put forward by Ruth Davidson (Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party) in a recent newspaper article. It can be viewed online here:

    I have emailed the post to her and await her reply with interest.

  10. Robin Guenier permalink
    April 24, 2018 5:53 pm

    But, Douglas – even if Ruth Davidson and the Western establishment are right about the “devastating” problem of climate change, the Paris Agreement, of which Christiana Figueres is so absurdly proud, does nothing to solve their problem. The only winners are the major emerging economies such as China and India. It’s extraordinary that Ms Figueres – “former UN climate chief” – seems not to understand this.

    • markl permalink
      April 24, 2018 8:43 pm

      “The only winners are the major emerging economies such as China and India. It’s extraordinary that Ms Figueres – “former UN climate chief” – seems not to understand this.” Your assumption is incorrect. She not only understands it but that is the UN’s goal and she has stated such.

      • Robin Guenier permalink
        April 25, 2018 10:20 am

        markl – you write:

        Your assumption is incorrect. She not only understands it but that is the UN’s goal and she has stated such.

        Not so. Ms Figueres has never stated that her goal (“to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history”) excluded major emerging economies. And they are just as much a part of the “global economic development model” as is the West.

    • bobn permalink
      April 25, 2018 12:05 am

      Good thing there is no climate change problem. Since man has near zero impact on the climate it doesnt matter that he has near zero capacity to intentionally ‘change’ natural climate change. Why are we talking about this moronic woman??

      • Robin Guenier permalink
        April 25, 2018 10:28 am

        bobn – you write:

        Why are we talking about this moronic woman??

        Because she has been hugely influential in bringing about the Paris Agreement which governments of Western Europe seem to believe requires them to implement economy-damaging policies.

  11. April 24, 2018 6:58 pm

    We don’t have to imagine a world without fossil fuels because we know what it was like from history. Most people were peasants who lived a short and brutal life. Only the elite lived a comfortable existence and that existence was far worse than that of the average person in the UK today.

    They don’t teach proper history in today’s dumbed-down education system. That is why each generation has to learn the hard way what a disaster socialism is.

    • Broadlands permalink
      April 24, 2018 7:16 pm

      Well said Phillip. We now have a new generation of dumb teachers teaching students the dumb stuff they were taught. A cycle with ever decreasing circumference?

  12. John Wilson permalink
    April 24, 2018 7:11 pm

    Imagine a future without this communist rabble rouser.

    • Derek Buxton permalink
      April 25, 2018 9:30 am

      A prosperous world as opposed to this harridans dead world wish. She is so stupid, in her world, she would be non existant.

  13. Athelstan permalink
    April 24, 2018 8:37 pm

    Apologies if someone has already pointed you to this boss but but but – the bbc ARE at it again Paul:

    Britain has not generated electricity from coal for more than three days – the longest streak since the 1880s.

    The new record comes just days after the last record of 55 hours was set, National Grid said.

    The coal-free period began on Saturday at 1000 BST and has continued into Tuesday afternoon.

    Power generated from wind and gas dominated the mix of energy for users in England, Scotland and Wales.

    Just last week the UK grid recorded its first two-day period without using any power from the fossil fuel, which the government has pledged to phase out by 2025.

    al beeb link

    Who needs Chrissy (Figueres), when ya all got lil ol’ green advocates on blow/booze/amphetamines cocktail @ beeboid-lala-land

    • Gamecock permalink
      April 24, 2018 9:00 pm

      Not using coal is a bug, not a feature.

      • Athelstan permalink
        April 24, 2018 9:20 pm

        what are you drinking?

      • Gamecock permalink
        April 27, 2018 3:17 pm

        Coal is an excellent, low cost fuel. Not using it is dumb.

    • John F. Hultquist permalink
      April 25, 2018 4:19 am

      How many trees from North America were burned during this no-coal utopia?

      • April 26, 2018 11:15 am

        It would appear that the riverine forests along the Roanoke River were pretty much wiped out.

    • David James Styles permalink
      April 25, 2018 8:47 am

      Looking at the Gridwatch and sites from the 15th to present time no meaningful amount of Coal power has been supplied (a few hours here and there of <500MW and one spike of 1300MW). Since the 15th the CCGT output has been at least 2000MW below the peaks seen during the previous week. Therefore it suggests if the NG were really bothered about setting records for contiguous time with no coal power contribution then it could have been done by slightly increasing the CCGT output.
      Can any of the readers explain why the NG brought online the coal power at such little values during those hours. Would it be for better demand response, economics of the high demand CCGT, gas supplies at some CCGT plants, keeping the coal stations 'warm', etc.??? Or to allow records to be broken regularly and the press releases forthcoming??

      • dodgy geezer permalink
        April 25, 2018 9:14 am

        There may have been a requirement at a coal station to operate generators for a short time for technical reasons?

        I used to assume that the specialist engineers who looked after our infrastructure – Roads, Rail, Air Traffic, Electricity, Telecommunications, Gas, Water, Sewage, the River Watersheds and all the rest actually knew what they were doing and could be trusted to operate theses specialist structures underpinning our society to the best of our interests.

        This is no longer the case.

      • Athelstan permalink
        April 26, 2018 7:51 am

        “This is no longer the case”

        Yes indeed.

        We’re adrift and the green loonies are piloting the barge and the needle sharp reefs of cold hard reality are coming into sight, as the currnents and the tide pushes relentlessly onto the economic rocks, calamity beckons.

  14. Green Sand permalink
    April 24, 2018 8:58 pm

    I imagine a far far better world, a free world, one that is free to progress and improve the well being of mankind, one that is free from Christiana Figueres and her virtue signalling, woolly headed thinking ilk.

  15. Fredar permalink
    April 24, 2018 9:18 pm

    Yes, well, unfortunately we don’t live in an imaginary world. I can imagine I have super powers, but that doesn’t make it real.

  16. Nigel S permalink
    April 24, 2018 9:44 pm

    The worst part was the appalling hypocrisy of suggesting that Ms Figueres’s world will provide energy to the third world which is currently being withheld by the evil fossil fuel conspiracy. A lie so bare faced that it’s almost impressive.

  17. Marshall Rosenthal permalink
    April 24, 2018 10:00 pm

    Global warming/Climate Change gas: Unbelievable!

  18. April 24, 2018 10:06 pm

    She is the UN energy person who claimed that the mission was not the environment but – in effect – the destruction of capitalism, and the redistribution of wealth, Robin Hood style – taken from the rich (western countries) and given to the poor … All part of the Club of Rome/UN Agenda 21 aim to take control of the world’s resources away from the nation states where those resources exist. “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.”
    Full frontal, ie not even closet communism!

    • dave permalink
      April 25, 2018 6:29 am

      “…not even closet communism!”

      When Russia and China were ruled by principled Communist regimes, who boasted that they would bury us, the many Marxists in the West HAD to ‘hide in the closet,’ or be labelled unpatriotic. Now, they can come out – swaggering because their ‘Long March’ through our institutions has been so successful.

      • Derek Buxton permalink
        April 25, 2018 9:34 am

        Too true unfortunately!

      • Athelstan permalink
        April 26, 2018 7:53 am

        We are mad to put up with it, mad to vote for it but yet – we do.

  19. April 25, 2018 7:20 am

    Never mind, your smart meter will tell you when you’re reaching your quota for the week/month etc.

    • April 25, 2018 10:37 am

      – and your randomised bill will be enforced by Capita regardless of the meter reading.

      • Athelstan permalink
        April 26, 2018 7:57 am

        Capita are going, going gone and soon, US hedge funds will soon be sending round the ‘heavies’ and the cronytories-EDF-EON-HMG et al will enthusiastically clap on the sidelines.

        The message is, punish the Brits for not paying their ever rising energy bills and until the pips squeak.

  20. April 25, 2018 7:29 am

    Oh dear Ms Figueres fell at the first hurdle. With no fossil fuels being used there would be no furnaces and foundries and very limited means to convert raw materials to the steel, alloys, castings or concrete used in wind farms, solar panels and hydro schemes or their power distribution network.

  21. George Lawson permalink
    April 25, 2018 9:58 am

    There is no hard proof that fossil fuel energy is harming the countries health. Only recently have we heard of the concerns of government that we are all living longer and the Country’s growing pension costs is worrying for our economy. When one looks at the massive increase in vehicles pushing out petrol and diesel fumes across the World, especially in the world’s busy cities like London, Paris and New York, you would, if you listened to the scaremongers who promote gloom and doom, expect to see people gasping on the side walks rather than enjoying the sites and attractions of these big cities. But they are seemingly unaffected by the fumes that are expelled by the millions of vehicles spewing out their hot gasses which, being hot, rise instantly into the air without effect on the millions of street walkers around them. Yet we have these do- gooding Greens and supporting medical ‘research’ coming up with their unfounded conclusions which have such a profound effect on our industries, particularly the motor car industry, with the result that diesel car production has crashed with the likely result that some car factories could close leading to massive unemployment. There are simply too many major decisions being made by the wrong people with mindless politicians making major decisions on unproven facts just to show that we’re doing something about it.

  22. Peter Flint permalink
    April 25, 2018 2:06 pm

    In the world that these people want to see I believe the general public are supposed to be happy sitting in the cold and the dark and eating grass (sorry the latter comes from the “health” lobby who are telling us all how various foods are killing us).
    I’ll get down off the soap box now.

  23. Robin Guenier permalink
    April 26, 2018 7:55 am

    Here’s Richard Lindzen’s view of Ms Figueres’ position:

    Of course, some political figures skip any embarrassing pretenses concerning science and move directly to their agenda. Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change: “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.”

    Ms. Figueres is not alone in taking this approach. … Ms. Figueres may be the most honest. No proposed measures will have any discernible impact on climate (regardless of one’s view of the physics) unless one rolls back the industrial revolution everywhere and permanently – and even then significant impact on global climate is dubious. Of course, no country outside the western world would even consider this, though they are perfectly happy to endorse the efforts of the West to do so.

    • Athelstan permalink
      April 26, 2018 8:03 am

      “Of course, no country outside the western world would even consider this, though they are perfectly happy to endorse the efforts of the West to do so.”

      Prof. Richard Lindzen, always dead centre and right on the mark.

      Mr. Enoch Powell, was of course referring to a totally different very deleterious, studiously done attack on Western society but the image also holds true in reference to the above, that, we are stacking up the logs and ready for burning – busily building our own funeral pyre.

      • Robin Guenier permalink
        April 26, 2018 9:40 am

        It’s extraordinary that Ms Figueres actually believes that transformation was agreed in Paris. Here again is what she said at the beginning of her TED talk:

        On December 12, 2015, in Paris, under the United Nations, 195 governments got together and unanimously … decided to intentionally change the course of the global economy.

        But there’s nothing in the Agreement to that effect – although some Western European countries seem to think there is:

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