Policy maker

What can I do as a policy maker to stop the global warming? As a policy maker you have a crucial role in stopping the global warming. The necessary transition affects how cities and societies are planned, the different infrastructures for transports, energy, food supply, nutrient cycles, waste etc. This will also have many positive effects on our lives with cleaner air, higher quality of food, a richer social life and healthier people. We have an opportunity to leave a better place to live in to our children and future generations.

You are most likely already addressing several of these problems. But we need to speed up the transition. Since the usage of fossil fuels are deeply integrated into our society, many different areas need to be addressed simultaneously. This action list suggests where attention is needed to make this happen in a coordinated way with citizens and other stakeholders such as city mayors and enterprise leaders. Don’t hesitate – take a lead in this! You will not regret it and people will thank you.

  • Turn the energy production to a fossil free sector (why? how?)
  • Introduce benefits for fossil free heating/cooling of premises (why? how?)
  • Introduce benefits for fossil free transportation to make it the first choice alternative (why? how?)
  • Speed up the transition from fossil based energy to renewable energy (why? how?)
  • Create policies beneficial for organic and vegetarian food production (why? how?)
  • Stimulate local markets (why? how?)
  • Promote new values in the society beyond the traditional growth (why? how?)
  • Promote usage of quality products with long lifetime in all sectors (why? how?)
  • Build awareness of resilience and sustainability in the society (why? how?)
  • Stimulate R&D and investments in green technology (why? how?)
  • Establish a tribunal for companies who have put their own interests before the climate of our planet (why? how?)
  • Network with other policy makers nationally and internationally to facilitate and find cooperation in reaching the above tasks (why? how?)


When all of us are moving in the same direction, the climate and the future of our kids will be saved in a surprisingly short time. Use the action list as input in your work, engage your staff, find out more, and let others know what you are doing. We are all in this together. You find some more background and links for further reading here.

“It always seems impossible until it is done.”
                                    -Nelson Mandela

It's about the future of our children and their childrenIt’s about my future heart

“Earth is not a gift from our forefathers,
but a legacy to our children.”
                                    -Ancient Indian proverb

Why?

  • A reduced consumption of material products may be compensated by an increased consumption in the service and experience sectors. In other words, an adaptation to the global warming could be by a shift in focus from consumption of physical products with high embodied content of fossil energy, to a consumption of immaterial products with lower or no content of fossil energy.

How?

  • Use different means to promote a life style where people spend more of their time and money on social activities of various kinds requiring less energy and fossil fuel. This can be a long range of different activities such as cultural activities, visiting restaurants, cafés, movies, enjoying music, concerts, theaters, museums, spending time with family and friends, barbecues, enjoying sports of most kinds, baseball, Super Bowl, soccer and football, “slow traveling” e.g. by train and buses driven by renewable fuels, etc. Note that activities that requires large amounts of energy (i.e. today fossil fuels) are disqualified from the list.
  • Make step vise adjustments of the education system to increase capacity of professions where there will be a higher demand.

Why?

  • The products all of us consumes today requires large amounts of fossil fuels before they reach our hand at the store or the UPS. It is fuels for producing and transporting the materials it is made of, fuels for manufacturing the product itself, fuels for shipping and transports (the list can be made long). By doubling the life time of all products, the fossil fuels used in many sectors of our society should in principle be possible to be reduced by half.
  • Jobs lost from a reduced consumption of products may be compensated by new jobs within the repair and maintenance sector, within organic farming, and new jobs within sectors of low or no energy dependency within the society (e.g. entertainment, music, cafés, restaurants, sports, services of various types, etc).

How?

  • Run campaigns giving background and motivating people to chose quality.
  • Introduce tax benefits for a repairs, maintenance and spare parts sector, as well as for the second hand sector. Increase the VAT for products especially products with high fossil fuel content. Decrease the VAT for products and services with low or no fossil fuel content.
  • Stimulate education and research focusing on product quality.
  • Consider introducing some regulation of the marketing sectors.
  • Find ways to help people to chose quality products on the market. Maybe the ”Pricerunner” turned into a ”Qualityrunner”. The possibility for people on various hotel booking sites to give reviews of their stay have probably increased the quality of some hotel segments on the market.
  • Learn from the products that were produced in the mid 20th century, many of those had a long product life time.

Why?

  • Organic food production is a foundation for a post fossil society. Not primarily because of the health aspects, but because it is more fuel efficient and resistant to an extreme climate. Both fertilizers and pesticides used on most farms today have a high energy content most often of fossil origin. Organic farms does also typically use local varieties of seed and plants. This gives a better adaptation to the local climate and soil and a better resistance to droughts and flooding.
  • Vegetarian food can be produced with ten times less resources. With a meat production reduced to half, land will released for planting more trees that will reduce the soil erosion at heavy rains and allow the production of bio fuels. Trees planted should be the types more resistant to strong winds and wildfires. Bio fuels will be important in some sectors of the society where fossil fuels can’t easily be replaced by electrical energy e.g. special vehicles, specific industry usage, etc.

How?

  • Create policies that will stimulate organic and vegetarian food production.
  • Promote organic and vegetarian food alternatives within national institutions.
  • Learn from other nations and regions that have progressed in organic and vegetarian food production.
  • Study the whole infrastructure around organic farming including recycling of fertilizers etc.
  • Establish a national website to spread information of best practices for organic farming.
  • Use other means and tools at your disposal.

Why?

  • About 70% of energies used in modern societies today originates from fossil fuels. The technology and solutions for transforming the society to only using renewable energies exists today. However to be prepared for issues that may arise during the transition phase, well chosen investments in R&D and green tech could prove useful.
  • The transition itself stimulates the economy. Take advantage of this by having invested in R&D and green tech where the demand is.

How?

  • Use your available tools to stimulate relevant R&D and green tech enterprises. Invent new methods to stimulate, create new R&D areas and create a rich environment for start-up companies as needed.
  • Ensure that the educational system generates the right competence
  • Stimulate close cooperation between universities and enterprises

Why?

  • It is obvious that global warming will not stop until we have replaced fossil energy with fossil free alternatives. Using more efficient combustion engines will only delay the global warming a few years, not stop it. Generation of electricity is a key user of fossil fuels in all forms, coal, oil and natural gas. It is therefore necessary that all electricity generation and energy production in general is turned into a fossil free sector as quickly as possible. Electricity will be even more dominant in a post fossil society, e.g. it may dominate the transport sector too.

How?

  • Increase taxes on fossil fuels. There need to be a minimum prize on fossil fuels – a minimum prize that includes the cost for the damages caused by the green house gases released from the fossil fuel. The motivation is that the costs for the climate disasters should be carried by the activities causing them. That would raise the price significantly on fossil fuels and make investments in renewable more attractive. Increase the taxes stepwise to allow a controlled migration to the new technology. Be as clear as possible about the planned tax increase steps to help investors in their long term planning.
  • Use a well engineered plan for taxes and subsidies. When the energy production has been shifted to fossil free energy, the total costs for the subsidies could have been paid by the total taxes for the fossil fuels. But make sure the initial subsidies are aggressive for a rapid take-off of the renewable market.
  • Increase regulation and control of the energy production sector to ensure that the market doesn’t invent new ways to burn the fossil fuels, e.g. export it.
  • Work on the international arena with regulation of fossil fuels e.g.establishing a global minimum prize and taxation of fossil fuels. Prioritize coal regulation as a first step.
  • Wind power has a good prospect for being a corner stone of energy production in a fossil free society. It is a mature technology, low investment costs, can be rolled out on large scale rapidly and is an infinite source of energy. Calculations by researchers at Stanford University has shown that wind could meet many times the world’s total power demand.
  • There are of course issues with wind power, e.g. different timing of production and demand, but those issues should be possible to solve by the industry and researchers along the road. Parts of the solutions might be, hydrogen production at peak production, smart grid and smarter control of industrial processes, smart homes, smart buildings, smart charging of electrical cars, reversing hydro power plants, etc.
  • In addition the warmer climate will increase the power of winds, hence increasing the possibilities to harvest electricity from wind power. The energy harvested from the wind might also mitigate the damages caused by strong winds.

Why?

  • The transport sector is a major source of the green house gases that disrupts our climate. Fossil driven vehicles used by the transport sector needs to be replaced by fossil free alternatives. These alternatives are already available today. Electrical vehicles are generally less complex than combustion driven vehicles. Therefore electrical vehicles have a potential to have a lower price tag than vehicles have today. Stimulation is however needed to make it take off and speed up the transition from a combustion to an electrical fleet.
  • Fossil free transportation should also give a better air quality in cities. Bad air quality is a major issue in many major cities today. This would give both happier and healthier citizens and potentially reducing the total health costs in the society.

How?

  • Eliminate or reduce taxation of electrical vehicles, use differentiated road tolls and parking fees. Even if it is just for a period of some years, this would accelerate the replacement of the fossil driven fleet.
  • Add taxation to the fossil driven alternatives to make them less attractive. The motivation is that the costs for climate disasters need to be taken by those who are causing it. Well engineered, this may finance the subsidies for the fossil free vehicles.
  • Make sure the capacity scaling of renewable energy production (e.g. wind, sun, geothermal etc) meets the energy demand from the transportation sector.
  • Make new investments in rail based transportation infrastructure. Transportation of both goods and people can be shifted to rail. Consider high speed trains for people transportation to make it competitive with aviation.
  • Establish an infrastructure hydrogen fuel. Stations for refueling hydrogen driven electrical cars and trucks. Hydrogen production plants could be based on peak production from wind- and solar production when generated power exceeds demand.

Why?

  • Heating and cooling are using a significant part of energy in our society today. As long as that energy originates from fossil fuels it will contribute to a more and more violent climate and causing costs to recover from storm damages and increased costs for food production due to failing crops.
  • As the climate is becoming more extreme, even more energy will be required for heating and cooling. To get out of the vicious spiral it is therefore essential to as soon as possible make sure the heating/cooling sector is a fossil free sector.

How?

  • Introduce or adjust regulation and policies to make solar power, wind energy and geothermal energy the preferred choices for producing energy for heating and cooling. Look at success stories e.g. from Denmark, Germany etc, how it can be done.
  • Make sure that energy companies offer plans with renewable energy.
  • Check that the regulation and standards for insulation of houses and premises promotes an energy efficient way of constructing.
  • Check that the regulation and standards of heating and cooling promotes usage of the most energy efficient equipment on the market.
  • Establish subsidies for insulating old houses and enterprise premises.
  • Introduce increased taxes for heating/cooling that are dependent on fossil energy.
  • Simplify for citizens or groups of citizens who want to invest in renewable energy or live in an eco friendly way.
  • Note that wind energy alone has been calculated to have a potential many times the total energy usage on the planet today (by National Academy of Science, USA, 2009). So don’t underestimate its potential.

Why?

  • The release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from the burning fossil fuels is the root cause of the global warming. A shift from fossil fuels to fossil-free is very urgent. Fuel efficiency e.g. as in modern cars, does not prevent the global warming, it just delays it. To stop the global warming we need to stop using fossil fuels completely. It basically needs to stay in the ground. And we need to start the shift now and within a decade or two the transition to the fossil free society need to be finished. If we don’t manage that, our children will inherit a non-functioning society and yet having to deal with weather catastrophes of all kinds. Basically we will leave them without a future. That is the inconvenient truth.
  • There are in practice no way to compensate for fossil carbon dioxide once it has been released into the atmosphere. If it is released, it is released. Trying to compensate by planting trees is just a temporary binding of the carbon dioxide as it will be released again into the atmosphere when the organic material of the tree sooner or later decomposes. A true compensation would be Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), but the world’s only large scale CCS project run by Norwegians was closed down as it was considered impossible to do it on a large scale. CCS also suffers from the weakness that it requires energy hence reducing the benefit of using the fossil fuel from the very beginning.

How?

  • Put a tax on fossil fuels to reflect the full cost including indirect costs on the environment of burning fossil fuels. Offset with a reduction in the tax on income and initial subsidies for renewable energy. A full cost price on fossils will speed up the shift to fossil free replacements. (For further details see e.g. page 184 in Lester Brown’s book Word on the Edge).
  • Make sure new infrastructures in the society are in place not to limit a rapid increased demand for fossil free alternatives. For example, battery charging or replacement possibilities for electrical cars used for city commuting, high speed train links between major cities, increased capacity for rail based electrified transportation, hydrogen stations for fueling of hydrogen driven vehicles, production of hydrogen using wind and solar power, sufficient scale up of wind-, solar- and geothermal energy production, etc.
  • Check with city mayors, enterprise leaders, and citizens what support they need in their work to shift to fossil free energy. Consider and find ways to meet their requests.
  • Keep running campaigns for energy efficiency in all sectors of the society to facilitate the fuel shift.

Why?

  • A higher degree of local provision of basic products and services, will reduce the total amount of transportation needed, plus create local jobs. In addition it will increase the resilience and make the society more independent of extreme weather disasters around the planet such as flooding, drought, shortage of food, civil unrest and other direct or indirect effects from a more violent climate. Local provision are more likely to be unaffected by disruptions to the global supply chains. Especially food security is important.

How?

  • Use different tools you have available for stimulating local provision of at least basic products and services to give the society of your responsibility a high level of resilience.

Why?

  • The awareness among people that something is wrong with the climate is today quite well established in many countries. However a deeper knowledge of resilience and sustainability on all levels in the society is needed in order motivate and create understanding for the necessary changes in the society. All of us need to be able to take the right decisions in order to meet the challenges in front of us.
  • By giving resilience and sustainability high priority in the society, the transition to a post fossil society can be speeded up.
  • Taking controlled measures now to address the resilience and sustainability issues, will eventually save money by avoiding costs from the extreme weather disasters that otherwise would have been more bad.

How?

  • Ensure the new disciplines are part of the teaching on all educational levels from basic and up.
  • Increase the research at universities in the resilience and sustainability areas.
  • Introduce new policies and regulations on resilience and sustainability to guide enterprises, cities and citizens in the transition to the post fossil society.
  • Take the initiative to raise the competence level in your own organization on resilience and sustainability.
  • Make sure resilience and sustainability issues are always on the agenda and addressed with high priority.

Why?

  • Companies typically don’t take environmental responsibilities unless they are forced to by their customers, or by law and regulation. Yet companies have a crucial role in stopping the global warming.

How?

  • Establish an ecocide law or regulation to make it illegal for a company to put its own interest before the interest of humanity to stop the global warming.
  • Make sure clear information about the new law or regulation reaches the management in all companies.
  • Enforce the law or regulation as clear cases of violation arises.
  • Work internationally for the establishment of an international tribunal for climate related ecocides. This may be essential as many companies today are active on a global basis. Such a tribunal may be similar to the international tribunal in Haag for crimes against humanity. Maybe the scope of the Haag tribunal can be extended for ecocide crimes as well.

Why?

  • The global warming is a global issue. That does not mean it can only be handled on a global level, quite the opposite. It needs to be handled at all levels in the society in parallel – by each citizen, enterprise leader, city mayor, up to national and international level. Some measures becomes more effective if they are accompanied by agreements between multiple nations or at a global level (e.g. under the UN umbrella), for example a minimum price or tax level on fossil fuels. A few measures can only be accomplished at a global level, for example an international tribunal for ecocide crimes.

How?

  • Use what you have at your disposal, personal contacts, international forums, organizations etc, to push for various kinds of agreements.
  • It is probably easier to agree on more specific things bilaterally or among a smaller group of nations, than to make general agreements signed by all worlds nations. Make an agreement with a neighboring country to both give new electrical cars three years free of taxes. Start in smaller scale and expand or work with several strategies simultaneously. Every agreement, small or big, is a step in the right direction. It’s about getting the snowball start rolling. Eventually it may start increasing its speed by its own weight.
  • Share your progress with your personal contacts to inspire others to follow. Issue press releases for each agreement made to let everyone share the positive feeling and energy from that progress is being made.

Questions answered

  • How can global warming be stopped
  • How can the climate be saved
  • What can I do to help save the climate
  • How can the planet be saved
  • How can global warming be stopped
  • How can global warming be prevented
  • What can help stop climate change
  • What can help stop global warming
  • What can be done to stop the climate crisis
  • What can I do to stop the global warming
  • What can be done about the climate crisis
  • What can be done about the global warming
  • What can be done about the climate change
  • How can climate change be prevented
  • Policies to stop global warming
  • Policies to stop climate change
  • Policies to stop climate crisis
  • Policies to stop extreme weather