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Humanity Can Still Stop Climate Change by Implementing a New International Climate Agreement and Applying Radical New Technology


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There is a broad consensus worldwide that anthropogenic climate change is a scientific fact. Likewise, the fact is that the UN’s efforts to address climate change over the last 28 years have not been successful enough. It is evident that the global average temperature is on the rise (1.1 °C above pre-industrial levels in 2019). A particular concern comes from the fact that the Paris Agreement on keeping increases in the global average temperature to below +2 °C is an unenforceable ambition since the focus is more on consequences than causes. In addition, economic policies regarding global taxes, as well as adaptation and mitigation measures, are questionable, as there is no evidence that changes in the climate system will proceed at the same rate in the coming years. This paper proposes an engineering approach that considers all relevant aspects of the climate change problem and proposes a new policy, named the “Climate New Deal”. It deals with: (i)Reorientation from a high-carbon economy to a green economy; (ii) The intensive use of radically new technology, e.g., “Seawater Steam Engine” technology for the simultaneous production of thermal and electric energy and drinking water; and (iii) The intensive use of energy efficient technologies and RES technologies, especially in transport.
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Humanity Can Still Stop Climate Change by
Implementing a New International Climate
Agreement and Applying Radical New Technology
Zvonimir Glasnovic 1, *, Karmen Margeta 2and Nataša Zabukovec Logar 3,4
1Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology, University of Zagreb, Savska cesta 16,
10000 Zagreb, Croatia
2Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology, University of Zagreb, Marulicev trg 20,
10000 Zagreb, Croatia; or
3National Institute of Chemistry, Hajdrihova ulica 19, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia;
4Faculty of Science, University of Nova Gorica, Vipavska 13, 5000 Nova Gorica, Slovenia
*Correspondence: or
Received: 12 October 2020; Accepted: 15 December 2020; Published: 18 December 2020
There is a broad consensus worldwide that anthropogenic climate change is a scientific fact.
Likewise, the fact is that the UN’s eorts to address climate change over the last 28 years have not
been successful enough. It is evident that the global average temperature is on the rise (1.1
C above
pre-industrial levels in 2019). A particular concern comes from the fact that the Paris Agreement on
keeping increases in the global average temperature to below +2
C is an unenforceable ambition,
since the focus is more on consequences than causes. In addition, economic policies regarding
global taxes, as well as adaptation and mitigation measures, are questionable, as there is no evidence
that changes in the climate system will proceed at the same rate in the coming years. This paper
proposes an engineering approach that considers all relevant aspects of the climate change problem
and proposes a new policy, named the “Climate New Deal”. It deals with: (i) Reorientation from a
high-carbon economy to a green economy; (ii) The intensive use of radically new technology, e.g.,
“Seawater Steam Engine” technology for the simultaneous production of thermal and electric energy
and drinking water; and (iii) The intensive use of energy ecient technologies and RES technologies,
especially in transport.
climate change; Paris agreement; Seawater Steam Engine; energy; drinking water;
sustainable development
1. Introduction
Today, the majority of people no longer doubt the existence of anthropogenic climate change.
However, there will always be individuals or interest groups who will try, directly or indirectly, to
oppose this axiom. The reasons for such thinking include the following: fossil fuel lobbyists will
continue to pursue their economic interests [
]; some people are unable to deal with this extremely
unpleasant situation, resulting in a defense mechanism of negation [
]; some people are inclined to
relativize scientific theses and evidence of from climate change [
]. This paper is based on evidence of
climate change as established by numerous scientists. The authors agree with the fact that climate
change is primarily caused by anthropogenic factors (i.e., the use of fossil fuels, and consequently,
greenhouse gas emissions) for which there is a consensus of 97% of scientists worldwide [6].
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has laid out a set of seven main climate change
parameters: (1) Surface Temperature, (2) Ocean Heat, (3) Greenhouse Gases, (4) Sea Level, (5) Ocean
Energies 2020,13, 6703; doi:10.3390/en13246703
Energies 2020,13, 6703 2 of 32
Acidity (pH), (6) Glaciers and (7) Sea Ice [
]. The first four parameters (1–4) are showing increasing
trends, while the other three (5–7) are decreasing, as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Trends of seven main climate change parameters.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) publication, The State of the Global Climate in 2018
(2018) [
], provided an overview of the state of the climate in 2018 considering global temperature as a
dominant parameter of climate change. The Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) (2018) [
] stated that human activity had already caused an increase in global temperature by
C before 2017 (i.e., in the possible range from 0.8 to 1.2
C) in relation to the pre-industrial period.
It was estimated that the increase in global temperature will probably reach 1.5
C between 2030
and 2052 if CO
emissions continue to increase at the current rate. However, the fact is completely
overlooked that the temperature on Earth will not instantly decrease, even if humanity completely cuts
it CO
emissions, because the climate has its own inertia, and most probably will not follow the curves
associated with various scenarios shown in the IPCC’s Special Report [9].
The study, Economic Losses Poverty & Disasters (1998–2017) [
], which considers the period of the
last 20 years, describes the drastic consequences of climate change:
562,677 people killed–91% of all disasters (which include people who have been injured, lost their
home or those who were in need of emergency medical assistance) have been caused by climate
change, i.e., floods, droughts, extreme temperatures, storms and other weather extremes.
433 million people suered from climate change (about 22 million people a year), as shown in Figure 2.
In the 20-year period, there were 329 disasters annually, in contrast to the period of 1978–1997,
during which there were 165 disasters annually, which means that the number of disasters doubled.
US$ 2245 billion economic losses caused by climate change in the last 20 years, or an average of US$
112 billion annually [10]. The distributions of economic losses are shown in Figure 2.
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The questions that inevitably arise are “Is someone responsible for the death of 562,677 people and
injuries to 4.33 billion people in the past 20 years?” or “Have we really done enough to save human
lives and prevent disasters?” Another question could also arise: “Who will be responsible for future
deaths and climate-related disasters, the numbers of which will obviously increase”.
On 4 June, 1992, the United Nations (UN) adopted the International Environmental Treaty,
the emphUnited Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) [
]. Since its
inauguration in Berlin in 1995, a Conference of Parties (COP) has been organized every year, with the
last COP 25 being held in Madrid in 2019, where conclusions (according to the Paris Agreement) were
missing, because consensus among all countries could not be reached. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic,
COP 26 in 2020 was postponed to November 2021 [12], and so two more years were lost.
The Kyoto Protocol [
] came into force on 16 February, 2005, when it was ratified by Russia (even
though it was first proposed on 11 December, 1997). Given that the countries that ratified it comprise
only 61% of polluters, it is clear that this agreement has failed to unite all countries. Rosen [
] gives an
extensive analysis covering more than 130 scientific and other relevant references, and lists the reasons
why the Kyoto protocol can be considered a failure. Other authors also point to the shortcomings of the
protocol with a special view on the strangeness of the situation: “Within the international regime, we
now have the odd situation in which the Kyoto system still exists alongside the Paris Agreement” [
as well as to the problems of sustainable development: “Future global climate change frameworks
should focus on balancing the impact on economic and environmental performance in order to ensure
sustainable development, especially for developing countries that have a low capacity to mitigate
emissions” [16].
The Paris Agreement [
] was finalized on 12 December, 2015, and came into force on 4 October,
2016 after being ratified by the European Union. By December 2016, 194 member states of the UNFCCC
had signed the Agreement, with 118 ratifying it. However, it is already clear that the realization of its
C and +2
C targets related to pre-industrial times is unrealistic (according to recent reports the
World Meteorological Organization, the global average temperature reached 1.1
C above pre-industrial
levels in 2019 [18]).
The UN itself is currently ineectual at solving this problem because, even with the organization of 25 COPs,
numerous resolutions, papers and two global agreements (Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement), changes are
not occurring fast enough to slow the temperature increase.
Figure 2. Global temperature and sea level rising [19,20] (Left) and Pisa tower as metaphor (Right).
Given the above, we conclude that the UN currently has no real solutions to eectively control
CO2emissions and, consequently, global warming, or no appropriate “weapons” or realistic strategy.
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The only solution the UN appeals to at the moment is the implementation of the Paris Agreement,
which uses the vague terms mitigation (without any quantitative indicators and methods to achieve
this) and adaptation, assuming that climate change will occur slowly without taking into account the
fact that there may be cataclysmic consequences in the near future.
This paper, among other things, presents criticism of the UN’s policy of fighting climate change
up to this point, because the temperature of the planet has been rising faster and faster from 1992 to
today. If no significant steps have been achieved in 28 years (on the contrary, things are getting worse),
who or what guarantee is there that there will be results in the next 28 years? All this leads to the
conclusion that a radical U-turn is necessary in the UN’s policy of solving the climate change problem
and in the search for the right “weapons” to fight climate change.
2. Methodology
How can the problem of climate change be solved? It is crucial to first select critical points, which,
in our opinion, are:
damage due to climate change increases every year and the burden of that damage is not equally
distributed among all countries (CO
emissions dier significantly from one country to another,
i.e., five countries contribute 60% of total CO
emissions and all other countries in the world 40%);
criticism of global taxing policy proposed by economic experts;
the Paris Agreement should be revised;
high-carbon economies must reorient themselves to total green economies using innovative
technologies that can change the current trend of global temperature increase as a result of GHG
(especially CO2) emissions.
This paper proposes solutions to the above problematic points. It discusses a model of a fairer
distribution of the burden of damage caused by climate change (Section 2.1), presents an expert view on
the economic methods and models used in IPCC study (Section 2.2), proposes a new climate agreement,
the Climate New Deal (Section 2.3), and proposes a solution for the fight against climate changes using
an innovative new technology, the Seawater Steam Engine, that can produce both energy and drinking
water using three natural sources (renewable energy sources, seawater, and gravity); by applying this
technology, every city/settlement can become a sustainable community (Section 2.4).
Before the paper provides solutions, point by point, it stresses one key question: Will climate
change occur slowly or rapidly? Today, there are many analyses, models and scenarios that try to
predict increases in global temperatures. However, nobody can currently predict, with a high-degree of
certainty, how climate change indicators will develop, because everything is, before all else, dependent
on the capacity of climate to maintain balance. This is a physical and technical challenge.
What we know for certain is that global temperature is still on the rise, as are sea levels, as shown
in Figure 2. The left side of Figure 2shows the increase in global temperature from pre-industrial times
to 2017, according to NASA Global Climate Change, Global Temperature (2019) [
], and the rise of sea
level in the same period, according to NASA Global Climate Change, Sea Level (2020) [
]. These data
clearly indicate that the global temperature has risen by around 1
C and the sea level by 95 (
4) mm
(most recent measurement taken in July 2020) in relation to pre-industrial times.
Most forecasts of the future rise in temperature remain conservative, meaning that they have a
steady-state model of the climate. They suppose that, with today’s CO
emission rates, or somewhat
reduced rates, the changes in temperature will be slow, and that the global average temperature will
increase by 2, 4 or 6 C by 2100 [21].
However, the climate system is much more complex than it seems, and is essentially an unstable
system (it should be modelled as a relationship between two fluids, i.e., sea water and air; at the contact
point between these fluids, i.e., in the approximately 1-mm thick layer covering 2/3 of the surface of
Earth where CO
dissolution takes place, key physical and chemical changes take place) in which
small changes in one parameter can cause enormous changes in the entire system and lead to a climate
Energies 2020,13, 6703 5 of 32
breakdown. What is especially overlooked is that the climate is not a laboratory environment for
scientists to experiment with and manage (with repeated experiments in case of mistakes). Rather, all of
humanity is in a “climate laboratory” and no one knows exactly the outcome of this “experiment”.
In order to develop this point, we can use a dynamic model of the system and consider a similar
system in an unstable balance. To illustrate such a system, we here use a metaphor and compare the
climate to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. As it is commonly known, the lean of the tower increases by
around 1 mm annually; from the time of its construction until 1990, the tower has inclined by around
4 m from its axis. It is obvious that the leaning of the tower does not happen and at the same rate,
culminating with a soft landing on the horizontal surface, but rather, that at some point there will
be a collapse. In other words, this breakdown moment for the tower is the crucial point in time and
is irreversible.
A similar situation might be happening to the climate, because the rising temperature may lead
to a point where a sudden change could occur in the relationship between the water and the air,
and there could be such changes in the climate (hurricanes, flooding, etc.) that would lead to a
climate breakdown.
What is not understood (and is implicit in the improper steady-state view) is that the problem is
not that the climate cannot maintain the high CO
concentrations that are soon expected (we know
that there have been much higher concentrations of CO
in the atmosphere and much higher global
temperatures in the Earth’s history); rather, the problem is that the changes in temperature are too
impetuous for a climate in an unstable balance, meaning that its breakdown is highly likely.
When? Of course, nobody knows this; the most pessimistic forecasts claim that this could happen
within a few years, while the more optimistic forecasts see it happening in several decades. We think
that the forecasts predicting a slow increase in global temperature by 2100, with today’s or somewhat
reduced CO
emissions, are highly unrealistic. Our opinion is that climate change will not occur slowly
but impetuously, with climate collapse being unavoidable if current and/or somewhat reduced CO
emissions continue. For that reason, we think that a new systematic approach is needed, instead of just
correcting current approaches and processes.
2.1. A Model of Fair Distribution of Expenditures
High-income countries, as well as countries with the highest CO
emissions, are not interested
in helping other countries solve their problems even though the issue of climate is a problem for all
humanity. This could be a key point in negotiations to address the lack of success in the past, but also
future climate agreements. China (28%), USA (15%), India (6%), Russia (5%) and Japan (4%) contribute
to 58% of total global CO2emissions, as shown in Figure 3[22].
Figure 3. Share of global carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion (2015) [22].
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Therefore, it is logical to ask: “How can we ensure fair distribution in international endeavors for
climate protection and simultaneously ensure that the world manages to overcome the impending
climate change cataclysm?”
The answer to that question has actually already been provided in Table 1(data downloaded from
the study Economic Losses Poverty & Disasters (1998–2017) [
]. Table 1lists the data of the absolute
value of individual countries’ share in GDP (Recorded climate-related disaster losses per income group
compared to GDP losses from1998 to 2017). High-income countries have US$1432 billion of losses,
or 0.41% of GDP, upper-middle-income countries US$567 billion or 0.60% of GDP, lower-middle-income
countries US$194 billion or 1.94% of GDP, and low-income countries only US$21 billion or 1.77% of
GDP (data are shown in the second and third row, respectively, in Table 1).
Table 1.
Climate-related disaster losses per income group compared to GDP losses 1998–2017 and
significant contributors to CO2emissions.
Climate Changes Characteristics/Countries High Income Upper-Middle
1 Total GDP (billion US$) 349,268 94,500 17,018 1186
2 Total Losses—Absolute value (billion US$) 1432 567 194 21
3 Losses (% GDP) 0.41 0.6 1.14 1.77
Significant contributions to CO2emissions in
(Share in %)
USA (15%),
Japan (4%)
China (28%),
Russia (5%) India (6%) -
52% of GDP 6985 1890 340 24
61.5% GDP (High income) 5239
7Distribution of 0.5% GDP from High income
countries – Absolute value (billion US$) 1746 =1631 +115
The first row of Table 1shows total GDP (billion US$) per income group of countries in the period
of 1998–2017, and the fourth row shows countries with significant CO
emission contributions in
2015 [22].
Upon completion of this paper (2020), comparing Climate-related disaster losses per income group
compared to GDP losses 1998–2017 as well as the emissions of the five countries producing 60% of total
emissions, and as an answer to the aforementioned question related to fair distribution among
countries, we first calculated how much is required to build new, sustainable energy systems.
In that sense, we started with the required funding to build a Total Renewable Electricity Scenario,
as calculated in [
], and determined that this scenario requires less than 1% of GDP. These calculations
take into account the increased value of investing in such a system, but investments in the energy
required to build this system were not calculated, nor was the recycling of equipment after the expiration
of its lifetime, all of which could significantly contribute to the required investment. In addition,
these investment estimates should also include stimulus investments in energy eciency technology in
all sectors. Therefore, the starting investment value of 1% of GDP should be proportionally increased
by the obtained energy and recycling energy, while energy eciency technology investments should
not exceed the investments in the Total Renewable Electricity Scenario (below 1% of GDP in any case).
All this leads to the conclusion that investments in the development of new sustainable energy systems,
i.e., technology (“weapons”) against climate change, could conceivably cost 2% of the GDP of all the
countries in the world (value shown in row 5 of Table 1).
On the other hand, since absolute values of total GDP (billion US$) for lower-middle income
and low income countries are far below the absolute amount in high income countries (upper-middle
income countries fall behind by a factor of 4, lower-middle by a factor of 21 and low income by a
staggering 294 behind high income countries), it makes sense to conclude that high income countries
should use a part of their 2% allocation to prevent climate change for lower-middle income and low
income countries. The proposed model (Figure 4) is to set this figure to 0.5% of high income countries’
Energies 2020,13, 6703 7 of 32
GDP. So, all high-income countries would allocate around 2% of their GDP, of which 0.5% of their
GDP would go to lower-middle income and low income countries (in proportion to their GDP, i.e.,
14:1—except for India, which has high CO
emissions), as shown in row 7 of Table 1
while high income
countries would apply 1.5% of GDP to develop and build new technology to combat climate change
(row 6 of Table 1).
Figure 4.
Model of distribution for investments in the development and creation of new sustainable
energy systems for the protection of the climate.
Even though China is the largest global polluter, with 28% of global CO
emissions, and Russia a
significant polluter, with 5% of global CO
emissions, these two countries are upper-middle income
countries, and it is better that they direct 2% of their GDP against climate change towards developing
and building technology. With 6% of global CO
emissions, India is a significant global polluter, but this
is a country from the lower-middle income countries group. For that reason, it would be best that this
country allocate 2% of GDP towards the development and creation of new sustainable energy systems.
2.2. View of the Economic Methods and Models Used in the IPCC Study
Can the problem of climate change be resolved with the recommended economic methods?
A significant part of the answer to this question is provided by the Stern Review [
], which considered
the eect of climate change on the global economy. Stern’s attitudes regarding climate change and
policies related to its resolution can be seen in the following quote: “Climate change is the greatest
market failure the world has ever seen, and it interacts with other market imperfections. Three elements
of policy are required for an eective global response. The first is the pricing of carbon, implemented
through tax, trading or regulation. The second is policy to support innovation and the deployment
of low-carbon technologies. And the third is action to remove barriers to energy eciency, and to
inform, educate and persuade individuals about what they can do to respond to climate change.”
The Stern study essentially represents a very positive step towards solving climate change, especially
because it demanded urgent resolution of the problem back in 2006, and was a strong proponent of
innovation: “The scientific evidence is now overwhelming: climate change is a serious global threat,
and it demands an urgent global response”.
However, the problem of climate change is still primarily addressed in the pricing of carbon,
through taxing, trading, or regulation, although the climate agreement, i.e., the Kyoto Protocol (in
which a large number of countries committed to reducing emissions) showed that such an approach
did not yield the expected results.
Following Stern’s approach, Nobel laureates William D. Nordhaus and Paul M. Romer [
undertook an economic analysis by constructing models that explained how the market economy
interacts with nature and knowledge, which the IPCC has adopted as policy in its Special Report [9].
Their scenarios (global taxing policy) have been criticized by economic experts [
An assessment of a rapid and significant reduction in CO
emissions and, consequently, a slight
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increase in temperature by 2100 (Figure 5) must include aspects of “structural uncertainty” in the
creation of such models [30].
Figure 5. Left
: CO
Emissions over time for four climate scenarios (Predictions from the DICE-2016R2
model, according to Nordhaus’ own simulations);
: Concentrations of CO
in dierent scenarios;
: Increases in the global mean temperature, Taken from [
]. (“The four scenarios are the business as
usual (BAU) or baseline (“Base”), which is the central version of no climate policy studied here; the cost-benefit
economic optimum (“Opt”), which optimises climate policy over the indefinite future; a path that limits
temperature to 2
C (“T <2.5”); and a policy with an extremely low discount rate as advocated by the Stern
Review (“Stern”)”).
Another problem is that innovation cannot occur at the speed, quality, and intensity that is
required to counter climate change, whatever the regulations and measures may be, since the tempo
of innovation (as well as its quality and intensity) depends on numerous parameters as well as the
natural resources at our disposal to apply a given innovation in the quantity required to contribute to
climate stabilization on a global level.
2.3. New International Climate Agreement
Today, the UN and most scientists take the Paris Agreement as the key policy addressing the
climate change problem, with set goals as defined in Article 2(1) of that Agreement [17]:
Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2
C above pre-industrial
levels and pursuing eorts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5
C above pre-industrial levels,
recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change;
Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate
resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten
food production; and
Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and
climate-resilient development.
Article 2(2) states: “This Agreement will be implemented to reflect equity and the principle of
common but dierentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of dierent national
So, this agreement sets the following as the primary goals: limiting the increase of global average
temperature to 2
C above pre-industrial levels; increasing the ability to adapt to climate change and
creating consistent finance flows, while Paragraph 2 states that the agreement will be implemented
following the principles of equity and the capabilities of dierent parties.
The policy of the Paris Agreement looks more and more like common sense, which provides
humanity with false hope regarding a solution, in particular because this agreement was signed by
194 member states of the UNFCCC by December 2016 and ratified by 118 of them. We are aware
that our criticism of the Paris Agreement might cause great controversy, especially after setting out a
completely dierent view with regard to solving the climate change problem.
To accomplish Article 2(2) of the Paris Agreement, it was necessary to establish Nationally Determined
Contributions (NDCs), as defined by Article 4(2): “Each Party shall prepare, communicate and maintain
Energies 2020,13, 6703 9 of 32
successive nationally determined contributions that it intends to achieve. Parties shall pursue domestic
mitigation measures, with the aim of achieving the objectives of such contributions.”
So, NDCs essentially represent the instruments/tools with which to realize the goals set out in the
Paris Agreement. This means that cooperation among parties is key to accomplishing long-term goals.
Five-year controls of accomplished results were also established, with the first evaluation taking place
in 2023.
Unlike the Kyoto Protocol, representing a top-down international climate agreement (one ordered
to all signatory countries, because the CO
emission quotas have been determined “above” for each
individual country, with countries under the obligation to comply with these quotas), the Paris
Agreement, with its NDC instrument, is essentially a bottom-up solution, which means that it is an
international climate agreement that starts with the parties working towards the targets set by the Paris
Agreement (limiting global temperature), whereby this agreement is more flexible and more respectful
of the sovereignty of nations.
However, despite the fact that the first results not yet come in, it is reasonable to assume that
nationally determined contributions to protect the climate will be below expectations in 2023.
Namely, it is not possible to successfully “wage war” against climate change through a bottom-up
type of organization of parties, since the NDC system lacks any sanctions for parties that do not abide
by what they proclaimed, i.e., for the obligations they have accepted—instead, more or less everything
is done on a voluntary basis. So, the problem of bottom-up style of organization is that this system has
no chain of command (this can exist only through a top-down style of organization), and without a
chain of command and sanctions for irresponsible parties, the NDC system simply cannot provide
results, and the climate will certainly not wait for the signatories to get serious about what they have
promised to do on the national level.
On the other hand, the need to actually do something about climate change can also promote the
false belief that NDCs and COPs are better than nothing (with even the smallest success exaggerated
and failures ascribed to the randomness of life), so such an NDC partnership could remain in eect
for years without yielding significant results. In this case, the NDC instrumentation could become
bureaucratized and an obstacle to alternative, essentially more ecient policies and more ecient
methods of solving the problem; when this finally occurs, it might be too late for humanity, because the
climate is a living laboratory that we inhabit, so we cannot make mistakes.
No international climate agreement or organizational structure can help us if we do not have
strong enough “weapons” (technology) to combat climate change which are available to all countries
and which can provide visible results very quickly.
In any case, we stand by the viewpoint that, in terms of content, organization and functionality,
the NDC is a very complex and inecient method of action against climate change, and that such a
system, with erroneously set targets from the Paris Agreement, will become a hindrance to establishing
a good policy and to implementing a more ecient strategy in the battle against climate change.
We therefore emphasize that we are proposing a means by which to solve the complex problem
of climate change, and we consider it our responsibility to disseminate this information through the
publication of this paper.
What is the problem with the Paris Agreement? The problem is clear from its poorly set objective,
i.e., “Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2
C above pre-industrial
. . .
” [
]. To understand the mistake here, it is first necessary to determine the causes and
consequences of climate change.
It is clear that the cause of global warming is a fossil-fuel-based economy, named a “high-carbon
economy” (this term is practically unused in the literature). Figure 6presents a symbolic representation
of cause and eect, clearly showing that humanity cannot directly act upon consequences (global
warming), but can only directly aect causes (high-carbon economy), seeing that the Earth is not a
boiler heating up water to a certain temperature, after which the thermostat will turn othe heater, i.e.,
the high carbon economy.
Energies 2020,13, 6703 10 of 32
Figure 6.
The problem of the Paris Agreement—The Earth is not a boiler that can be turned o; it is not
possible to directly manage the consequences (global temperature), but only on the causes (high carbon
economy). Photo: Concept of a warming earth with a thermometer, adapted from Can Stock Photo,
In other words, consequences cannot be set as objectives. This means that the objective can in no
way be to limit global temperature, because humanity has no direct handle on the consequences—it
can only directly aect the causes. Two questions naturally follow from this: “What happens when the
global temperature reaches the set value of 2 C?” and “Who will be held responsible”.
The answer to the first question is that if nothing serious is done (which is not likely with the Paris
Agreement), the global temperature will relatively quickly reach and exceed the 2
C value, while the
answer to the second question is that nobody will bear responsibility, because it is unknown who
should be held responsible, and by whom. In such a scenario, new agreements will be invented to
limit global temperature to another, greater value, e.g., 4
C or 6
C or 8
C. All this looks pretty ironic
because, on one hand, everyone is (supposedly) fighting global warming, while on the other hand,
the temperature of the planet (evidently) is on a constant rise, so it is high time to use the Socratic
method to destroy the false knowledge of sophists and to prove that this is but imaginary knowledge,
i.e., ignorance, which could, in the present case of fighting climate change, be disastrous for humanity
(NB. There are three stages to Socrates’ dialectics: irony, maieutic and definition of terms—irony is the
first stage in which Socrates criticizes the knowledge of the arrogant sophists, proving that theirs is but
imaginary knowledge, i.e., ignorance).
If the policy established by the Paris Agreement is unconvincing, the question arises of how to
establish a new, realistic and feasible policy?
To give an answer to this question, an engineering approach is required (as opposed to an economic
approach). Engineers have always been required to use limited resources to solve problems; such an
approach recognizes that the first and most important step is to take into account all relevant aspects of
the problem, and only then to clearly set the objective. This means that it is not enough to conclude
that anthropogenic CO
emissions are too large, that there are more and more CO
in the atmosphere,
that the global temperature is rising, that the glaciers are melting, that many countries do not want to
Energies 2020,13, 6703 11 of 32
give up their fossil fuel-based development, that climate change damage is growing year-to-year, etc.
What is necessary is to devise a dynamic model for such a system, i.e., to ask how the system would
behave during the period when changes are made. The objectives are described as general directions
of change, making the repair of the climate primarily the work of an engineer, more so because the
engineer can innovate and build new technology which is required to combat climate change.
After Socratic irony, it follows that we should use his maieutic (i.e., the skillful posing of questions
and suggestion of possible answers in order to uncover the path to truth) and start with the premise
that humanity cannot survive without an economy (and it cannot currently turn it o), but it also
cannot allow further global warming, so, squeezed between the causes and consequences, the only
logical answer is the reorientation of high-carbon economy to a green economy. In other words, the
only realistic solution to today’s situation is to reorient the economy.
Climate New Deal
Humanity’s only solution is therefore the reorientation from a high-carbon economy to a total
green economy, which means that it cannot be a “somewhat green economy”. This has to occur in a
very strict timeframe, with no allowances for mistakes or compromise.
This means that the limitations are very serious but not insurmountable for the problems
of reorientation.
However, if reorientation targets are set this way, with strict limitations (primarily, the timeframe for
the accomplishment of this goal), then a strict top-down strategy follows with regards to implementation,
because the entire project of saving the climate must take place under strict control (i.e., with a chain of
command). And what is the instrument to impose a common chain of command? It must be money
(as the medium of exchange), i.e., a certain percentage of individual countries’ GDPs.
One question that comes up is how to achieve a fair distribution of eorts to save the climate.
The answer to this question is already given in Section 2.1. of this paper, stating that all countries
would allocate 2% of GDP to fight climate change, where high-income countries would use 1.5% of
their GDPs to reorient their own economies, while the remaining 0.5% would be used to reorient the
economies of lower-middle and low-income countries.
So, all the money in the world would be invested in the reorientation of today’s high-carbon
economy into a total green economy. However, it is very important to have a precise definition of the
term “reorientation”.
In essence, reorientation would mean building new sustainable energy systems which are based exclusively on
renewable energy source technologies, until all countries reach 100% renewable energy usage, because then there
would be no more anthropogenic CO
emissions; however, the CO
emissions resulting from the construction of
these energy systems (embodied energy) must also be taken into account, as well as the parallel application of
energy eciency technology.
However, the economy is, in addition to the environment, related to the society it aects, and this
category becomes exceedingly important in this dynamic, i.e., when moving towards the desired change.
All this means that society also has to significantly change and invest its eorts towards building
completely sustainable communities, because if a community depends on external sources of energy
and drinking water, these being key survival necessities at any given location, this means that it is
not sustainable, because one cannot be “more or less sustainable”—one can only be either completely
sustainable or unsustainable, and, when faced with cost-related criticism, one always has to keep
in mind that sustainability has no price. This means that today’s cities and settlements should
transition toward total sustainability. At first, this does not seem like a new notion, but sustainability
as presented in this paper, intended to save the climate from further destruction, has precisely that
meaning—independence of external sources of energy and drinking water, something that will strongly
aect the form and structure of future cities as well as interpersonal relations therein, with particular
emphasis on relationships in terms of production. As such this is a new approach.
Energies 2020,13, 6703 12 of 32
Furthermore, debates may occur regarding whether future cities/settlements will be mutually
linked with energy (and water) systems as parts of smart grids, which ensues from the logic of the
interconnected system that is the Internet, or whether future cities/settlements will each ensure energy
and drinking water independently. The authors are of the opinion that, in relation to energy and
drinking water, future cities should not connect, as they do for information pathways (i.e., follow the
logic of the Internet) or for trac; instead, as has already been stated, they should be completely
independent of external sources of both energy and drinking water, the current disappearance of which
could endanger the lives and health of people living in these communities. So, from today’s mutual
interconnection of cities/settlements, there should be a movement towards complete independence,
with storage of energy and drinking water being particularly important.
In addition to these societal changes, a separate problem is the increase of human population on
Earth, which will, in addition to increased energy needs, also increase the need for drinking water,
something that could lead to greater shortages thereof.
In that sense, the estimates of World Resources Institute [
] show that by 2030, half of humanity
could live in so called “high water stress” conditions, and by 2040, one in five countries could have
a water scarcity problem, with water stress also aecting the largest economies, such as the United
States, China and India.
Therefore, the reorientation from a high-carbon economy to a green economy will essentially
require technologies that will be able to produce enough energy and drinking water, and to do so
continuously throughout year, which means that special attention should be paid to both seasonal
energy storage technology (without which the continuous supply of energy from RES cannot be
ensured) and drinking water reservoirs.
However, an exceedingly important question is whether today’s RES technology can handle a
completely new energy system to get ahead of climate change, because, on that path, there are three
large obstacles that are summarized in the following subquestions:
Are there enough natural resources to construct the requisite RES capacities, and are there enough
resources to construct energy storage systems to obtain adequate energy from RES technology?
Is RES technology ecient enough to build a sustainable global energy system at the rate required
to prevent climate change?
Is the price of RES technology acceptable, and can it be equally available to both developed and
less developed countries?
The authors are skeptical that there are sucient natural resources to build the requisite RES
capacities as well as to build energy storage technology, except for pump storage hydroelectric
technology, which has the largest energy storage capacity. Scientists have highlighted the risk of
running out of a number of elements which are crucial for RES technology. Some elements have limited
availability and are increasingly used, including lithium, platinum, nickel, helium, phosphorous,
indium, etc. [
]. In addition, the authors are also skeptical regarding the rate of building a
sustainable global energy system with today’s technologies, while they deem that the prices of RES
technology are such that new technologies are not equally available to both developed and less
developed countries.
Due to these obstacles, the authors believe that completely new technology should be developed
as soon as possible that would be simpler, cheaper and much more reliable and widely available to
all countries, both in terms of construction and development, i.e., technology that could ensure the
continuous supply to energy consumers, having the potential to take most of the burden of reorienting
from a high-carbon economy to a green economy.
Why is it so important to have technology that continuously supplies consumers throughout the
year? Because the logic of many small units making a big whole, or today’s algebraic addition of the
share of various RES that ought to satisfy the needs of a country (numerous papers handle this topic),
cannot ensure the continuity of supply to customers from renewable sources throughout the year,
Energies 2020,13, 6703 13 of 32
which means that in this manner, climate change cannot be solved. For that reason, today, we face
situations in which individual countries have installed relatively big RES capacities (large investments),
but these capacities are not being well-used.
Why is it important to ensure drinking water in addition to energy? The entire reorientation is a
dynamic process in which all relevant aspects of the problem must be accounted for, and, in that sense,
perturbations of a greater scale must be foreseen and stopped, given that they arise from large-scale
migrations and conflicts due to a lack of drinking water, regardless of whether they are caused by
droughts, flooding, storms or other extreme weather events [
]. So, in parallel to solving the energy
problem, the drinking water problem must be solved, since no drinking water means that there is no
life at any given location.
Only after taking into account all the relevant aspects of reoriention from a high-carbon to a green
economy can targets be set, i.e., a new policy defined to resolve the climate change problem, named the
Climate New Deal by the authors.
1. Reorientation from a high-carbon economy to a green economy, implemented as follows:
(a) 2% of GDP allocated by high income countries, with 1.5% of GDP for internal reorientation and 0.5%
of GDP to aid lower-middle and low income countries;
2% of GDP allocated by upper-middle income, lower-middle income and low income countries for
internal reorientation;
2. Radically new technology as a new strong “weapon” against climate change that:
can simultaneously produce thermal and electric energy as well as drinking water throughout the year
(b) has a large potential for further development;
(c) is available to all countries;
3. The application of energy eciency and RES technology, particularly in transport;
4. Time for realization: 30 years.
2.4. Seawater Steam Engine Technology—Technology to Combat Climate Change
2.4.1. State-of-the-Art Technology
The development of seawater steam engine technology began by solving the problem of continuous
supply of energy to a settlement using a solar (Photovoltaic, PV, and Solar Thermal, ST) generator over
an entire year (Figure 7). This problem is, in essence, very complex because of stochastic values (and
the capacities to generate energy using a solar generator and of a settlement to consume this energy),
so summer surpluses and winter deficits had to be brought in balance.
As seasonal energy storage, pump storage hydroelectric (PSH) was used since it has the greatest
storage capacity compared to other storage technologies, and is a mature technology with relatively
high eciency (75–92%) that can be constructed at any location with a varying altitude.
The application of PSH technology obviates the need to use fossil fuels in ST power plants to ensure
the continuity of supply when there is not enough solar radiation. The left side of Figure 7A shows a
solar thermal power plant with direct steam generator (DSG) technology (avoiding the heat exchanger
in the circuit of solar thermal collectors and turbines), still using fossil fuels as a substitute when there
is no solar radiation, while the right side of Figure 7A shows PSH technology. Their integration and
the elimination of fossil fuels comprise the system shown in Figure 7B, which ensures a continuous
energy supply to consumers throughout the year.
Finally, Figure 7C shows the technological breakthrough because, instead of the previously
obtained water steam, seawater flows directly through the collectors and then evaporates in a parabolic
collector, afterward being separated in a high-pressure separator into steam and brine water (BW).
Steam energy is transformed into electric energy in turbines and generators, while by condensation,
Energies 2020,13, 6703 14 of 32
the steam itself turns into drinking water after cooling and treatment, and may be stored for periods
when there is insucient solar radiation. Electric energy from the generator starts the pumps (PS)
that pump seawater into the upper reservoir, the volume of which is enough to balance out summer
surpluses and winter deficits, all with the purpose of continuously supplying consumers throughout
the year.
Figure 7.
Development of SSE technology: (
) solar thermal power plant with DSG technology (use
fossil fuels) and PSH technology, separately; (
) integration of solar thermal power plant with DSG
technology (use the previously obtained water steam as a working fluid) and PSH technology; (
technology—integration of solar thermal power plant with DSG technology (use directly seawater as a
working fluid in the open thermodynamic cycle) and PSH technology.
According to the definition of radically new technology, the seawater steam engine represents a
radical innovation based on (i) “dierent set of engineering and scientific principles” [
] which (ii)
“incorporates substantially dierent core technology” [
] and which (iii) “serves as the basis for many
subsequent technological developments” [37].
SSE technology is patented [
]; the present authors have published several scientific papers [
on it, as well as a book in which they present its potential to launch the third industrial revolution [
In addition, in order for a technology to be categorized as radically new, it must be compared to
the most similar “current technologies or ways of thinking”. In that sense, Figure 8was created to
show essential dierences between the steam engine and the seawater steam engine, as well as the
implications of its application.
In the Steam engine (Figure 8, left), thermal energy from fossil fuels (coal) is turned into
output energy (thermal
electrical), whereby demineralized water circulates in a closed
thermodynamic system. In the SSE (Figure 8, right), thermal energy from RES is turned into output
energy (thermal
electrical), whereby the input seawater is a working fluid flowing
through the open thermodynamic system which is separated into two stages: steam and liquid (brine,
or highly concentrated seawater).
In two steps, current technologies can produce: (1) energy from RES (electric or thermal) and
(2) drinking water (obtained energy from RES is used for produce water). SSE technology is the first
technology that can simultaneously and continuously (i.e., in one step) produce both energy and
drinking water, using seawater directly as the input fluid without prior desalination. Therefore, for one
Energies 2020,13, 6703 15 of 32
input (RES), SSE technology gives two outputs: (I) energy (thermal and electrical) and (II) drinking
water, which represents a major breakthrough.
Figure 8.
The original sketch of the breakthrough of SSE technology (
)—comparison to the steam
engine (Left).
Furthermore, a significant breakthrough of SSE technology, compared to current technologies,
relates to the field of application of seawater (as a working fluid) and the physical/chemical parameters
that have not yet been explored.
The physical and chemical properties of seawater have not been researched under the following
conditions (temperature, T=300–350
C, pressure, p=80–120 bar, and salinity S=0–120 g/kg).
These parameters are prerequisites for the operation of SSE technology (getting seawater steam—vapor
phase), as shown in Figure 9B. Current desalination technologies do not need such high temperatures,
i.e., over 200
C (Figure 9A). From previous studies, the following data were obtained for the
physicochemical properties of seawater (T=from 273.14 to 468.06 K (194.92
C), S
35 g/kg, p=140
MPa (1400 bar) [
]; existing correlations and data within boundaries: T=0–120
C; p=0–2 bar;
S=0–120 g/kg, [43]; T=0–120 C, p=0–12 MPa (0–120 bar) and S=0–120 g/kg, [44].
Figure 9.
Breakthrough of Seawater steam engine technology (
) compared to research of
physical/chemical parameters in current technology (B).
Energies 2020,13, 6703 16 of 32
SSE technology, which essentially represents open thermodynamic system where an exchange of
matter (water) and energy with the environment takes place, is founded on the following principles:
energy from RES as heat input;
seawater (or river, lakes, etc.) as the working fluid which flows in an open thermodynamic cycle;
the use of seawater (as a working fluid) under the following conditions: high temperature (300–350
high pressure (80–120 bars) and salinity (0–120 g/kg) – the parameters that have never been
simultaneously applied;
future development of new materials that can withstand high temperatures and high pressure, as well as
being resistant to seawater corrosion under the aforementioned conditions;
unknown physical and chemical processes of seawater evaporation and separation of seawater steam in the
boiling process (a separation process in high pressure separator) under the aforementioned conditions.
Energy output (Electric energy +Heat) and simultaneous Drinking water output
2.4.2. Phase Transitions of Seawater in Seawater Steam Engine (SSE) Technology
The evaporation process of seawater as a working fluid in SSE technology (Figure 10A) begins
when seawater is heated by an external source (solar, wind, other RES) and passes through a collector
pipe, whereby there is a phase transition from the liquid to the vapor phase. The obtained vapor
is separated in a high-pressure separator into steam and a liquid phase (i.e., saturated solution).
The obtained vapor/steam is additionally heated and superheated steam is generated, which drives the
turbine and generator, thereby producing electricity. At the same time, by passing through a turbine
and cooling in a condenser, steam changes to the the liquid phase (Figure 10B). The obtained distilled
water may be treated in a post-treatment processes (mineralization, chlorination, pH adjustment) and
stored as drinking water which will be available to the end consumer throughout the year.
Figure 10.
Phase transitions, physical and thermodynamic parameters of SSE technology
)—evaporation process; (
)—condensation process;
—change of enthalpy (seawater at the
entrance into the collector tube); T
—temperature of seawater at the entrance into the collector tube;
—change of enthalpy (steam at the exit from the collector tube); T
—temperature of steam at the exit
from the collector tube;
—change of enthalpy (overheated steam); T
—temperature (overheated
—change of enthalpy (wet steam); T
—temperature (wet steam);
—change of
enthalpy (liquid phase at the exit from the condenser); T
—temperature (liquid phase at the exit from
the condenser); Qsolar—heat (from solar energy); W—mechanical energy; Q—produced heat energy.
Energies 2020,13, 6703 17 of 32
2.4.3. High Pressure Separator—Separation Process
One of the most important components of SSE technology is the high pressure separator.
The authors call it the “heart of the system”. The prototype of a high pressure separator (Figure 11)
was constructed in cooperation with the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana
(Slovenia) and company “Ecom-Ruše” (Slovenia). The technical characteristics of the high-pressure
separator in laboratory conditions were determined at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University
of Ljubljana (Slovenia) [
]. Some of this laboratory research showed good results in comparison with
the selected mathematical model.
For the ecient separation of seawater in the high pressure separator, it is necessary to define
the physical and chemical parameters of the seawater at the inlet. During the separation of seawater
within the high pressure separator (to the vapor and liquid phases), salt particles also exist in steam.
This eect is called “carry over” and is undesirable. The steam is used to start the turbine, which can
be damaged by the carry over eect, thereby reducing system eciency. In the separation process, it is
necessary to obtain dry steam.
Figure 11.
A prototype of high pressure separator (
) and determination of technical characteristics
of the high-pressure separator in laboratory conditions (Right).
2.4.4. Theoretical Research into SSE Technology and New Empirical Formulas
In previous research, the authors derived new empirical formulas relating to: Mass flows
balance of separation process, Equation (1) [
]; Calculation of the nominal electric power of SSE
generator, Equation (2) [
]; Calculation of produced heat energy of SSE generator (Heat energy output),
Equation (3) [
]; Calculation of produced electric energy of SSE generator (Electric energy output),
Equation (4) [
]; Calculation of drinking water volume (Drinking water output), Equation (5) [
Calculation of the upper reservoir volume of PSH, Equation (6) [39], as follows:
mH2O,sat (1)
ηOSηSE ηPSIRcoll(i)ES(i)
Q(i)=Acoll·F·ηopt ·Φ·ES(coll)(i)(3)
Eel(i)=ηQEL·fm·Acoll ·F·ηopt·Φ·ES(coll)(i)(4)
VDW =1
Energies 2020,13, 6703 18 of 32
Nomenclature: ˙
—mass flow of incoming seawater;
—mass flow of vapor; m
H20, sat
—mass flow of
water in the saturated solution; s—salinity of seawater; w—the ratio of mass flow of the non-evaporated
part of water from liquid phase and mass flow of input seawater; P
—nominal electric power of SSE
generator; ρwater density (ρ=1000 kg/m3); g—gravitational constant (g=9.81 m/s2); HTE(i)—average
total head (m);
—efficiency of the open thermodynamic system;
—efficiency of the collector field
of SSE power plants;
—efficiency of the pumping system and inverter; R
—conversion factor for
conversion of mean daily radiation on a horizontal plane to mean radiation on the aperture of tracking
parabolic collectors; E
—mean daily solar radiation on horizontal plane at Earth surface; V
daily value of artificial water inflow which can be pumped by the SSE generator from sea into the upper
reservoir; A
—the aperture area of parabolic collectors (m
); F—heat removal factor;
average optical collector efficiency;
– long-term average utilization factor of solar energy based on
Hottel-Whillier concept; E
—average daily value of the collected solar energy;
—average value
of conversion efficiency of thermal into electric energy; f
—load matching factor to the characteristics of
the SSE generator;
—conversion efficiency of mechanical turbine power into electric generator power;
—isentropic (inner) turbine efficiency;
h– difference between the enthalpy of vapor at the inlet
and outlet of the turbine; f
factor that describes the proportion of the number of hours of direct
radiation exceeding 250 W/m
insolation (duration of sunshine); Vtotal volume of the upper
reservoir of PSH;
parameters on the basis of location characteristics and technological features;
—reserve volume of the upper reservoir; i—time stage (increment) related to the dynamic programming;
N—number of time stages (for time stage of 1 day, N=365).
2.4.5. “Core Technology”
In essence, SSE technology is a “core technology” that is not limited to the application of solar
thermal power, but can also input electric power from solar photovoltaic generators as well as wind,
biomass, geothermal and marine generators (Figure 12). All these generators produce electric energy
that needs to be converted into thermal energy, with which the seawater will again be brought into
similar processing conditions as with solar parabolic collectors.
Figure 12. Seawater Steam Engine (SSE) as “Core technology”.
Energies 2020,13, 6703 19 of 32
On the other hand, SSE technology is not limited only to PSH technology of energy storage;
other forms of storage technology can be applied (Figure 12). However, it is important that this other
technology is able to balance seasonal fluctuations of RES energy (summer surpluses and winter deficits
of solar power) in order to ensure a continuous supply of energy and drinking water to consumers.
2.4.6. SSE as Trigeneration Technology and Costs
SSE technology represents cogeneration (simultaneous production of electric and thermal energy)
(Figure 13A), that can also be used to produce drinking water. This way, it actually gives a higher
quality than all previous technologies and can be modelled as trigeneration, since one input (RES
energy) provides two energy outputs and drinking water (Figure 13B).
Figure 13. Seawater Steam Engine (SSE) technology: (A) cogeneration, (B) trigeneration.
2.4.7. Sustainable Community and Third Industrial Revolution
Due to the ability of SSE technology to produce both electric and thermal energy as well as
drinking water, every city/settlement can be made sustainable, i.e., independent of external sources of
energy and drinking water.
Therefore, today’s preconceptions on connecting the energy and drinking water systems of
cities/settlements by following the example of the Internet should be abandoned—these communities
should, instead, be completely independent in order to achieve the sustainability of all of humankind
and to stop climate change.
Figure 14 shows an illustration of a sustainable city/settlement that gets its electric and thermal
energy from SSE technology. Thermal energy is forwarded to the city/settlement through thermal
energy storage, while electric energy is conducted to the generator pump set by which water is pumped
from the sea (or a lower water reservoir) into the upper seawater reservoir to be used as seasonal energy
storage, balancing summer surpluses and winter shortages of solar energy (i.e., seasonal variations
in the energy of the wind or marine energy). This way, the city/settlement gets a continuous energy
supply for the whole year; it is very important to emphasize the reliability of such a supply.
Energies 2020,13, 6703 20 of 32
Figure 14. Role of SSE technology in building sustainable communities.
A similar thing happens with drinking water. After treatment, the water goes to the drinking
water reservoir from which an entire city/settlement can obtain drinking water throughout year and in
a reliable fashion. Drinking water, after consumption in the city/settlement, goes to the sewers and
then to the sea (a). However, it is exceedingly important to mix the sewer water with brine from the
separation system (b) before release into the sea using special containers because (c) the dilution of
brine with sewer waste water solves the problem of high salt concentrations in brine water, preventing
negative eects in the marine environment.
An SSE technology system comprised in this way would contribute to the sustainability of
Sustainable communities and the new SSE technology by which such communities could be
realized are essentially related to the concept of the third industrial revolution, because they would
deeply influence the economic paradigms that are key to stopping climate change.
In this sense, industrial revolutions are essentially economic projects that focus on the relationship
between a source of energy and the workforce. This was not conceived in this way for a long
time, and instead, this notion was related to various technological accomplishments, grouping them
according to the time when they appeared, even though it was not necessarily connected.
In that sense, in the First Industrial Revolution, factories were built near to energy sources. In the
Second Industrial Revolution, factories could be far away from sources of energy, while in the Third
Industrial Revolution, factories could be built anywhere, with energy coming from RES technology.
If factories and entire communities can obtain both energy and drinking water, they then become
completely sustainable. For that reason, SSE technology has a particular significance in the construction
of sustainable communities and the initiation of the Third Industrial Revolution, as described in a
previous paper [
]. This way, SSE technology links three important notions: Industrial revolution,
Sustainable communities and Climate change, as three key notions: Economy, Society and Environment.
Even though it is not possible to see beyond a Third Industrial Revolution, given that this
essentially corresponds to the relationship between an energy source and the workforce, the literature
still uses the notion of industrial revolution liberally (there is even the notion of a Fifth Industrial
Revolution—“Artificial Intelligence“; a Sixth Industrial Revolution—“Grand Agriculture“; and a
Seventh Industrial Revolution—“Replicating Machines“), which gives rise to confusion related to the
term and its meaning, and devalues the significance of actual industrial revolutions. In that sense,
it is interesting that back in 2007, the EU Parliament named the use of RES technology as the Third
Industrial Revolution, European Parliament (2007), Written Declaration 2007 [
], but later gave up on
Energies 2020,13, 6703 21 of 32
such semantics, and for that reason, it has not been widely accepted. In addition, the literature often
lists a Fourth Industrial Revolution, but after the realization that this is essentially not an industrial
revolution, only the short-hand term “Industry 4.0” remained in use. What is also very interesting is
that nobody has clarified the meaning of “Industry 4.0“; instead, everything revolves around keywords,
such as industry, computers, the Internet, and it is not clear what is revolutionary here. It is also
especially unclear what is so radically new that has changed industry with society-wide implications.
A very similar situation happened with the term “fourth agricultural revolution” or “Agriculture 4.0”.
3. Results and Discussion
In order to evaluate the potential of SSE technology in terms of covering the needs for world
energy and drinking water consumption and to achieve the objective set out by the proposed Climate
New Deal, it was necessary to start from the basic characteristics of this technology, which may be
determined by Equations (1)–(6). These equations were verified through a case study of the island Vis
in Croatia, where the following values were obtained: Optimal nominal electric power of SSE generator
=52.277860 MW; Total annual electric energy production E
=62,593,399 kWh; Total annual
drinking water production V
=480,754 m
;Working volume of upper reservoir V
=7 hm
;Total aperture
area of collector field Acoll =373,413 m2;Total annual heat energy production Qcoll =178,838,282 kWh.
Of the total produced electric energy and drinking water, in the concrete case of the island of Vis,
the unit value of produced drinking water per 1 kWh of electric energy is expressed as approximately:
1kWh(el) 10 litres of drinking water
Section 2.4 discusses the significant technological advantage of SSE technology compared to
current technologies, where the price of SSE technology would obviously be lower than that of energy
(i.e., electrical or thermal produced by cogeneration) obtained in separate processes (i.e., technologies
that first produce energy and then produce drinking water in separate processes):
CSSE(1 kWh(el) +1kWh(h) +1 m3) « CST (1 kWh(el))+CDES (1 m3).
where C
represents the costs of producing electric (“el” index) and thermal energy (“h“ index) and
costs of producing drinking water; C
represents costs of producing only electric energy from ST
power plants and CDES the costs of producing drinking water.
3.1. Potential of SSE Technology to Simultaneously Produe Thermal and Electric Energy and Drinking Water
Table 2presents the values of individual parameters (1–10) using Equations (1)–(6), which prove
the potential of SSE technology to simultaneously produce thermal and electric energy and drinking
water. These calculations apply to the entire integrated system of SSE technology (including PSH for
energy storage), as presented in previous papers by the authors [3941].
Table 2.
Potential for the production electric and thermal energy and drinking water with SSE technology.
SSE-PSH 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
I 20% ELECTRICITY 21,827 16 16 1.9 (RES) 20,736 2401 2095 21,827 6 21
II 48% HEAT 52,385 6.0 (CSP) 65,482 62,363 15
Legend: (SSE—Seawater Steam Engine; PSH—Pump storage hydroelectric;
—Total energy (TWh) and drinking
water (km
) consumption;
—CF (%);
—RES Total Power (TW);
—RES Unit land use (km
—RES Total
land use (km
—PSH Volume (km
—PSH Energy (TWh);
—Total energy (TWh) and drinking water (km
production; 9—Power and Heat CO2savings (Gt); 10—Total CO2savings (Gt)).
Energies 2020,13, 6703 22 of 32
Based on total final energy consumption (TFEC) data for 2015 [
], amounting to 109,136 TWh,
and the data on the share of electric (20%) and thermal (48%) energy in the TFEC [
], the number of
SSE systems needed to meet all consumption needs for electric and thermal energy worldwide can
be calculated.
In this case study, 2015 was taken as the reference year, while unit values of production of electric
energy and drinking water data, as well as data for thermal energy, were taken from previous papers
by the present authors [39,46].
The first row of Table 2shows total electric energy (Electricity), amounting to 20% of the TFEC;
the second row shows the total thermal energy (Heat, i.e., heating and cooling), which amounts to 48%
of the TFEC. The sum of the values of the first and second rows of column 1 shows the quantities of
electric and thermal energy consumed globally in 2015 (74,212 TWh). The third row of column 1 shows
total drinking water consumption, i.e., 168 km3.
Column 2 in Table 2shows the capacity factor (CF) for solar concentrated systems (16%),
while column 3 shows the total required power of SSE technology (16 TW), calculated as the ratio of
energy from column 1 and column 2. Column 4 shows typical unit values for land use for RES systems
(PV, Wind, Marine), in particular for concentrated solar power (CSP) systems, while column 5 shows
total land use both for RES and for CSP systems, where an equal ratio of usage of CSP technology and
other RES technology was assumed (50%:50%). The land use amounted to a total of 86,217 km2.
Column 6 in Table 2shows the total required volume of PSH technology, and column 7 the total
energy that can be stored using that technology. These data were obtained based on unit values from
previous research by the present authors [38].
Column 8 shows the total amount of electric and thermal energy that can be produced with SSE
technology (21,827 TWh), according to total coverage of electricity consumption (all 20%), while the
produced thermal energy (62,363 TWh) even exceeds the required energy (total energy consumption of
52,385 TWh shown in column 1). The same column shows the total produced drinking water (218 km
which is somewhat greater than the amount required (of the 168 km3shown in column 1).
Column 9 shows the total CO
emissions, calculated according to Ren SMART Calculators [
i.e., 1 kWh =0.28307 kg CO
, while column 10 shows the total CO
savings (Gt) using SSE technology,
which is not obtained on the basis of total energy production (column 8) from the calculation based on
TFEC (column 1), presented in Table 2.
Global emissions from fossil fuel and emissions from industry in 2015 amounted to 35.5 Gt
(36.3 ±1.8 Gt) of CO2[52].
According to the calculations shown in Table 2, the total annual CO
savings with the use of SSE technology
would be 21 Gt. It is evident that SSE technology has a significant savings potential, i.e., around 60%.
The total required water for domestic use, i.e., 168 km
(shown in column 1, Table 2), represents
8% of total global water consumption [53].
According to the calculations (218 km
) in Table 3, SSE technology can satisfy domestic water needs (i.e.,
drinking water, sanitary water, and other domestic uses).
Energies 2020,13, 6703 23 of 32
Table 3. Criticism of existing paradigms and establishment of new ones.
1Climate change will occur slowly.
-NEW PARADIGM: Climate change will occur impetuously
and a climate breakdown will happen within a very short
The UN (UNFCCC) knows how to
solve the problem.
-UNCONVINCING: The UN (UNFCCC) has no ecient
solution to the problem, and proof of this is that the
global temperature is still on the rise.
-NEW PARADIGM: Humanity is at war with climate change
that it has caused, but it still has not developed adequate
“weapons”, or formed able leadership, or created an appropriate
strategy or employed financial and human resources that are a
prerequisite in the fight against climate change. Therefore, the
UNFCCC should be organised in a completely dierent way.
The Paris Agreement is the
solution to the climate change
-UNCONVINCING: The Paris Agreement has badly set
objectives, making it unrealistic and unfeasible.
NEW PARADIGM: A new international climate agreement is
needed, and the authors have recommended the ‘Climate New
4Constant economic growth is
-UNCONVINCING: Constant economic growth is not
possible, because it is limited by climate change.
-NEW PARADIGM: Economic growth must be subordinated
to the stabilisation of climate, and, if required, economic
growth must be stopped for the following 30 years to ensure
the survival of humanity.
To solve the problem of climate
change, it is enough to replace
fossil fuels with RES.
-INSUFFICIENTLY CONVINCING: It is true that fossil
fuels need to be replaced with RES technology, but the
process of reorientation from a high-carbon economy to a
total green economy could lead to serious conflicts
because of a lack of drinking water, making the entire
reorientation process questionable.
-NEW PARADIGM: New RES technology should
simultaneously produce drinking water in addition to energy.
6All energy storage is good.
can be used to store excess energy from RES systems, but
they do not have sucient capacity to balance all energy
produced by RES systems and TFEC.
-NEW PARADIGM: Only seasonal storage of energy can
ensure continuous supply of RES energy for the entire world
(TFEC) during the entire year.
Energy systems should be
connected, like the Internet (Smart
-NEW PARADIGM: Energy and water systems should
have the function to supply only sustainable
communities (cities, settlements etc.).
The only important thing is to
build enough RES systems,
regardless of their eect on the
-UNCONVINCING: It is not enough to build sucient
RES systems to replace fossil fuels; instead, their eect on
the environment should be maximally reduced.
-NEW PARADIGM: It is important to build enough new,
sustainable energy systems that can produce drinking water in
addition to energy, but it is no less important to figure out how
waste from these systems will be handled after the expiration of
their lifecycle.
9There are enough resources for
RES technology
-NEW PARADIGM: There are not enough resources for
existing RES technology, but there are enough resources for
SSE because it mostly uses non-reare elements (Fe).
Energies 2020,13, 6703 24 of 32
3.2. The Dynamic of Climate New Deal Implementation
Here, the question of the dynamics of the implementation Climate New Deal is discussed. We want
to achieve 100% RES technology as soon as possible, but this is obviously not realistic. Therefore,
the logical answer is that the dynamics should follow a logistic growth curve, i.e., the S-curve.
Today, a relatively small share of total final energy consumption originates from RES technology:
in 2015, the share was 19.3% [
], while the goal is to achieve 100% by 2050 in order to ensure the
production of adequate energy and drinking water for domestic use.
However, the key aspect of this is the race against time. We predict a time period of 30 years for
implementation (from 2020 to 2050).
Considering the potential of SSE technology shown in Table 2, it is evident that it could provide
the world with electric and thermal energy as well as drinking water. In concrete terms, this technology
could be used to produce 21,827 TWh of electric energy, 52,385 TWh of heat energy and 218 km
drinking water in 2050.
Although we cannot accurately predict what the total final energy consumption will be in 2050,
a goal may be set to keep it within the boundaries of the 2015 values. Why was 2015 taken as a reference
year? Despite the relatively large growth in population expected from 2020 to 2050, and the increased
need for energy (without which there is no development), there is a great potential for energy eciency
technology that can compensate for this increase in energy needs and the increase in global population,
meaning that energy consumption in 2050 could be brought back to the levels of 2015.
Figure 15 shows an S-curve representing increasing application of SSE technology (E
green bold line), starting with zero in 2020 all the way to a total of 74,212 TWh of electric and
thermal energy from SSE in 2050 (right y-axis).
Figure 15.
Dynamic of implementation SSE technology increasing green energy production,
CO2emission reduction, and stopping global warming.
The remaining 1/3 of TFEC (or 34,924 TWh) would be produced with other RES technology (E
surface with grey lines above the green line), with special emphasis on RES technology in transport.
With the increasing application of SSE technology, global CO
emissions, which show an S-curve
(CO2 (SSE), bold black line), will be decreased from today’s value of 35.5 Gt/a CO2to 14.5 Gt/a.
Energies 2020,13, 6703 25 of 32
Considering other RES systems (primarily in transport) as well as the application of energy
eciency technologies (E
, surface with grey lines under the black line), the total CO
emissions are
expected to drop to zero.
This means that anthropogenic emissions would virtually disappear and, as a consequence,
the climate could recover.
However, the recovery of the climate and its restoration to equilibrium will not happen quickly.
Instead, it makes sense to first expect a further rise in temperature (because of the aforementioned
inertia of the climate) from +1
C to +1.5
C, with a significant increase in the application of SSE and
RES systems, before returning to today’s value, +1
C, as shown in Figure 15 (bold red line); 2035 could
be taken as an orientation year.
This paper intentionally does not aim for a global temperature drop to 0
C in relation to
pre-industrial levels, i.e., the temperature before the anthropogenic emissions of CO
, because to stop
global warming completely will require much more than 30 years.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa was fixed in 10 years (1990–2001) by extracting sand from the side
opposite to the inclination, and the incline was reduced by 45 cm; the climate system should be fixed
within 30 years (2020–2050) by extracting CO
from the atmosphere to maintain the temperature at
today’s value of +1C in relation to pre-industrial levels.
Evaluation of the Proposed Solutions
The paper shows that today’s methods of solving the climate change problem do not achieve
results, because the concentrations of CO2and the global temperature are still on the rise.
Another greater problem is the rise of the concentration of CO
in the last 140 years (i.e.,
from the start of the first industrial revolution) and, in particular, from the middle of the 20th century,
which shows an exceedingly sudden increase in relation to the concentration in Earth’s atmosphere
for the past 400,000 years (Figure 16) [
]. This dramatic rise during a relatively short geological time
clearly points to an impending climate breakdown. It is obvious that the climate system does not have
the elasticity to maintain further, sudden changes in CO
concentrations, from 300 ppm in 1950 to over
415 ppm at the beginning of 2019 (only 70 years) [
], nor can it endure further sudden increases in
global temperature.
Nobody knows what the limit of global temperature that can be maintained by a stable climate
system is, but the situation is so serious that there should be no further experimentation.
The increases of CO
concentrations and global temperature as a consequence imposes the need
to get ahead of climate change, which means a radical change in the policy of stopping climate change.
The UN has no solution to the problem, as exemplified in the collapse of the last UN Climate
Change Conference COP25 held in Madrid in 2019 (UN Climate Change Conference—COP25, 2019) [
there results of which may be summarized as follows:
There is a “significant gap” between the existing pledges and temperature goals established by
the Paris Agreement, which implicitly acknowledges that it will not be possible to reach the goals
of the Paris Agreement (also claimed by authors);
Countries could not establish market rules for trading carbon credits (which was considered the
most controversial issue at the conference, while we believe that this carbon tax policy, which is
the basis of both the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, is unconvincing and will not yield
adequate results);
Rich countries could not find a way to help poorer countries in order to mitigate the damages
caused by climate change (therefore, no burden of sharing between countries was established);
All 200 participating countries have been invited to respect the goals set by the Paris Agreement
and to make progress in this direction next year, which is basically an empty UN appeal that
binds no one and demonstrates the UN’s inability to resolve the climate change problem.
Energies 2020,13, 6703 26 of 32
Figure 16.
Carbon dioxide level over the past 400,000 years (NASA, Global Climate Changes, 2020) [
This graph, based on the comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ice cores and more recent
direct measurements, provides evidence that atmospheric CO
has increased since the Industrial
Revolution. (Credit: Vostok ice core data/J.R. Petit et al.; NOAA Mauna Loa CO
record.) Find out
more about ice cores (external site).
Finally, COP25 did not result in any agreement, so everything was left for the next COP26;
however, COP25 decried the problem, i.e., that the UN had not realized that the agreement could not
be reached on the basis of the unconvincing policy of the Paris Agreement (which, apparently, no one
has considered critically, let alone questioned it), and even if it were to be reached, an agreement on
such foundations would not yield results, as politics alone cannot succeed in combating climate change
without strong technology. According to the authors, there is less and less time for decisive action.
Getting back to the first stage of Socratic dialectics against the knowledge of sophists, proving that
this is but imaginary knowledge, i.e., ignorance, and to today’s main paradigms (and it is clear that it is
those with authority who establish the paradigms), which are the reason why humanity is so hindered
and unable to take a stand against climate change. Since the paradigms only grow from one year to
another, the authors have decided to criticize the existing ones and establish new paradigms in Table 3.
Considering the interdependence of sustainable energy systems—(primarily based on SSE
technology) that would meet the needs of both world energy consumption and world drinking
water consumption—and reduction of CO
emissions, as well as the consequent reduction of global
temperature, it seemed logical to put all these values on the same graph (Figure 15), which occupies a
central place in this paper because it shows what outcomes are expected if a new climate policy and
new SSE technology are applied and how such a policy could be implemented.
Therefore, unlike previous approaches which mainly deal with predictions of global temperature
and CO2 over time, the approach of the author of this paper started from the notion of stopping climate
change through building sustainable energy systems based on SSE technology which would result
in a drop in anthropogenic CO2 emissions. That is realistic, because these two curves are inversely
proportional to each other (“S” curve—green bold line and “S” curve—black bold line in Figure 15).
However, the global temperature, which is dependent upon CO
emissions, was the most dicult
to predict because there are many parameters that aect it, and it is not possible to predict which of
these are irreversible, i.e., how long it would take for them to return to their previous state.
Energies 2020,13, 6703 27 of 32
In addition, it is very dicult to predict the level of inertia that the climate system has. Despite this,
even with a relatively rapid reduction of anthropogenic CO
emissions to virtually zero (over a period
of 30 years, which is relatively short for the climate system), global temperatures will certainly not
drop immediately, but will continue to rise, albeit more slowly than before.
On the other hand, this paper also assumed a complete recovery of the climate (i.e., the reversibility
of the process, which is a realistic assumption, because there is a natural tendency to return the system
to equilibrium if the cause of the imbalance is removed (similar to the stabilization of the Leaning
Tower of Pisa, described in Section 2) in a period of 30 years of annulment of anthropogenic CO2
emissions. The temperatures at the end of that period, i.e., by 2050, would be around +1 C (as 2020).
In this way, it would be possible to stop climate change by 2050, which is the main objective set out in
this paper.
The authors propose a model of fair distribution of expenditures (described in Section 2and
shown in Figure 3based on the calculations given in Table 1) from which it follows that investments
would be made in the construction of new sustainable systems (i.e., new technologies) estimated on 2%
of the GDP of all countries of the world.
A very interesting fact is that the figure of 2% of GDP, even though it was obtained in dierent
ways, completely corresponds to the figure recommended by Nicholas Stern, published in Jowit and
Wintour, The Guardian (2008) [
] in 2008: “Stern said evidence that climate change was happening
faster than had been previously thought meant that emissions needed to be reduced even more sharply.
This meant the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere would have to be kept below
500 parts per million, said Stern. In 2006, he set a figure of 450–550 ppm. ‘I now think the appropriate
thing would be in the middle of that range,’ he said. ‘To get below 500 ppm ... would cost around 2%
of GDP”.
4. Conclusions
The implementation of the current climate policy faces several issues related to the facts that:
although there are a growing number of countries that have committed to achieving net-zero
emissions goals by around the mid-century, the reduction of the global greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions will only be achieved if countries implement their own climate mitigation commitments
(bottom-up approach);
reductions of emissions which are consistent with the Paris Agreement temperature goal would
only be possible if they are implemented globally (as stated in the latest UNEP report, 2020) [
the economic approach of the “global taxing policy” is not convincing [28,29,60].
In this paper, a systematic engineering approach was applied; in this sense, the relevant aspects of
the problem were considered, requiring a broader multidisciplinary approach, to set a goal, i.e., to stop
climate change in the next 30 years.
In this regard, we used an original methodology which involved the implementation of a new
international agreement as a new policy, called the Climate New Deal (described in Section 2.3), and an
innovative Seawater Steam Engine (SSE) technology that can simultaneously produce thermal and
electric energy and drinking water (described in Section 2.4), which would be equally available to
developed and less developed countries. The SSE technology is a RES technology and is of particular
importance because it could enable equal opportunities for its development and, in particular, is
applicable to most countries as a strong “weapon” in the fight against climate change. In relation to the
SSE technology, we note that there is no similar technology, except for that listed under reference [
for which intensive research began in 2018.
However, as the implementation of this new policy basically means allocating 2% of each country’s
GDP (the model of fair distribution of expenditures, described in Section 2.1) to build sustainable
energy systems that would meet the required total final energy consumption for the whole world
(TFEC—from 2015, with 48% spent on heat, 20% on electricity and 32% on transport) within the next
Energies 2020,13, 6703 28 of 32
30 years, it was necessary to take into account the potential application of the new SSE technology
(described in Section 3.1). The results showed that SSE technology can cover heat (62,363 TWh) and
electricity Needs (21,827 TWh), which represent around 2/3 of TFEC, and can also provide drinking
water for domestic use (218 km
), thereby reducing CO
emissions by about 21 Gt (roughly 60%).
As such, it would enable the development of sustainable communities. In addition to energy eciency
measures and the energy required by the transport sector (new fuels), the paper has shown that it is
possible to completely eliminate anthropogenic CO2emissions.
To implement the proposed measures in a relatively short period of time, i.e., 30 years, the
dynamics of the development of sustainable energy systems is of great importance and should occur
according to a logistic curve, which would result in a decrease in CO
emissions that would itself
follow a logistic curve (the logistic curves presented in Figure 15 are inversely proportional to each
other). Such a dynamic reduction of CO
emissions would have the most important consequence, i.e.,
changes in the global temperature in the form of an inverted parabola and its retention at today’s value
of around +1C.
Thus, this paper presents, in a general sense, a strategy for the application of new technology and
provides a meaningful plan to stop climate change. Likewise, the authors identify clear limitations
in relation to the goals of the Paris Agreement, evaluate existing paradigms and propose new ones
(Table 3), all with the intention of promoting discussion and the improvement of these paradigms with
the wider scientific community.
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in 2020 clearly shows the consequences that zoonoses can have on
humanity, which still prioritizes profit over the preservation of the environment. It is also clear that if
the present mentality persists, it cannot be ruled out that there may be new pandemics against which
humanity will find it increasingly dicult to fight. Therefore, it is necessary to urgently address the
main cause of such terrible threats to humanity by building sustainable communities (as described in
Section 2.4.7), which include energy sources, drinking water, and also food, as well as improving living
standards in the future. Such communities would also be more resistant to the occurrence of future
epidemics due to easier localization.
Thus, an extremely important conclusion can be drawn from the current coronavirus pandemic,
namely, that the required reduction of CO
emissions cannot be achieved by the Paris Agreement,
which is set on a voluntary basis (mentioned in Section 2.3), eectively making it “as much as you
can”, without any sanctions for those who do not implement it. Indeed, a new international climate
agreement based on the top-down principle and strict control of its implementation is crucial.
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has caused a significant reduction in anthropogenic CO
emissions [
The authors can anticipate from this that a certain coercion mechanism is necessary in order to start
reducing CO2emissions, and that this possible only with new politics.
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has revealed another important fact, namely, that the world lacks
solidarity and empathy in general. Each country has been solving the problem in its own country
with a lack of strong international cooperation, including health equipment supplies. At the same
time, national economies were, in many cases, put ahead of people’s health and lives. If joint UN-led
(or top-down) actions had been taken in a timely manner, perhaps this pandemic could have been
prevented or at least managed much better. It is exactly the same with stopping climate change;
humanity is not in solidarity, and does not have a unified and well-organized policy, just as it does
not have a strategy or the instruments for its implementation. Furthermore, there are no sanctions for
actors who do not pursue common policy.
Based on past and current experience with the coronavirus pandemic, it can be concluded that
humanity can only survive if it develops global empathy that translates into a common policy and an
eective strategy to stop climate change.
Energies 2020,13, 6703 29 of 32
Can Humanity Succeed?
Dramatic warnings about rising risks to the survival of humanity [
] are reason enough to
overcome our mutual dierences and to unite and act together against climate change. Whether or not
we will be successful is mostly dependent on our understanding of the dangers we are facing and our
willingness to cooperate. Given that the endeavor of saving the climate system holds many unknowns,
especially the time window (with estimates ranging from several years to several decades), this success
is uncertain.
But what we can do is join forces to at least try and fix the climate system, thereby trying to get
ahead of its breakdown. It is our obligation to ourselves and to generations to come.
Author Contributions:
These authors contributed equally to this paper. All authors have read and agreed to the
published version of the manuscript.
Funding: This research received no external funding.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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... "I expect there will be an announcement and unveiling of a number of meaningful plans on dramatically reducing emissions over the next decade, and on reaching carbon neutrality by 2050" (BBC News, 22 September 2019). In response to the appeal of the UN Secretary-General, the first three authors of this paper have provided such a meaningful plan and technological solutions [6] that would radically reduce emissions by 2050 to achieve carbon neutrality. ...
... The proof of this is the BloombergNEF report [10], which showed that the 20 strongest economies in the G20 (which are responsible for almost 3 4 of CO 2 emissions) have directly supported fossil fuels with as much as USD 3.3 trillion since 2015 (since the adoption of the Paris Agreement), which clearly indicates the hypocrisy in the policy for preventing climate change, i.e., the fact that some of these countries are publicly advocating for preventing climate change and transitioning to "green economies" while, on the other hand, significantly and directly supporting fossil fuels (the question arises as to what the term "mitigation" means in general, i.e., what does "reduction" relate to if energy production from fossil fuels, and thus CO 2 emissions, increases?). In this sense, the Paris Agreement becomes a meaningless document, because, apart from setting the wrong targets (global temperature cannot be stopped through our will because the Earth is not a boiler that can be turned off when the global temperature reaches 2 • C, which is explained in detail in [6]), there are no sanctions for countries (parties) that do not adhere to this agreement. ...
... These estimates are utterly arbitrary and unrealistic, so such plans will make it virtually impossible to defend cities from climate change. In addition, supporting fossil fuels should be abandoned (the authors are aware that this will be the most difficult to achieve, but in a previous paper [6], they proposed a solution to this problem based on reorientation so that economies would not suffer damage) and completely different goals and strategies should be set as soon as possible, as well as sanctions for irresponsible parties. Decisive actions should be taken that could reverse these trends in the direction of achieving sustainability and stopping climate change, because we must not forget that the climate system has a huge inertia and that it will be horribly difficult to reverse these negative flows. ...
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Considering that more than half of the world’s population today lives in cities and consumes about 80% of the world’s energy and that there is a problem with drinking water supply, this paper presents a way to solve the problem of the sustainability of cities by enabling their complete independence from external sources of energy and drinking water. The proposed solution entails the use of Seawater Steam Engine (SSE) technology to supply cities with electricity, thermal energy and drinking water. The system would involve the seasonal storage of electricity and thermal energy, supported by geothermal heat pumps. The strategy of the distribution network would be based on the original concept of the “loop”. In cities that do not have enough space, SSE collectors would be placed above the lower parts of the city like “canopies”. The city of Zagreb (Croatia) was selected as a case study due to its size, climate and vulnerability to natural disasters. The results show that Zagreb could become sustainable in 30 years with the allocation of less than 2% of GDP and could become a paradigm of sustainability for cities worldwide. This paper encourages the development of the “Philosophy of Sustainability” because the stated goals cannot be achieved without a change in consciousness.
... It is clear that the global average temperature is rising (1.1 degrees above the pre-industrial level in 2019). Of particular concern is the fact that the Paris Agreement to keep the global average temperature Rise below +2 degrees Celsius is not being implemented, as the world's focus is on the consequences rather than the causes (Glasnovic et al.,2020). ...
... A number of articles are devoted to technological innovations: the impact of technological innovations on green growth in twenty-eight countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) from 2000 to 2014; intensive use of energy-efficient technologies, especially in transport (Glasnovic et al.,2020); hydrogen production from hydroelectric power plants for the transport sector. ...
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Research background: One of the global problems of modern transport is the harmful impact on the environment due to the use of carbon fuels. This is especially true in the context of the globalization of the economy and en-vironmental problems. The world has long been in the process of switching to alternative energy sources and reducing the use of fossil fuels. Adminis-trative measures and taxation of CO 2 emissions are applied. Purpose of the article: The purpose of the article is to conduct a literary review in peer-reviewed publications on the problem of transport taxes and to make proposals for the introduction of an environmental tax within the framework of the classification of taxes proposed by the author for the pur-pose of their introduction. This analysis showed the predominance of publi-cations with an environmental aspect. Basically, the authors analyze the application of taxes on CO2 emissions, as well as various methods (logistical, technological, managerial) to reduce these emissions and improve the efficiency of transport systems. The main object of research is road transport, to a lesser extent - air transport and sea transport. Methods: The system approach, methods of scientific abstraction, formal logic, dialectical-theoretical methods, the method of empirical analysis, and other economic methods were mainly used in obtaining research results. Findings & Value added: The article deals with the modern problems of calculating and paying the transport tax, its role in the costs of transport organizations. The transport tax in Russia is likely to be replaced by an en-vironmental tax. The variants of introducing the “ecological” component in the transport tax used in Singapura are proposed. The classification of taxes proposed by the author for the purpose of their introduction can also serve the purpose of preserving the environment.
... En todo el planeta se consumió 25027,3 TWh de energía en el año 2019. El modelo de desarrollo de la humanidad ligado a la explotación de los combustibles fósiles no sólo no puede ser absorbido por la naturaleza, sino que la está destruyendo paulatinamente, originando el fenómeno conocido como cambio climático [41][42][43]. El problema es de tal magnitud, que la Unión Europea declaró la emergencia climática el 28 de noviembre de 2019 [44]. ...
In order to achieve the minimum targets for the penetration of renewable energy sources (RES) and the development of energy storage set by the different organisations, this thesis provides two contributions: a methodological proposal for the evaluation of the potential for pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) and a dynamic operation model for PHES systems. In "Contribution 1", the objective is to propose a universal, modularised methodology for simple replication that serves as a tool for the evaluation of the viable potential of PHES in a given territory, through the use of a package of predesigned constraints. An optimisation algorithm is included. Furthermore, the results are classified in basins or interbasins of ravines and demonstrate that the high potential assumed a priori is considerably reduced, showing how important it is that the restrictions applied are adapted to the territory in question. The methodology is applied to the island of Gran Canaria, because of its large number of large dams and the fact that it does not have any large scale hydroelectric power plants at present. In "Contribution 2", the main objective is to create a dynamic operation model that studies the contribution of a PHES system to a given electricity market in a scenario of increased RES penetration. The model is applied to the case of the Salto de Chira power plant on the island of Gran Canaria. The results demonstrate the optimisation of the plant's operation strategy and the need to: take advantage of other PHES plants; use other storage technologies; and continue using conventional energy sources (CES) until the RES can cover the electricity demand on their own. The model is validated by providing reliable results within the margins established in the power plant project and also because they are within the range of the different forecasts made so far.
... In recent years, the climate problem has been widely concerned by countries all over the world. Most scientists around the world believe that climate change is mainly caused by man-made factors (the use of fossil fuels and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions) [1]. In December 2015, 195 countries signed the Paris Agreement to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change. ...
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In this paper, the combined transactions for emission rights of international carbon sequestration and other pollutants in forestry have been taken as the research object, and the Simultaneous Multiple Round Auction (SMRA) theory has been used to design a new model for the current auction transactions. In this paper, the feasibility and application of the SMRA model of reach object are studied by the methods of simulation experiment, model analysis, and analogical analysis, and the promotion of this model is discussed. The results show that the new auction model designed in this paper fills in the blank of the combined auction of international forestry carbon sequestration and other pollutant emission rights. It successfully eliminates the winners’ curse and the losses of the sellers. Meanwhile, it provides a new way of resolving ecological deficits problems, achieving the ultimate goal of an overall reduction in carbon and pollution emission. Moreover, it’s beneficial in resolving the structural contradictions between ecological purification and pollutants discharge, hence maximizing the benefits for all the stakeholders. Finally, it is suggested that the SMRA should be adopted in the international trading of emission rights of international carbon sequestration and other pollutants to promote the emission reduction of greenhouse gases and pollutants.
... The literature on technologies and innovations that can address climate change is wide, as well as the variety of technologies proposed, ranging from new materials and technologies (photocatalysis, self-cleaning and coatings material, paints and glass for urban use that can eliminate greenhouse gases) [99], new renewable energies (Seawater Steam Engine) [100], to food production technologies (aquaculture) [101], and other technologies. ...
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Fundamental principles of modern cities and urban planning are challenged during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the advantages of large city size, high density, mass transport, free use of public space, unrestricted individual mobility in cities. These principles shaped the development of cities and metropolitan areas for more than a century, but currently, there are signs that they have turned from advantage to liability. Cities Public authorities and private organisations responded to the COVID-19 crisis with a variety of policies and business practices. These countermeasures codify a valuable experience and can offer lessons about how cities can tackle another grand challenge, this of climate change. Do the measures taken during the COVID-19 crisis represent a temporal adjustment to the current health crisis? Or do they open new ways towards a new type of urban development more effective in times of environmental and health crises? We address these questions through literature review and three case studies that review policies and practices for the transformation of city ecosystems mostly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic: (a) the central business district, (b) the transport ecosystem, and (c) the tourism-hospitality ecosystem. We assess whether the measures implemented in these ecosystems shape new policy and planning models for higher readiness of cities towards grand challenges, and how, based on this experience, cities should be organized to tackle the grand challenge of environmental sustainability and climate change.
... The literature on technologies and innovations that can address climate change is wide, as well as the variety of technologies proposed, ranging from new materials and technologies (photocatalysis, selfcleaning and coatings material, paints and glass for urban use that can eliminate greenhouse gases) [99], new renewable energies (Seawater Steam Engine) [100], to food production technologies (aquaculture) [101], and other technologies. ...
Full-text available
Fundamental principles of modern cities and urban planning are challenged during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the advantages of large city size, high density, mass transport, free use of public space, unrestricted individual mobility in cities. These principles shaped the development of cities and metropolitan areas for more than a century, but currently, there are signs that they have turned from advantage to liability. Cities Public authorities and private organisations responded to the COVID-19 crisis with a variety of policies and business practices. These countermeasures codify a valuable experience and can offer lessons about how cities can tackle another grand challenge, this of climate change. Do the measures taken during the COVID-19 crisis represent a temporal adjustment to the current health crisis? Or do they open new ways towards a new type of urban development more effective in times of environmental and health crises? We address these questions through literature review and three case studies that review policies and practices for the transformation of city ecosystems mostly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic: (a) the central business district, (b) the transport ecosystem, and (c) the tourism-hospitality ecosystem. We assess whether the measures implemented in these ecosystems shape new policy and planning models for higher readiness of cities towards grand challenges. And how, based on this experience, cities should be organized to tackle the grand challenge of environmental sustainability and climate change.
Full-text available
Er zijn veel potentiële voordelen gekoppeld aan arbeidsduurverkorting, d.w.z. een reductie van het aantal gewerkte uren over de levensduur. Zo zou er een positieve invloed kunnen zijn op het milieu wanneer arbeidsduurverkorting gekoppeld is aan loonverlies: enerzijds vertaalt het verlaagde inkomen zich in verlaagde uitgaven met bijhorend een verlaagde milieu-impact, anderzijds kan de toegenomen vrije tijd ingevuld worden met minder milieu-belastende activiteiten. De mate waarin deze positieve effecten tot stand komen, hangt echter grotendeels af van de manier waarop de nieuwe vrije tijd ingevuld wordt. Het doel van deze masterproef is om enerzijds een literatuurstudie te maken en anderzijds d.m.v. empirisch onderzoek (enquêtes) bij werknemers die (recentelijk) kozen voor een vorm van arbeidsduurverkorting na te gaan: (1) hoe de nieuwe vrije tijd precies ingevuld wordt en (2) of dit zich vertaalt in een positieve dan wel negatieve impact op het milieu.
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This study investigates the environmental and economic impacts of the Kyoto Protocol on Annex I parties through an impact assessment by combining the propensity score matching and the difference-in-difference methods. We establish a country-level panel data set including CO2 emissions, gross domestic product (GDP), and other socioeconomic data for 1997–2008 and 2005–2008. Based on the impact evaluation, we conduct the simulation predicting the impacts of the Protocol to capture the differences of marginal damage cost of carbon emissions between the actual and counterfactual situations. The results suggest that participating as an Annex I party has a significant positive impact on CO2 emission reductions, but a negative impact on the GDP of the participants in the long run. The predicted marginal benefit of the Protocol based on the marginal damage cost of carbon emissions shows that the marginal benefit of emission reductions mitigates a limited portion of the GDP loss. Future global climate change frameworks should focus on balancing the impact on economic and environmental performance in order to ensure sustainable development, especially for developing countries that have low capacity to mitigate emissions.
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Government policies during the COVID-19 pandemic have drastically altered patterns of energy demand around the world. Many international borders were closed and populations were confined to their homes, which reduced transport and changed consumption patterns. Here we compile government policies and activity data to estimate the decrease in CO2 emissions during forced confinements. Daily global CO2 emissions decreased by –17% (–11 to –25% for ±1σ) by early April 2020 compared with the mean 2019 levels, just under half from changes in surface transport. At their peak, emissions in individual countries decreased by –26% on average. The impact on 2020 annual emissions depends on the duration of the confinement, with a low estimate of –4% (–2 to –7%) if prepandemic conditions return by mid-June, and a high estimate of –7% (–3 to –13%) if some restrictions remain worldwide until the end of 2020. Government actions and economic incentives postcrisis will likely influence the global CO2 emissions path for decades. COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns have altered global energy demands. Using government confinement policies and activity data, daily CO2 emissions have decreased by ~17% to early April 2020 against 2019 levels; annual emissions could be down by 7% (4%) if normality returns by year end (mid-June).
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Every oil producing nation is confronted with a complex and fundamental ethical dilemma. On the one hand, there are moral arguments for the nation to use the petroleum resource for the benefit of society and make it available for countries who do not have this natural resource endowment. On the other hand, there are moral arguments for not extracting and using fossil fuels because of CO2 emissions. In short, this creates tension between the need for government revenues to finance welfare benefits and the objective of preserving the environment. A complicating factor is that a nation’s domestic oil and gas activities are in its nature global because the activities have a direct impact on the global climate. In this paper, I address a question that to my knowledge is rarely discussed in the business ethics literature: how does an oil producing nation try to resolve this fundamental ethical dilemma? Using Norway as a case, I argue that the nation is well aware of this ethical dilemma, but that there are few signals from the government that it wants to reduce the petroleum activities. Instead, Norway tries to seek redemption by (1) using the financial power of the Oil Fund to promote sustainability issues abroad and (2) building an international brand as an “Environmentally Conscious Energy Nation.”
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By doubting the Paris Agreement realization (even under the assumption that it will be signed by all countries) and understanding the dangers that sudden climate change brings; with this paper a radically new technology Seawater Steam Engine (SSE) is presented, which could completely reorient “high carbon economy” into “green economy” and it would be available to both developed countries and less developed ones. SSE technology can be simultaneously and continuously (throughout the whole year) produce both energy and drinkable water from renewable energy sources and seawater (or other unclean water sources: rivers, lakes, etc.), in that way it could enable the building of completely sustainable communities, i.e. the communities that are not dependent on outside energy sources and drinkable water. Given that it’s about a technology that for only one input (RES energy) can give two outputs (energy and drinkable water) that the technology would be cheaper right from the start than any other technologies that separately produce energy and drinking water. On the other hand, the calculations which show that in the next 15-30 years with the SSE technology, the total needs of mankind for energy (24,441 TWh) and drinking water (244 km3) can be met and save up to 20 Gt of CO2, point to the conclusion that it is the most powerful technology which can be used on today’s level of technological development of mankind to fight against climate change and which could become the foundation of green economy.
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The Paris Agreement proposed to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. It was thus the first international treaty to endow the 2 °C global temperature target with legal effect. The qualitative expression of the ultimate objective in Article 2 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has now evolved into the numerical temperature rise target in Article 2 of the Paris Agreement. Starting with the Second Assessment Report (SAR) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an important task for subsequent assessments has been to provide scientific information to help determine the quantified long-term goal for UNFCCC negotiation. However, due to involvement in the value judgment within the scope of non-scientific assessment, the IPCC has never scientifically affirmed the unacceptable extent of global temperature rise. The setting of the long-term goal for addressing climate change has been a long process, and the 2 °C global temperature target is the political consensus on the basis of scientific assessment. This article analyzes the evolution of the long-term global goal for addressing climate change and its impact on scientific assessment, negotiation processes, and global low-carbon development, from aspects of the origin of the target, the series of assessments carried out by the IPCC focusing on Article 2 of the UNFCCC, and the promotion of the global temperature goal at the political level.
Carbon pricing is often presented as the primary policy approach to address climate change. We challenge this position and offer “sustainability transition policy” (STP) as an alternative. Carbon pricing has weaknesses with regard to five central dimensions: 1) problem framing and solution orientation, 2) policy priorities, 3) innovation approach, 4) contextual considerations, and 5) politics. In order to address the urgency of climate change and to achieve deep decarbonization, climate policy responses need to move beyond market failure reasoning and focus on fundamental changes in existing sociotechnical systems such as energy, mobility, food, and industrial production. The core principles of STP can help tackle this challenge.
Why are some firms more successful at introducing radical product innovations than others? Following Schumpeter (1942), many researchers have suggested that firm size is the key organizational predictor of radical product innovation. The authors provide an alternate view and argue that one key variable that differentiates firms with strong radical product innovation records from others is the firms’ willingness to cannibalize their own investments. The authors identify three organizational factors that drive a firm's willingness to cannibalize. Results from a survey of three high-tech industries tend to support the alternate view that willingness to cannibalize is a more powerful driver of radical product innovation than firm size is. These results suggest a need to reconsider conventional wisdom on firm size, cannibalization, and organizational synergy.
Climate change remains one of the major international environmental challenges facing nations. Up to now, nations have adopted minimal policies to slow climate change. Moreover, there has been no major improvement in emissions trends as of the latest data. The current study uses the updated DICE model to develop new projections of trends and impacts of alternative climate policies. It also presents a new set of estimates of the uncertainties about future climate change and compares the results with those of other integrated assessment models. The study confirms past estimates of likely rapid climate change over the next century if major climate-change policies are not taken. It suggests that it is unlikely that nations can achieve the 2°C target of international agreements, even if ambitious policies are introduced in the near term. The required carbon price needed to achieve current targets has risen over time as policies have been delayed.
In 1995, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change announced that anthropogenic climate change had become discernible. Since then, numerous independent studies have affirmed that anthropogenic climate change is underway, and the meta-conclusion that there is a broad expert consensus on this point. It has also been demonstrated that most of the challenges to this claim come from interested parties outside the scientific community. But even if we allow that the challenges to climate science are politically or economically motivated, it does not prove that the scientific consensus is correct. In other words, even if we accept the fact of scientific consensus, how do we know that this consensus is not wrong? This chapter addresses this question by examining a set of criteria that philosophers have traditionally or recently identified as possible bases for trust in scientific conclusions, and shows that climate science meets all of these criteria. Thus, while there is no way to know for sure that scientists are correct in their conclusions, the various means we have to test and evaluate scientific claims lead to the conclusion that, so far as we are able to tell, it is most likely that scientists are not wrong about the reality of anthropogenic climate change.
The last 50 years saw a dramatic increase in living standards and improvement in the quality of life for many of the world’s poorest. Mortality rates fell, life expectancy rose and per capita incomes swelled. That improvement has been underpinned by technological development and the ubiquitous use of metal and mineral resources. To maintain such progress while addressing climate change and a rising world population, sustainable sources of raw materials will be required, in both developed and developing countries. Delivering the UN Agenda 2030 with its seventeen Sustainable Development Goals and implementing the Paris Agreement of December 2015 will require technologies that consume both traditional and new minerals. Metal recycling and technological change will contribute, but mining must continue and grow for the foreseeable future. Of the 200 or so countries in the world, 60 are open to large-scale mining but 140 are not. New resource governance linkages are needed between existing institutional frameworks so that continuity of global mineral supply is assured over coming decades. Such arrangements would oversee responsible sourcing of minerals, directions of mineral exploration and sustainability of mining and ore processing, raising of consumer awareness and sharing the wealth generated by mining more fairly.