Imagining a world without fossil fuels

Can you imagine a world without fossil fuels? In this video, former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres outlines her vision of a world that's entirely free of fossil fuels.

Do the preparation task first. Then watch the video and do the exercises. Remember you can read the transcript at any time.


Imagine a world without fossil fuels. None at all.

Imagine a world where you never need to smell the fumes of a passing car, bus or truck and where traffic noise is massively reduced.

Imagine a world powered by something you can't touch, which will be abundant for billions of years.

Imagine a world where every single home has electricity, no matter how far it is from the grid.

That's the future beyond fossil fuels.

Imagine governments no longer needing to subsidise fossil-fuel production or spend fortunes protecting their underground fuel sources, pipes and transmission lines.

Trillions of taxpayer dollars are freed up.

Smog and greenhouse gases plummet. Public health improves. This healthy future is closer than you think. Our energy system is undergoing an unstoppable transformation. The coal-fired power industry that took a century to build is being rapidly replaced by sun and wind power, forces of nature which cannot be dug out of the ground or sold on commodity markets. 

In this totally fossil-fuel-free world, electricity belongs to everyone. It's home-grown in the true sense, bringing power to the 1.3 billion people who are currently inexcusably without it.

The Paris climate agreement bound nations of the world to work peacefully for a fossil-fuel-free economy. But we need to move fast. We must harness the power of the sun and work at the speed of light.

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

So let's thank fossil fuels for all they have done. Their contribution to humanity has been nothing short of extraordinary. However, now that we understand the dangers and the side effects and have exciting, everlasting alternatives, it is time to retire them. Pronto!

The journey to our fossil-fuel-free future is the most exciting, the most innovative, the most necessary, the most inclusive and far-reaching global transformation we have ever seen.

This is the answer to so many challenges in the world. The energy newtopia. The only question now is, how quickly can we get there?



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Submitted by Hill on Fri, 09/10/2020 - 07:47

Many scientists broadly agree that curtailing our use of fossil fuel would have significant benefits - like improving health and reducing the number and severity of natural disasters - but it's not yet clear what can replace them. Wind and solar are increasingly popular sources of energy, but the sun does not always shine, the wind doesn't always blow. Batteries to store their intermittent energy are not yet cheap and powerful enough to fill the gaps. Nuclear energy produces no greenhouse gases directly, but the current generation of reactors has other problems. Solutions like storing carbon dioxide underground or turning it into clean fuel are promising, but they need much development. None of the possible solutions is without challenges.

Submitted by mcambindo22 on Wed, 16/09/2020 - 11:17

The world' energy in the future will be replaced by alternative sources of energy not as damaging as fossil fuels because people have been destroying the land and looking such as we wouldn't know the consequences about it so that nature doesn't have the capabilities and skills to recover as quickly as the population around the world need. Furthermore, the earth needs a breath regarding humanity. So I think that the future will be filled with challenges and people should find alternative sources out of energy to live, understanding that resources within the planet are not unlimited or saying on the other way resources are scarce.

Submitted by Armandito on Fri, 28/08/2020 - 01:54

I´ll describe it being totally fossil fuel-free, but as the video presenter does, the million-dollar question is "how quickly it will be". In the last few years, electric car sales have been increased in developed countries, whereas in developing countries there is still a lot to do, this happens mainly because the electric system in these countries is not fully prepare to supply these cars with electricity, nevertheless, step by step we will see that the transition will be successful all around the world. Obviously all of this is great if the electric source is solar or wind otherwise it would not have sense.

Submitted by Rholand2009 on Fri, 21/08/2020 - 14:32

An exciting new global world is coming!

Submitted by VIVIANB_D on Mon, 27/07/2020 - 05:32

In the encouraging future, the world will be more green, the houses and appartments will have sun energy, the part industry will work wind power and the electrecity will be aviable for everyone no matter the country.

Submitted by M19 on Mon, 13/07/2020 - 21:41

Quite contrary to the above. While we have the freedom to imagine all that, unimaginable germs such as the Corona virus have gone beyond our expectations to overturn the current and future innovative - environmental friendly plans that we so steadfastly hold in our minds. Now, the whole world is in much awe and doubt about life ever being the same again! So, dreaming of a world without fossils is purely fictitious.

Submitted by Aldo Olascoaga on Mon, 06/07/2020 - 05:36

A world without fossil fuels would be amazing! But unfortunately, most of the countries have not done enough in order to make this possible since they are more worried about money. I think this might be a reality in many years unless we start to work very hard in order to make a tremendous progress and live in a cleaner, healthier and happier environment. Let's improve our world!

Submitted by LYNNNGUYEN16 on Sun, 05/07/2020 - 15:50

A fossil fuel-free future had never been a more challenging journey. The problem at issue is that the authorities should give the grants for environmental friendly contributions and innovations, such as the recent electrical recycling method, or persuade the public to utilize renewable resource solar panels and wind power, rather than spending a colossal amount of fortunes on underground fuel mines and pipes. There is a growing exasperation within the government at the failure of the policies to bend the curve of emission, which we should concern more carefully, and yet more practices should be done to minimize the aftereffect.

Submitted by MdZubaerAlom on Thu, 18/06/2020 - 11:21

What i have seen in this video it’s nothing short of a peaceful life. If it comes i think it will be the best version of the world ever. All conscious people across the world are eagerly waiting for this fossil fuels free world. Like others i also think I'll save the world from danger Asia well as pollution. In my view this expected global transmission will make the present polluted world free for living.

Submitted by tchok on Wed, 17/06/2020 - 16:47

Hello guys, As far as I am concern, the world's future energy will not long be fossil fuels. First of all, our generation is facing today of the dangers of these types of energies and we have to take urgent action to solve this issue. Secondly, there are a lot of alternatives to the world's future energy such as sun and wind power. They are available for free and everybody can use them without the scare of side effects. What's more, the word should be conscious of the danger of fossil fuels. We have public health issues all around the world without specific responses to bend this tend. Finally, I will say the word's future energy is not far away is just in our hands and we have to use now. PRONTO!

Submitted by Sara.Er on Sat, 06/06/2020 - 17:22

The world without fossil fuels is a fabulous imagination. We can use the biofuel which is produced by waste cooking oil instead of fossil fuels. Using biofuel has many advantages such as reducing carbon dioxide emissions. So In the age of technology, having a world without fume and carbon dioxide is not impossible.
I agree with you as I've heard a lot of terrible news about bushfire (=wildfire) in Australia, where my relatives live. According to BBC's news, one of the main cause of the disaster is global warming deeply connected to carbon dioxide emissions. I hope further research and development on renewable energy source will be promoted.

Submitted by Ayelén on Fri, 05/06/2020 - 12:58

I imagine the world in the future using clean sources of energy, what for me involves generate energy without compromise the health of people and living beings around the world, thinking not only in the present but also in the subsequent generations though a responsible behavior.

Submitted by senes19 on Fri, 05/06/2020 - 12:53

First of all I belive that the most reasons of conflict in the world is to have energy resources. That is true we know exactly. Although sometimes there are different reasons which are said by government, everyone aware of them. So if we achieve a 'without fossil fuels world' this will be awesome. At least millions of people won't die and won't leave their country. It would be best solution. Also I believe that this solution is possible for government. But it is necessary to agreement t

Submitted by Lila Naem on Fri, 29/05/2020 - 16:06

If I am to imagine the world like what I saw in the video, I would imagine a clean, healthy, and beautiful world not only in the view but also the happiness and comfort of the people who will be living there. I believe living in a clean environment, smelling the clean air, and not hearing a noise all these could reflect on the human body and mental health.
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