The New Climate Math: Energy Addition, Subtraction, and Transition

The world has never truly undergone an energy transition, and the challenge of climate change will—for the first time—require one.



Oct. 11, 2018


Issue Brief

Reading time

1 minute

Key findings

  • Though renewable energy is growing, the world has not begun a transition away from fossil fuels.
  • The world has experienced a series of energy additions; new fuels have built atop the old for more than 200 years.
  • Projections show that renewables largely add to today’s energy incumbents, rather than displacing them.
  • To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, new energy technologies will need to both add and subtract from today’s energy mix.


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