DLD Munich
08/01/2020

Fossil fuels industry to “collapse” by 2028, predicts US economist

None

The end is near for the fossil fuels industry, according to US author and economist Jeremy Rifkin, who predicts that it will collapse within the next decade as electric vehicles start to take over the world’s roads.

Rifkin, who will be speaking at the DLD Munich technology and innovation conference (January 18-20, 2020), says that we need to start building smart networked energy infrastructure “quickly and at scale”, supported by a new generation of political leaders, and financed by global pension funds.

The DLD speaker is calling for a complete rethink of energy production and distribution, adding: “The technology is now here. We don’t need any more R&D. There are no excuses.”

Three steps to building a renewable energy future

So how will this shift take place? Well, first it will require political clout – a new generation of leaders willing to speed up the transition towards an economy powered by wind, sun and water. (Rifkin has previously advised world leaders including France’s Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel.)

Secondly, it will need smart infrastructure, capable of moving energy around the grid dynamically, wherever supply and demand are strongest (unlike coal-fired power plants, it’s much harder to predict nature). This will mean upgrading power grids, installing sensors and switches, and creating millions of jobs along the way.

Thirdly, and very importantly, it needs finance. Yet as pension funds around the world drop their investments in fossil fuels and look for alternatives, there’s potentially a $28 trillion benefactor to the cause, says Rifkin. “The money is there. You have trillions of dollars of pension funds, desperate to get out of stranded assets [like fossil fuels].”

To watch Jeremy Rifkin’s talk at DLD Munich, you can tune into the livestream on the event website.

PDF
More images & downloads

Jeremy Rifkin will be one of the speakers at DLD Munich © Karsten Lemm

Related articles
DLD All Stars
5 Key Take-Aways
DLD All Stars
5 Key Take-Aways

DLD All Stars - three days, 39 sessions, 57 prominent speakers and 7,500 registered participants. But what did we actually learn from the panelists?

DLD All Stars
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales: "Networks are like junk food for the brain"
DLD All Stars
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales: "Networks are like junk food for the brain"

At Burda’s online festival DLD All Stars, experts from various fields discussed how user behaviour on social media has changed and will continue to change in the future.

DLD All Stars
Biontech CEO Uğur Şahin expresses optimism in fight against Corona
DLD All Stars
Biontech CEO Uğur Şahin expresses optimism in fight against Corona

Comet-like rises of scientists are rare. Since the end of last year, however, there has been a new superstar who was one of the most desired speakers at Burda's online festival DLD All Stars: Uğur Şahin.