Since there are no currently active contests, we have switched Climate CoLab to read-only mode.
Learn more at
Skip navigation
Share via:


Offering big fuel companies the opportunity to generate even more profit while helping to clean up climate change could mean business.


Guidance on collaborative pilot

This is a pilot test of a new, collaborative approach for getting work done in the Climate CoLab. It will run during March and April of 2012.

Just like in the 2011 activities, anyone can create a proposal. But there is also a community proposal, where members are encouraged to work together in a collaborative way. Any member can contribute to the community proposal as long as they are logged in.

The community proposal is like a wiki, so the history of edits is tracked, and you can revert to prior versions of the proposal if desired.

Please also use the Comments to express your opinion on whether or not you would like to see this collaborative approach used in the Climate CoLab in 2012.

Feel free to organize the proposal as you see fit. One thought—it's good to have a brief summary of the overall proposal at the top, as an aid to readers.

Proposal Text


When the internal combustion engine was first developed, efficiency was probably kept in mind but I suspect was not paramount in the thoughts of the inventor. Similar to many of the great inventions the intention was to provide a solution to one particular problem. The risk of creating further problems at a later date was either of no concern to the inventor or beyond the bounds of consideration at that time.

Category of the action

Reducing emissions from transportation

What actions do you propose?

With all large problems there needs to be a large solution. This usually implies a political solution which immediately poses even bigger problems. But for a large solution there needs to be large funding. There also needs to be large agreement between investors willing to provide those funds.

I believe it is possible to encourage big oil and gas to invest if their business profits by that investment. The way in which that could be possible is by providing a market for hydrocarbon fuel conversion.

By doing so, those companies who currently profit by the production of those fuels would continue to profit except that their ultimate deliverable would become a clean energy storage medium.

An efficiency improvement in hydrogen production has been suggested (see Related Proposals) which could allow hydrocarbon fuels to be converted cost effectively and cleanly so as to compete with the alternatives.

The gradual adoption of a hydrogen economy would present difficulties which, as has often happened historically, could be turned into opportunities, particularly in the case of transportation.

A transition period would result where hydrocarbon powered vehicles would need replacing with hydrogen as a basis. The technology exists today to adapt the internal combustion engine using the principles of what is called the direct injection hydrogen engine (ref.[1]).

The adaptation of existing engines would result in an engine costing in the order of 1.5 times that of the original power plant but, in return, the power output would increase by 20%.

Add that to the fact that the cost of hydrogen production would have the bonus of a factored negative element due to the use of compensated electrical power generation then the suggestion is that over time all traditional engines could economically be replaced with zero emission power plants.

There would presumably be little objection to this from the oil and gas industries because their profit margin would remain or exceed what it would have been had nothing changed. They might even consider getting involved with transport themselves on the basis that they could encourage even greater sales of their products.

There are also the business opportunities for the conversion effort required which in themselves are commensurate to improving individual countries’ economies.

Who will take these actions?

Those businesses that have to date acted in such a way as to deny climate change is happening purely on the basis that reduction in consumption of their products would ultimately put them out of business.

Where will these actions be taken?


How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

Emissions due to transport account globally for around 19% at current levels according to reports.

There are too many factors associated with developing economies to be able state the reduction possible but if a transition to cleaner fuel could at least be started with the goodwill of the current polluting fuel producers then, logically, emissions would be reduced.

What are other key benefits?

Encouraging the non-use of bio-fuels could be a benefit as a consequence of providing an alternative cost effective fuel.

Encouraging the big polluters to be stakeholders in climate cleanup would ensure that sufficient funds would be available over the long period needed to reverse the effects of what is now part of the anthropocene.

What are the proposal’s costs?

Entirely affordable, given the potential redirection of profit.

Time line

The whole process of replacing fuel types for transportation is huge and would necessarily be an on-going process for decades.

Related proposals

Electric Power Sector/Re-Use a Generator's Output to Magnetically Assist It's Turbine

Industrial Efficiency/Generator Counter Torque Compensation - Was This Overlooked ?

Geoengineering/Scaling up of CO2 Scrubbing Technologies