A “transformation seismograph” can give an early warning signal with small perturbations at the beginning, later some elements of the system start shaking, later strong vibrations occur in all areas of the system until tipping or transformation point (point of no return) is reached. In this discussion paper we explores this concept to detect and measure the transformation to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.
This discussion paper sketches the idea of a “transformation seismograph” to detect the signs and measure the speed and magnitude of transformation to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions before it is seen in greenhouse gas emissions projections. We show that some factors, that make a low carbon transformation more likely before it is seen projections of greenhouse gas emissions, are measurable. We tested the concept to measure progress in electricity generation and electric light-duty vehicles. We propose to set up a comprehensive monitoring system with a variety of indicators per sector to measure if a transformation is likely to happen. Such information would help policy makers to design interventions and international cooperation to support the transformation most effectively.