What Next? convenes meetings, explores new issues and catalyses alternative ideas into action


WhatNext? convenes dialogues, roundtables, exploratory seminars, strategy workshops, and public debates with participants across movements, issues, continents and backgrounds.


WhatNext? explores new issues and alternative views on climate, environment and development. Meetings create opportunities for systems thinking and exploration of unconventional ideas.


WhatNext? catalyses ideas and initiatives into action. It helps generate strategies, creates networks and organisations, and provides support to both activists and policy-makers. 

New report

Just transition: A Climate, Energy and Development Vision for Africa

New report providing a holistic framework across climate, energy and development, building on the foundations of ‘Another Development’.

The report was authored by a group of independent experts, with WhatNext? involved at the core.

Download the report and find more information at www.justtransitionafrica.org

Net zero is not real zero

Flip device for more information in the infographic!
Net zero is not real zero

Carbon Dioxid emissions
Fossil carbon and green “biosphere” carbon are not the same
Net zero targets create perverse incentives that can harm old forests
Land grabs and human rights abuses
Trees are not permanent
Net zero is a dangerous trap
Real zero means shutting down the fossil fuel industry
Real zero means good, healthy food
Real zero means 100% renewable energy
Real zero means transportations for everyone
Real zero means well-being
Download the graphic
Misleading claims of climate leadership through empty, far-away “net-zero” targets must be debunked and exposed. Real zero means immediate action at source, not carbon offsets elsewhere or reliance on future risky technologies that may never deliver.
Continued high emissions exhausts the remaining carbon budget in a few years.
Real zero means 10-20% reductions per year
Next threat: Geoengineering

What Next related publications

Just Transition: A Climate, Energy and Development Vision for Africa

Comprehensive report outlining an alternative ('Another development') vision for Africa, building on decades of prior work and initiatives. Learn more

Equity Review 2022 – The imperative of cooperation

The 2022 Civil Society Equity Review, with WhatNext? as contributing author, focuses on international cooperation as such, discussing and surveying key areas where international cooperation is both possible and necessary. Learn more

The Global Just Transition Pillar of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty: A Briefing note

This brief was produced by Niclas Hällström WhatNext? for the Fossil Fuel Treaty, outlining key features of the Global Just Transition pillar of the treaty. Learn more

Greta Thunberg’s The Climate Book: What about Geoengineering?

Article by Niclas Hällström, WhatNext?, Jennie Stephens, Northeastern Univeristy and Isak Stoddard, Uppsala Univeristy explaining why geoengineering is not an option, as one of the contributions by more than 100 authors in Greta Thunberg's The Climate Book. Learn more

Fossil Futures Built on a House of Cards

This report by 32 civil society organisations, led by Friends of the Earth International exposes the fallacies and dangers of carbon markets, off-sets and "net-zero". Learn more

A Fair Shares Phase Out – Civil society equity review 2021

WhatNext? contributed to the drafting of the 2021 version of the CSO Equity review, which this year focuses on equity dimensions of fossil fuel production phase out. Learn more

Real solutions – Not ‘Net-Zero’

Declaration signed by over 700 civil society organisations outlining solutions and exposing dangerous distractions of net-zero, offsets and other kinds of false solutions. Learn more

Three Decades of Climate Mitigation: Why Haven’t We Bent the Global Emissions Curve?

Article in Annual Review of Environment and Resources by 23 authors (led by Isak Stoddard and Kevin Anderson) with multi-disciplinary reflections on why the world has failed to effectively tackle climate change. Learn more

Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Pillar III: Economic Diversification and Just Transition to 100% Renewable Energy

Summary of workshop on the Global Just Transition pillar of the proposed Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Learn more

A Global Just Transition From Fossil Fuels Concept Note

Summary of key features for the Global Just Transition pillar of a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Learn more

Six reasons to reject solar geoengineering

1-page infographic outlining reasons to reject solar geoengineering which are each serious enough to disqualify the technology as an option. Learn more

New York Times: Test Flight for Sunlight-Blocking Research Is Canceled

Article on the decision by Swedish Space Corporation to cancel the proposed SCoPEx balloon test flight in Northern Sweden after mobilization by the Saami indigenous people, civil society, and researchers. Learn more

Letter to the Swedish Space Corporation against plans for solar geoengineering test flight

Letter sent by Swedish and International civil society organisations requesting cancellation of the plans to conduct stratospheric balloon test flights in Kiruna Northern Sweden, highlighting the inherent, existential dangers of this technology.. Learn more

Planned Harvard balloon test in Sweden stirs solar geoengineering unease

Article highlighting concerns with planned geo-engineering test in Kiruna, Northern Sweden by the Harvard-based SCoPEx project. Quotes by Niclas Hällström, WhatNext? Learn more

10 myths about net zero targets and carbon offsetting, busted

Op-ed by 41 experts and scientists debunking the myths of net-zero targets and carbon offsetting. Learn more

Not Zero: How ‘net-zero’ targets disguise climate inaction

Joint technical briefing by climate justice organisations that demystifies and help debunk how corporations and countries are using 'net-zero' jargon to evade and delay real, transformative action toward Real zero. Learn more

Bringing climate justice thinking to the COVID-19 pandemic

Opinion piece highlighting seven social justice based principles that apply to the Coronavirus pandemic and the climate crisis alike. Now is the time for transformative action for systemic change to effectively deal with both crises. Learn more

Real solutions – Real zero

This brief outlines the problems with distant net-zero 2050 goals and their loopholes with offsets and assumptions of non-existent and risky technologies. It exposes the problems of current UNFCCC negotiations on 'markets' (Article 6) and shows how real, transformative solutions can be advanced under 'non-market' negotiations (Article 6.8). Learn more

Briefing Note on ISO draft guidance standard on radiative forcing management (ISO/NP 14082)

Briefing note outlining the context, issues and concerns in relation to ongoing work on developing a new metric on 'radiative forcing'. The note exposes the risks that this may open the door for legitimising and enabling off-setting/carbon trading with geo-engineering interventions.  Learn more

Fair shares 2-page brief

2-page brief that explains what countries Fair Shares are and how they can be estimated. Learn more

Real Zero – Red pepper magazine

Article exposing the problems with distant net-zero goals, and arguments for real, immediate solutions to reach 'Real Zero' emissions as soon as possible. Learn more

Towards the energy systems of the future

Infographic showing the old centralised, one-directional energy system giving way to the new people-centered, smart, distributed and multi-directional renewable energy systems of the future. Illustration from the LDC REEEI Framework document. Learn more

LDC REEEI Framework Document

Framework document that outlines the vision, principles, work areas and overall context for the LDC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative for Sustainable Development. Learn more

Deliberative multi‐actor dialogues as opportunities for transformative social learning and conflict resolution in international environmental negotiations

This article was published in the scientific journal "International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics" and analyses experiences and potential for multi-actor dialogues to drive transformational change. It presents two cases from the international multi-actor dialogues organised by the authors on biodiversity financing that are held in Quito 2012 and 2014, and also draws on prior WhatNext? experiences. Learn more

Spotlight 2030: SDG 7 – Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

Chapter contribution to the book "Spotlight 2030" with civil society reflections on each of the 17 SDGs. This article covers SDG 7 on Enegy and outlines a vision for people-centered renewable energy as driver for both energy access and climate solutions, and shows how energy plays a key role for the achievement of essentially all other SDGs. Learn more

AREI Criteria

The AREI Criteria outlines criteria for social and environmental safeguards, participation and additionally required for any project or programme to be deemed AREI compatible. Learn more

Summary: Fair Shares: A civil society equity review of INDCs

The Fair Shares 2015 report was produced by Civil Society Equity Review, a global coalition of civil society organisations and movements. The report introduces a clear methodology for determining each country's 'Fair share' in line with the Climate convention's principles of equity. Learn more

AREI Action plan

The AREI Action plan outlines the original implementation plan for AREI across its eight work areas: Mapping, Strengthening policy and regulatory frameworks, Capacity, Funding, Project development, Social and Enviornmental safeguards, Multi-stakeholder engagement, Wider context and Communications. Learn more

AREI Framework document

The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) Framework was written by a drafting group composed of Youba Sokona, Yacob Mulugetta, Lawrence Agbemabiese and Niclas Hällström, WhatNext?. It was adopted by all 55 African Heads of State and launched at the Paris climate summit in 2015 as a landmark initiative to set Africa on course to universal energy access though people-centered, smart, distributed renewable energy systems. Learn more

Programme for Global Renewable Energy and Energy Access Transformation (GREEAT)

This vision document builds on previous work outlining a global renewable energy support programme, and takes into account ideas and deliberations from a multi-stakeholder seminar by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and What Next, held in Delhi 28 March-1 April, 2015. The seminar and the GREEAT programme provided basis and inspiration for the formulation of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) and the LDC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative for Sustainable Development (LDC REEEEI). Learn more

What is Development?

Article questioning the mainstream notion of 'development' as a specific, Western construct that subconsciously shapes much of contemporary society and politics – across both the left and right, while highlighting the many 'counterforce' notions such as 'Another Development' that are challenging the current order. Published in the anthology Access to Resources – An Urban Agenda and based on lectures at Centre for Environment and Development Studies (Cemus) at Uppsala University and the Swedish Royal Institute of Art. Learn more

The Myth of Net-Zero Emissions

Op-ed which debunks and exposes the myth of net-zero emissions. Published and distributed to 400 news outlets through Project Syndicate in December 2014, anticipating the current, escalating debate and exposure of the problems with distant net-zero goals. Learn more

Second Dialogue Seminar on Scaling up Finance for Biodiversity: Co-Chairs’ summary report (Quito II)

The second Quito dialogue seminar was held in 2014 to prepare and facilitate the formal CBD COP12 negotiations in South Korea later in the year. The purpose of the dialogue seminar was to explore ways to scale up the mobilization of financial resources to support the achievement of the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets, contribute to shared understanding and seek to clarify areas of convergence and divergence of views. Learn more

Declaration on Antibiotic Resistance

The ARC Declaration on Antibiotic Resistance was formulated in April 2014 at the founding meeting for the Antibiotic Resistance Coaltion (ARC). The declaration outlines a vision, context and thematic actions that need to be undertaken to effectively tackle this major, global threat. Learn more

Scaling up Biodiversity Finance: Co-chairs’ summary from Quito I Dialogue seminar

Report from multi-actor dialogue seminar aimed at clarifying and enhance understanding of the different perspectives surrounding controversies on biodiversity financing. As contested issues such as payments for ecosystem services, biodiversity offsets and 'innovative financial mechanise' had nearly crashed the Convention of Biodiversity negotiations, the Quito seminar aimed at enhancing prospects for agreements at next COP. Learn more

Reclaiming Power: An Energy Model for People and the Planet

This document, published by Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland and written together with WhatNext?, proposes a new people-centered energy model built around globally funded feed-in tariffs. It outlines ways we can transform our energy system and move beyond fossil fuels through universal access to affordable and sustainable energy. Learn more

Climate Justice Briefs Compilation

This compilation of Climate Justice Briefs is the outcome of collaborative work by climate justice oriented organisation from the global South and North, active both in the UNFCCC negotiations space and in the broader social movement organising spaces. The 13 briefs connects ideas and energy of the World Peoples on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba (April 2010) with with issues on the table at the climate talks. Learn more

Transcending Boundaries: How Cemus is changing how we teach, meet and learn

Compilation of articles and reflections on the unique student-led educational experiences from the Center for Environment and Development Studies (Cemus) at Uppsala University which was set up by and is still run by students. As one of the founders, Niclas Hällström, WhatNext? contributed with the chapter 'What is education for? – the History of Cemus'. Learn more

The crisis of Antibiotic Resistance: Collaboration for innovation

Report from full-day seminar tackling the growing crisis of antibiotic resistance, and specifically the lack of innovation of new antibiotics, held in Brussels by the international network Action on Antibiotic Resistance (ReAct) on 23 May 2011. The seminar explicitly served the current EU Commission policy making process in this area and focused attention on the significant scientific bottlenecks. The report concludes and elaborated on how new, open collaborative forms of innovation are crucial. Learn more

A Green Energy Revolution for Climate and Development

This report compiles material speaking in favour of a Green Energy Revolution, a Global Green New Deal, or a Global Marshall plan, particularly highlighting the idea of globally funded feed-in tariffs as a way to effectively enable all developing countries to leapfrog to renewable energy. The report was published by Swedish Society for Nature Conservation in 2010. Learn more

Key Issues for Climate Change

Compilation of the nine Key issues for Climate Change reports that were produced by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC – Naturskyddsföreningen) in the lead up to COP 15 in Copenhagen December 2015. Niclas Hällström coordinated and edited the series in his capacity as policy lead on Climate Change for SSNC 2008-2010, which was undertaken while also forming WhatNext?. Learn more

What Next? Climate change, technology and development

In this issue of the journal Development Niclas Hällström warns that the urgency of the climate crisis may open the door for new, untried and risky techno-fix solutions. He argues that society must find ways to ensure precaution, sustainability and equity when introducing new technologies. He raises concern that ‘geo- engineering’ and new converging technologies at the nano-scale as solutions to climate change could lead to new global problems and highlights the importance of civil society. Learn more

Encouragingly, people around the world are waking up to the seriousness of the crisis, and the need to address it in transformative, bold ways through real solutions. Proposals highlight the importance of massive public investments, fair subsidies, support for workers under just transitions, outright bans and stringent standards, expansion of public democratic ownership of universal services, rapid phase out of fossil fuels, and curbing of corporate power.

Real zero – Real solutions (2019)

What Next Volumes

What Next Volume III – Climate, Development and Equity

This 355-page book provides a selection of articles by key scholars and activists at the forefront of the struggle for climate justice. It outlines the severity of the crisis and the fundamental importance of equity, exposes false solutions and advocates for real solutions and the key role of civil society. Learn more

What Next Volume II – The case for pluralism

This volume build further on the What Next project with several articles that critically discusses fundamental issues such as knowledge and the very idea of 'development', as well as forward-looking reflections on new challenges and ways to mobilise transformative action for change. Learn more

Carbon Trading – a critical conversation on climate change, privatisation and power

This book is still likely the most comprehensive and clear-cutting analysis of carbon trading. Building on a What Next-related seminar in Durban 2004, the book examines the roots and thinking behind carbon trading, the politics that led these market solutions to become centre piece of mainstream climate politics, the problems with off-set projects in the South, and the need to pursue other, well-proven policies and strategies that really works and that tackle the root causes of climate change. Learn more

What Next Volume I – Setting the context

This first What Next Volume reflects on the development debate three decades after the publication of What Now - Another Development. Articles include reflections on both past achievements and shortcomings, as well as anticipation of what may be new challenges and opportunities in the decades to come. Learn more

More of the same will not do. The aim can no longer be to repeat the economic history of industrialized countries, but rather to seek out roads to another development.

What Now - Another Development (1975)

Some WhatNext? Projects Present and Past

  • FFNPT web

    Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

    The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty (FFNPT) Initiative recognizes that climate change is an existential threat on par with that of nuclear war. It’s also more likely with a fossil fuel industry that further presses the button by their plans to produce 120% more fossil fuels by 2030 than what can possibly be compatible with 1,5 degrees […]

  • 2010-2021
    Systems Change and Climate Justice

    WhatNext? has been deeply engaged in issues around systems change and climate justice for the last decade, working in close collaboration with numerous individuals, organisations and movements from the Global South and North. A newly set up site – www.systems-change.net – provides an excellent entry point to the key dimensions of climate justice with summaries […]

  • 2014 - 2021
    Real zero – real solutions

    The climate crisis demands immediate, radical emissions reductions everywhere. Wealthy countries who have polluted the most and have most resources must decrease emissions to close to zero within a decade, while also supporting poor countries to leapfrog to renewable energy zero-emission societies. Real zero means focus on systemic, transformational change now, and rejection of efforts […]

  • 2007-2021
    Countering geo-engineering

    Geoengineering has come to mean large-scale, intentional human manipulation of climate or Earth systems. This includes ideas of sucking up massive amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through unproven and risky mega-technologies, as well as the idea of manipulating the atmosphere by adding particle pollution of mirrors in the sky to reflect some of […]

  • 2017-2020
    LDC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative for Sustainable Development (LDC REEEI)

    The Least Developed Countries Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative for Sustainable Development (LDC REEEI) is an LDC-initiated, LDC-owned and LDC-driven overarching framework to accelerate the harnessing of the renewable energy potential across least developed countries and to promote energy efficiency. Under the mandate of LDC Ministers, the LDC REEEI aims to support LDCs to […]

  • 2015-2018
    Africa Renewable Energy Initiative

    The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) was launched at the December 2015 Paris Summit on climate change as an unprecedented continental effort to simultaneously tackle energy access, development and climate change. All 55 African Heads of State through the African Union subscribed to the progressive, people-centered principles and action plan outlining how the continent could […]

  • thumbnail of GREEAT_Final

    Programme for Global Renewable Energy and Energy Access Transformation (GREEAT)

    The ideas behind the GREEAT programme came from prior work by WhatNext? on globally funded feed-in tariffs and support for a call for a Global Partnership on renewable energy by the African Group of Negotiators at the UNFCCC. A formative meeting of key stakeholders was held in Delhi in March 2015, co-organised with Centre for […]

  • thumbnail of Global-renewable-energy-support-programme

    Global Renewable Energy Support Program

    The Global Renewable Energy Support Programme was formulated by WhatNext? and Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) during 2014, and built on the prior work on globally funded feed-in tariffs by WhatNext? The GRESP report outlines how a global support system to enable all developing countries to quickly move to renewable energy could be constructed.

  • thumbnail of ARC-Declaration

    Antibiotic Resistance Coalition

    The Antibiotic Resistance Coalition (ARC) was launched in April 2014 at a meeting held at South Centre with the coming together of civil society organisations across all key dimensions of the issue: health movement, pharmaceutical company watchdogs, consumer movement, environment movement, trade movement, food and agriculture movement, and many others. ARC quickly became the key […]

  • 2012-2014
    Quito dialogue seminars on biodiversity financing and financialization

    The Quito multi-actor dialogue seminars (March 2012 and April 2014) aimed at clarifying and enhance understanding of the different perspectives surrounding controversies on biodiversity financing. As contested issues such as payments for ecosystem services, biodiversity offsets and ‘innovative financial mechanise’ had nearly crashed the Convention of Biodiversity COP10 negotiations in 2010, the first Quito seminar […]

  • 2011
    The crisis of Antibiotic Resistance: Collaboration for innovation

    This policy seminar specifically focused on the urgent need to develop new antibiotics was organised by the international network ReAct – Action on Antibiotic Resistance (www.reactgroup.org) on May 23rd, 2011 in Brussels. Niclas Hällström, WhatNext?, helped prepare the multi-stakeholder process, moderated the seminar and drafted and edited the report, and also played a key role in […]

  • 2009-2010
    Green Energy Revolution and Global Green New Deal

    These efforts highlighted the ideas for globally funded feed-in tariffs and prior work by Niclas Hällström and Tariq Banuri, which was taken forward by Niclas Hällström through his position as lead on international climate policy with the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) in the lead-up to climate summit (COP 15) in Copenhagen. Tariq Banuri […]

  • 2008
    BANG From What Next? to What If? – toward a global CSO response to structural and technological convergence

    The BANG global meeting gathered around 40 civil society organizations and individuals to evaluate trends in the development of new converging structural and technological platforms that could have a profound impact on societies – South and North – over this and coming generations. This meeting, which was held near Montpellier, France November 22-26, 2008, also […]

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