(No) solution for the climate crisis

Group work on technical solutions to the climate crisis

Brief description

The participants critically examine global perspectives on technical solutions to the climate crisis in group work.

Work material for download

+Excercise CCS as a solution

+Exercise E-Mobility and Lithium

+Exercise Hydrogen as solution

+Excerpt Dossier Hydrogen

+Quotes Climate Solutions

Learning goals

The participants

  • expand their knowledge of current debates on solutions to the climate crisis

  • learn about specific examples of technical solutions (hydrogen, electro mobility and geo-engineering) and critically examine their potential

  • understand the connection between technological solutions to the climate crisis and global justice issues

  • are encouraged to reflect on technological optimism and belief in progress in green capitalism and recognize that structural changes are needed



The facilitator familiarizes themself with all the working materials and gains a basic understanding of the various technological approaches covered in the method. The quotes are provided in a presentation or printed out. The worksheets are printed out in the required number.


1. (10 minutes) Brainstorm

The facilitator shows a flipchart with the title „Solutions to the climate crisis“. The participants are asked to spontaneously name solutions that they have already heard about in their environment, in (social) media and in public debate. The first step is not about how „small“ or „big“ and far-reaching the solutions are, or whether and how useful the participants think they are. The solutions mentioned are all noted on the flipchart.

2. (15 minutes) Introduction

The facilitator shows the three quotes one after the other (see material for download). For each quote, the participants have a short time to discuss it in pairs. The following questions can help:

  • Who is speaking?

  • What is being said? What is the connection to the climate crisis?

The facilitator then asks what all these quotes are about. Depending on the answers, they explain that they are all about technical solutions to the climate crisis and that these are proposed as key solutions by various players from politics, science and business. In addition to the expansion of renewable energies, such as wind and solar energy, there is increasing talk of newer technologies, such as hydrogen as a fuel. The potential of these technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is often the main topic of discussion. The high consumption of resources, the social and environmental damage caused or exacerbated by the extraction of resources, the unequal balance of power between the Global South and Global North and the risks of the new technologies are rarely discussed. In the following group work, the aim is to take a closer look at one of three approaches that are being promoted as technological solutions to the climate crisis. The three technological solutions to choose from are: Hydrogen, E-cars and Carbon Capture and Storage.

3. (40 minutes) Group work

The facilitator names the three technological approaches and briefly presents their potential contribution to reducing emissions.

Depending on their interests, the participants choose one topic each and get together in groups of 3-6 people to discuss the respective topics. Large groups can be divided again into two groups. It is important that there is at least one group for each topic and that the groups are of a similar size.

As soon as the groups are formed, they each receive a worksheet on the chosen topic (see material for download). The participants have 30-35 minutes to read the introductory text, consume the material contained in the worksheet, discuss the evaluation questions and formulate a reaction to one of the quotes. If necessary, the time for the group work can be extended if the groups are not ready after the given time. The facilitator is available for questions and possible support. Support should be actively offered, especially at the beginning of the group work and towards the end when formulating the reactions.

4. (10-15 minutes) Presenting reactions

The participants come back together and the quotes from the introduction are visualized again. One after the other, each group steps forward and reacts to one of the quotes with knowledge and arguments from the material. The reactions of the groups should be kept as short, crisp and clear as possible and should not take longer than 2-3 minutes per group.

5. (15-20 minutes) Group reflection

  • How did you do with the group work? How easy/difficult was it for you to approach the topics with the help of the material?

  • What was new? What was interesting?

  • How did you feel about formulating a reaction?

  • Where do you see a connection between technological solutions to the climate crisis and global (in)justice?

  • Why do many actors in the climate crisis focus on technological solutions – despite the problems that come with them? What possible reasons can you think of?

  • What contribution can technological solutions make to a more sustainable, fairer society? What would it take?


For a creative conclusion to the method, the participants create their own quote in the respective working groups. This should make critical reference to the content of the quotes presented at the beginning in a humorous way and incorporate the newly acquired knowledge.

Digital implementation

For the digital implementation, all participants need a digital device (preferably a PC) and the link to the video conference. The subsequent collection of solution approaches can either take place via the chat in the video conferencing tool or with the help of a word cloud.

Supplements for digital implementation:

  • 1. (15 minutes) Introduction: At the start, the facilitator shares the quotes online as a presentation. Instead of an exchange in pairs, the participants can discuss the question of what all these quotes are about in the form of a popcorn round.
  • 2. (40 minutes) Group work: For the group work, the participants join breakout rooms (at least 3, more if there are a large number of participants). They receive the worksheets as digital documents. They can either each consume the linked materials directly on their own digital device and then talk about them in the group, or one person from the group shares the screen and audio with the others. For group work, it is necessary for the facilitator to go into each breakout room at least once and offer support.
  • 3. & 4. Presenting reactions & Evaluation: Take place again with everyone in the main room.

Tips and notes for facilitators

The method requires a certain amount of prior knowledge and familiarization with the topic by the facilitator. It is not necessary to understand all the chemical and physical processes of the technologies in detail, but a basic understanding of how the respective technology works is useful. For detailed questions, the participants can be referred to other sources.

For a more in-depth look at the topic, we recommend the following sources:

Depending on the target group, it is possible that the participants have so far mainly come into contact with technological solutions to the climate crisis. When critically examining such solutions, various reactions are possible, e.g. defensiveness, pessimism, hopelessness. It is advisable to pay particular attention to reactions of this kind among the participants. An appreciative attitude towards the different contributions of the participants and a general appreciation of controversy and discussion helps in dealing with this. If possible, the method is followed by a method from the „Alternatives“ category or the „Good life can only exist for all“ method to deepen the focus on structural global inequalities. To dive deeper into the topic of economic growth, the method „The two sides of the coin“ can be used.

Possibilities for further work

  • Building another world

  • Who can make change?
  • Good life can only exist for all