With rising sea levels and temperatures, melting glaciers, and extreme weather conditions afflicting the world, there is no question that the climate crisis is here. But there is good news — everyday people are standing up and tackling climate change, fighting this impending disaster.
These days it’s exceedingly hard to keep a smile on when hearing news about recent measures taken toward tackling climate change. The imminent calamity is not letting up, showing us what it’s capable of by warning us by warming of our climate, potentially jeopardizing the water supply of millions. But hope is not lost.
This reality is being recognized worldwide with advocates in global, national, and local communities banding together to fight fiercely against this looming threat, change the narrative, and mitigate the worst impacts of climate change. By working together, we change the course we’re on right now. We can pave the path towards a world reliant on renewable energy, a world safe from the dangerous impacts of climate change. So here are a few of the countless success stories against climate change.
China stepping up
China holds the title of the world’s largest carbon emitter. Or at least, it held the title. In 2015, the country responsible for 23% of the world’s carbon emissions pledged to expand its total energy consumption of renewable energy to 20% by 2030.
Since 2006, China has been the world’s largest carbon emitter, which is why making this commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and use more clean energy is a significant breakthrough for the world.
Saying no to fossil fuels
Over 700 organizations globally have divested themselves of fossil fuels, declining to invest in oil, coal, and gas companies.
Moreover, almost half of the largest companies in the US now recognize that it is everyone’s job to save humanity, a feat achievable only if we all work together.
There is also a growing movement within the private sector to address and combat the risks of climate change, the dangers this threat poses.
US Coal Consumption
Americans are starting to consume less and less coal, despite the efforts of the Trump administration to revive the dying coal industry.
A report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration in 2018 shows the lowest U.S. coal consumption since 1979, as well as the second-greatest number on record of power plants using coal shutting down.
Ethiopia’s tree planting initiative
1… 2… 3… How long do you think it will take me to reach 350 million? That’s right. Ethiopia might as well have set a world record by planting 350 million trees in one day. One day!
These plantings were a small part of a bigger plan to restore the country’s tree coverage. Its final goal is to plant over 4 billion native tree species in order to recover the damage as a result of the ever-growing industry, agricultural expansion, and climate change.
This is one of many successful efforts in reducing the impact of climate change.
Tigers in India
In the early 1900s, more than 100,000 tigers roamed India’s wild. By the time 2010 rolled around, heavy hunting, poaching, and clashes with humans caused the population to reach its all-time low at 1,706.
The good news, though, is that in recent years, the number of wild tigers has increased exponentially, a whopping 35% up than 2010 at 2,967.
The C40 is a group founded in 2005 and consists of 96 countries that have pledged to reduce their environmental impact. This group recently announced that 30 cities have now diminished their carbon emission by at least 10% since 1991. On average, the cities deducted their emissions by 22%.
Out of these cities, Copenhagen stands at the top, diminishing its carbon emission by a staggering 61% since 1991. Other big cities, such as London, have reduced their emissions by almost 30%, a remarkable feat for a city of that size.
Upcycling at UC Davis
Advancements in science and technology can be very… helpful, although the means maybe a little gross.
In recent news, researchers at UC Davis are developing a new method in which they take food waste and feed fly larvae with it. Then, the larvae are turned into protein powder, animal feed, and sometimes even oil or lubricant for cars!
This process of taking waste and turning it into a new product is known as upcycling. Soon, instead of climate change, we’ll be battling a bug problem soon.
Closing the hole in the ozone layer
Do you remember when the news of the gaping hole in the ozone layer first dropped? How worried everyone was? Well, those days are behind us now.
In September 2019, the United Nations Environmental Protection (UNEP) agency announced that, within our lifetime, the hole would be completely closed. This proves that collectively working, taking action together, does work and has paid off.
All in all, tackling climate change and actually making a change is no longer an unattainable dream. Now that’s something you can actually smile about.