Reasons for (cautious) optimism: the good news on the climate crisis

The Positive Developments Regarding the Climate Catastrophe Provide Grounds for Cautious Hope

There is a plethora of opinions as to what is wrong. Scientists were wrong about how much damage would be done at a temperature increase of 1.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The severe effects of heat waves and droughts in the Northern Hemisphere, as well as the frequency of catastrophic floods in Pakistan, were examined last week. The disintegration of the Greenland ice cap and the Gulf Stream currents in the Atlantic Ocean were among numerous catastrophic climate tipping points identified in a study that was peer-reviewed.

While there is evidence that action is being delayed to address the climate catastrophe, this is not the only case. Recognizing that every fraction of global warming prevented makes an impact, here are some reasons for hope.

Emissions in China Are Going Down

China, the largest yearly carbon polluter, reported an 8% decline in emissions in the June quarter and a 3% year-on-year reduction, whereas Australia’s emissions went up in the most current numbers.

analyst Laurie Milevierta reported According to Carbon Brief, this is the largest cut in Chinese carbon pollution in at least a decade, equal to nearly half of Australia’s yearly emissions. This was caused by both short- and long-term trends: a real estate slowdown, COVID-related restrictions, poor growth in electricity demand and sustained renewable energy expansion.

It is too soon to tell if this is a sustained trend, but pollution has dropped for the fourth consecutive quarter. The recently announced stimulus package could promote both industry and clean and dirty energy consumption.

Despite all the hoopla about China continuing to develop coal-fired power plants, burning dirty fuel lowered electricity generation by 4% in the first six months of the year. The country is investing in coal capacity that is excessive relative to its demands, as is the case with most other types of infrastructure.

However, there is still hope that this can be reversed, at least temporarily; coal-fired electricity has been restored in recent weeks despite a drop in hydroelectric capacity brought on by the intense drought and heat, and China has reported this development to the United Nations. The country has pledged to reach its emissions peak by the year 2030.

The Use of Renewable Energy, and Solar Power, in Particular, Is

According to a recent analysis by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the clean energy sector (which the IEA broadly defines to include renewable energy, electric vehicles, energy efficiency measures, and nuclear power) now employs more people than the fossil fuel sector. Is. However, there is a slight catch: positions in clean energy don’t pay as much as other jobs since they are less likely to be unionized. The claim that clean energy cannot provide for its workforce is no longer valid.

Since 2020, public and corporate support for sustainable finance, especially in wealthier nations, has expanded, leading to a yearly increase in clean energy investment of 12%. Eighty percent or more of power industry investment goes toward renewable energy, new grids, and energy storage. To achieve worldwide net zero emissions by 2050, the IEA predicts that investment in solar, batteries, and EVs must continue to expand at current rates.

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Reasons for (cautious) optimism: the good news on the climate crisis

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Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, energy supplies in Europe have been turned around, but there has been a considerable shift toward renewable energy, with some countries providing temporary assistance for fossil fuels to keep the lights on and the heat on. British thinktank Amber reported a record northern summer of solar production, meaning the continent was able to avoid spending €29bn ($A43bn) on gas. In the 27 countries of the European Union, renewable energy provided 35% of electricity compared to 16% from coal.

According to research by Bloomberg NEF, manufacturing of solar polysilicon – a semiconductor used in photovoltaic panels – is developing so fast that the complete supply chain needed to cut emissions is already under development. That’s almost all of China – one of several potential obstacles identified by Bloomberg’s David Fickling – but it indicates something that can be achieved.

Rich People Are Starting to Take Action (in Some Ways)

There has been no agreement in UN climate talks to help developing countries deal with the inevitable losses and harms caused by global emissions, but the wealthy are now moving to drive the clean energy transition in some countries. Case.

The mission is straightforward: help the world’s largest rising emitters transition their economies away from fossil fuels by giving them the resources they need to do it. At the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow, South Africa struck a partnership with Germany, Britain, the United States, and the European Union, committing to invest $US8.5bn in global capital over the next three to five years. Is. The nation’s energy infrastructure, which previously relied heavily on coal, is undergoing significant change.

An increased goal of $600 billion in public and private financing for renewable energy infrastructure in developing nations including Indonesia, India, Senegal, and Vietnam was approved in June by the Group of Seven. Combined with other initiatives, including the G20’s promise to cease funding for new coal power overseas and the Asian Development Bank’s energy transition mechanism, it has the potential to re-attract the feasible. It is essential to the success of the process that local populations are neither exploited nor neglected in any way.

The United States Has Caught the Proverbial White Whale

Reasons for (cautious) optimism: the good news on the climate crisis

Perhaps the most encouraging development of the year. The United States, the largest historical emitter, finally got significant climate change legislation through Congress after years of trying and failing. The analysis shows that the IRA may cause the country to drastically alter its course by reducing emissions by 43% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. A national aim of 50% cutbacks this decade is feasible if the country’s political system remains stable.

An essential issue to note: US law highlights that penalizing fossil fuel industries by pricing carbon that, while not dead, is out of vogue. The IRA’s primary focus is on investing US$370 billion in promoting the adoption of clean alternatives over polluting models. Much of this will be restricted to American-made products. In addition to reducing pollution locally, experts suggest this might boost competition and decrease prices in global marketplaces.

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In Today’s World, Australia Is No Longer a Behind Nation

Reasons for (cautious) optimism: the good news on the climate crisis

Passage of Australia’s first climate change law in a decade may not seem like big news compared to the US, given that Australia is a smaller country and the bill itself is less ambitious, but it is nonetheless one of the positive stories of the moment.

At the upcoming important UN climate summit in Egypt in November, the Albanian government will commend Australia’s ambitious 2030 emissions reduction target (a 43% reduction from 2005). Success is inevitable and will occur

The inquiries will be directed at the Labor government as well. Whether or not it will undercut its renewed commitment and global effort by continuing to boost exports of fossil fuels depends largely on feedback it is receiving at home. A possible improvement of the response is required.

Stay tuned to enviro360 for more infotainment news.

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