17 Reasons to Have Climate Hope
Good things happened in 2020 to help reverse climate change. We understand if you were distracted.
2020 was...a year. Need we say more? However, there were some good happenings on the climate change front, stuff that can give us hope for the future. After all, hope is a powerful force.
We Cleaned Up a Little
1. Smog Cleared Over China. The pandemic happened, and China locked down. Then airborne nitrogen dioxide cleared from the air, first over Wuhan and then over more of the country. While COVID-19 is not what we’re looking for to fix climate change (remember, this is about saving lives, not taking more of them), this shows we have the ability to clean up air pollution.
2. Emissions in the US Plummeted. The US saw its biggest fall in emissions since World War II. Again, it’s clearly related to the coronavirus, and that ain’t cool, but it shows we can make changes.
3. Female Endangered Turtle Found. There was only one known giant Swinhoe’s softshell turtle left in the world, held in captivity, but they just found him a mate, a female in a lake in Vietnam. That’s excellent news.
4. Deep Sea Corals Win. The NOAA designated deep sea corals in the Gulf of Mexico, 21 sites and 484 square miles to be exact, as Habitat Areas of Particular Concern. Understated phrase aside, they’re now protected from harmful activity.
5. Huge Marine Sanctuary Created. Tristan da Cunha, a tiny UK territory in the South Atlantic, created a new marine sanctuary. Fourth largest in the world and almost 700,000 square km. That’s progress.
6. People Chose the Environment over Money. A New Zealand couple turned down developers and gave 900 hectares of land to the country of New Zealand for inclusion in a national trust to protect and preserve the land.
Energy, Cars, & Renewables
7. Milan Waves Goodbye to Cars. Following the spring coronavirus lockdowns, Milan announced it will convert almost 22 miles of city streets to be for cyclist and pedestrian use only. Good air, strong legs.
8. Green Energy are the New Giants. The top 4 clean energy companies, Enel, Iberdrola, NextEra Energy, and Orsted, overtook Big Oil in market caps in 2020.
9. Tasmania Declares Itself Fully Green. The Australian state announced in November that it is now powered 100% by renewable energy. With only a few places in the world ever achieving this, it’s exciting to see the list grow.
10. Denmark Sets Sights on End of North Sea Oil. Denmark, the EU’s biggest oil producer, announced it will no longer offer new licenses for drilling, and will phase out all production by 2050.
Governments Came Around
11. China Announces Expanded Ban on Waste Imports. China announced an expansion of their waste ban that went into effect a few years ago. Finally, a country refusing to take others’ waste. Interesting concept. How fast will the West change once no does?
12. Joe Biden was Elected President of the US. We hear you thinking: you’re relying on feet-dragging governments?! Biden is now arguably the most progessive sitting president for climate change the US has ever had. First up is rejoining the Paris Climate Accord.
14. We Can Fix The Plastic Ocean. Dr. Philip Landrigan, the lead researcher on a new study from Boston College and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, said recently that 80% of oceanic pollution originates on land. So we already have the tools to fix it.
15. The Guardian is Changing Its Product Ratings. The UK’s second largest newspaper announced new guidelines when it rates consumer products. If products don’t have a certain threshold of sustainability, they will receive low ratings no matter how good its usefulness or cool factor is. Good influence matters.
16. Apple Decides, “Hey, Let’s Get People Off Our Back and Do Better.” Speaking of sustainability, Apple announced in July that it is committing to be 100% carbon neutral by 2030. That includes its supply chain and products.
17. Impact Snacks was Created. We’d be remiss not to at least mention this one. 100% vegan and 100% plastic free, not to mention being 250% carbon negative, it’s the most eco-friendly packaged snack bar in the world.
So there you have it. After a whopper of a year, we learned there are positive signs of change. We can change. And that’s an awesome thing. We challenge you to take some time to reflect as we move further into the new year. What positive changes will you be making in 2021? What would make 2021 an excellent year? Let us know in the comments below!
Article by Impact Snacks Contributor, Nate Tyler