Today’s Solutions: January 29, 2023

These days, it’s easy to sink into feelings of climate anxiety and eco-grief. However, this past year brought us a number of good climate stories that encourage us not to lose hope!

  1. Renewables are expected to produce more energy than coal in the United States. Hydropower, wind, and solar were expected to generate more than a quarter of all electricity by the end of 2022.
  2. Following his election victory over Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, also known as “Lula,” committed to eliminating deforestation in the Amazon. According to experts, the policies might reduce deforestation in the Amazon by 89 percent over the following decade.
  3. China announced the construction of the world’s largest wind farm, capable of powering 13 million homes. Chaozhou, a city in China’s Guangdong province, has outlined plans for a 43.3 gigatonne power station in the Taiwan Strait.
  4. Globally, renewables saved 230 million tonnes of CO2 emissions so far in 2022, according to the London-based think tank Ember, which analyzed figures from 75 nations that account for almost 90 percent of the world’s power usage.
  5. The Great Barrier Reef in Australia has shown the best signals of coral regrowth in 36 years. While the reef is still susceptible to increasingly frequent mass bleaching events, it is showing the most extensive coral cover seen in decades.
  6. Shell’s gas and oil development rights along South Africa’s Wild Coast were canceled by a South African court, which environmentalists welcomed as a “massive victory” for the planet.
  7. France has prohibited short-haul domestic flights in favor of rail travel for trips of less than 2.5 hours. It was also the first European country to prohibit advertisements for fossil fuels under a new climate law.
  8. Denmark became the first country to pay for “loss and damage” caused by climate change, compensating citizens living in the world’s most susceptible climate zones.
  9. To ensure that individuals who can afford expensive products “contribute a little more,” Canada slapped a new “luxury tax” on importing high-value vehicles, yachts, and private planes.
  10. A “radical” new scientific breakthrough discovered a way to store solar energy for up to 18 years. According to Swedish researchers, this novel method of manufacturing power from solar radiation could one day become a significant part of our daily life.
  11. Last, but not least— an anonymous Frenchman who won €200 million (just over $214 million) in the EuroMillions lottery plans to use his earnings to establish an environmental charity. “My dream has never been to acquire boats, castles, or other sports cars, it is to be useful and to give meaning to this money, with maximum positive impact,” the man wrote in an open letter.
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