With all the bad news about the climate and ecological decline, many people experience “eco-anxiety”, or eco-fear or climate stress. And it is often the bad news that is spread. This way you quickly forget that positive developments are also being made. Fortunately, a lot of good things have happened in terms of climate this year as well.
That's why we're sharing our 5 favorite positive articles of this year today!
- Solar and wind energy can limit global warming to 1.5°
- A lottery winner uses his money to start an environmental charitable organization
- Patagonia's founder gives the company away
- Hawaii closes its last coal-fired power station
- Dutch students have invented the zero-emission car that retains carbon while driving
Solar and wind energy can limit global warming to 1.5°
At the end of March, it was announced that the current growth in solar and wind energy is enough to eventually be in line with global warming of up to 1.5°. To achieve this goal, the average 10-year growth rate of 20% must be maintained until 2030.
The generation of solar energy has increased by 23 percent globally in 2021 and wind energy by about 14 percent. Together they provide 10.3% of the total global electricity generation. That is a whole percent more compared to 2020.
The Netherlands, Australia, and Vietnam have the fastest growth rates for renewable energy. They have been able to convert about 10 percent of their energy demand from fossil fuels to solar and wind energy in the last 2 years.
If other countries would follow this example, we would be well on our way to the 1.5° global warming limitation.
What must be said is that global energy demand has also seen strong growth in 2021. The growth was so strong that it is equivalent to adding an extra India to the world.
China in particular experienced the largest growth in the face of the pre-corona pandemic. Although it is true that they are adopting more and more clean energy. The big question is just how quickly they will make the transition.
A lottery winner uses his money to start an environmental charitable organisation
A truly heartwarming story!
A retired man from the south of France won the EuroMillions jackpot of €200m in December 2020.
The man only bought lottery tickets during important draws like this one. In an open, anonymous letter, he said he hoped one day to win an amount so that he could donate most of it to a charity close to him.
During his life, he often saw trucks on the Ivory Coast, loaded with freshly cut trees. This left such a big impression that he founded the organization “Anyama” with the money that was won.
Patagonia's Founder Gives Away Company
Probably an article that everyone has heard about since it was big in the news, but still a piece of news that makes us happy.
Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard was highly acclaimed for giving the company away to fight climate change. He transfers his family’s property to a charity, making Earth the sole shareholder and beneficiary of all profits not reinvested in the company.
Patagonia remains a for-profit company, but the Chouinard family no longer owns it. The company is expected to pay an annual dividend of €100 million to the non-profit that now owns the shares.
Hawaii closes its last coal-fired power station
The very last coal delivery arrived on the island at the end of July, after which it closed on September 1 after 30 years.
The facility produced up to a fifth of the group’s most populous island’s electricity. By shutting down the power plant, they ensure that around 1.5 million tons of greenhouse gases won’t be released into nature every year.
Hawaii has already suffered a lot from climate change. This ranges from bleached coral reefs because of rising sea temperatures to rising water levels. The state also faces more severe storms and droughts, increasing fire risk.
Dutch students have invented a zero-emission car that retains carbon while driving
And finally, we have a news item from our own soil. Dutch students from the Eindhoven University of Technology have invented an emission-free car. The goal was to minimize CO2 emissions during its production, lifetime, and end-of-life.
The car consists mainly of 3D-printed recycled plastics and is powered by a lithium battery. And although electric cars emit almost no CO2 compared to their combustion engine counterparts, the production of the batteries is not exactly environmentally friendly.
Therefore, the students wanted to ensure that the car retains carbon during use, thus compensating for these emissions. The students estimate that the car will be able to retain up to 2 kg of CO2 over a span of 30,000 km. The students hope to improve the filter so that it will be able to retain more and more CO2.
What are your favorite news stories of the year so far? Let us know!