Talks of climate change and shifting weather patterns have largely been focused on the negative in recent times, such as the wildfires of the Amazon or Australia, record carbon dioxide emissions, rapid melting of glaciers, and so on. However, not everything is all doom and gloom. There are some positive developments with regard to climate change policies and practices that fill us with hope.
Fossil fuel investment decline
There is a growing trend of investments moving away from fossil fuel-linked businesses. Credit rating agency Moody’s identified this in its recent analysis of ExxonMobil when it raised apprehension as to the future of the firm.
“The negative outlook… reflects the emerging threat to oil and gas companies’ profitability and cash flow from growing efforts by many nations to mitigate the impacts of climate change through tax and regulatory policies that are intended to shift global demand towards other sources of energy and conservation,” the agency stated (IEEFA).
The trend away from fossil fuel-linked businesses is also in evidence, as Goldman Sachs announced that it will not be taking up any financing transaction that supports oil exploration and development in the Arctic.
The rise of renewable energy
Companies and nations are betting their money on renewable energy in a big way. In a recent UK survey, it was found that almost 30 percent of the respondents saw investing in renewables as a far more attractive option than in sectors like property or technology.
“Renewable energy investments are as popular among women (31 percent) as they are among men (29 percent), and are consistently popular among all age groups. Further, renewables are more consistently popular across the age groups than even traditional favorites like gold,” according to Forbes. In December, it was announced that renewables had overtaken gas as the leading form of power generation in the UK.
Renewables today provide 44 percent of Germany’s electricity supply. In fact, the country produced enough renewable energy during the first six months of 2018 to power every single home in the country for a year. In April 2018, Portugal supplied electricity to its citizens for the entire month using renewables alone.
Healing ozone layer
After a hole in the ozone layer was discovered in 1985, nations across the world came together to ban substances like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in a bid to resolve the issue. And it seems to be working since scientists at NASA now believe that the ozone layer will recover to its 1980 levels by 2070. CFCs are known to have a warming effect thousands of times higher than CO2. As such, banning the substances will definitely be good for the climate in the long run.
The involvement of developing nations
It is not just the developed world that is interested in renewables. As the cost of renewable energy drops, even developing nations are showing greater interest in moving away from oil and gas. Nicaragua has set a target of running on 90 percent renewables by the end of this year.
India “intends to take its renewable energy capacity to 500 gigawatts — 40 percent of the total — by 2030. The giant nation currently generates 22 percent of its electricity from renewables, and is on track to have 175 gigawatts of renewable power capacity installed by 2022. By comparison, the U.S. gets only 15 percent of its electricity from renewables,” according to Forbes.
The involvement of developing nations is crucial since they account for the largest section of the population in the world. As these nations progress, they will naturally consume more energy resources. If they can rely on renewables rather than fossil fuels, it will ward off any significant increase in fossil fuel consumption in the future.