We all dream of a green and sustainable world where future generations can thrive and live in prosperity, and there’s no denying that climate change has remained an ever-relevant social issue and environmental problem on the lists of governments everywhere. As a result, we’ve been fighting a long uphill battle, facing the real consequences of our carbon emissions and the burden we’ve placed on our planet.
However, in a fortunate turn of events, what seemed like an impossible mission that would take decades before any considerable progress would be made has taken an incredible leap forward that no one expected. And today, we’ll be exploring the recent developments over the past year that lead many to believe that this cleaner and greener future is actually much closer than we all expected.
Increased Use Of Renewable Energy
Amidst the terror of the global pandemic, the world saw increased use of renewable energy, with numbers breaking all-time highs and setting new records, exceeding the previous jump in 2019. And following this renewable energy trend in 2021, we could very well be on track to make significant progress toward achieving our sustainable development goals on climate action.
Furthermore, many electricity grids across different nations are increasing the utilization of renewables, meaning that fossil fuel consumption figures are making new lows as more systems lean toward the resilience of renewable energy. As a result, we can expect carbon emissions to fall even lower, considering that the world is progressively embracing the need for cleaner sources of energy.
Empowered Demand For Electric & Hybrid Vehicles
Cars play a significant role in many lives, but these gas-powered vehicles also account for a large share in carbon emissions. However, the rise of Tesla has empowered demand for electric and hybrid vehicles. With more companies following in their footsteps, more people now prefer the reduced environmental impact these eco-friendly vehicles provide.
According to the World Economic Forum, global electric car stock has now passed the 10 million milestone, and this trend currently shows no signs of stopping. And while traditional car sales still dwarf these numbers, the transition for cleaner vehicles in the auto industry is a promising indicator that we can’t overlook.
More Aggressive And Ambitious Climate Targets
Leaders are expected to pioneer change and call for action. President Biden’s pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by the year 2030 is an ambitious climate target that sets a positive tone for the future of clean energy and sustainability. Of course, many experts argue that this pledge will not be enough because to reach such a goal would demand aggressive global action, but it does raise awareness and encourage other countries to act. And if we can even come close to it or make some progress toward this ambitious objective, it would dictate the global trend for sustainability.
However, Challenges Still Exist
Despite the milestones we’ve conquered in 2020 and moving forward in 2021, there are still many challenges that persist in the current day that slow down the transition to a cleaner and greener future. And unless these issues and concerns are addressed, they could severely hinder any progress or, worst-case scenario, overthrow all the milestones we’ve broken in the previous years.
- Cost Constraints Deter Homeowners: Renewable energy from solar power installations has gone down in price significantly compared to the initial introduction of renewables some four or five years ago. And constant research and development point to further innovations that will drive the price down to make them more accessible for the average household. However, many areas still experience cost constraints that prevent and deter homeowners from making the shift. And until the expense factor is resolved, many homes would still prefer to stick with their traditional electric grid.
- Economic Rebound And Risk Of Surge In Carbon Emissions: One dangerous looming threat that many fear is the environmental risks brought about by sudden economic rebound. There’s no denying that the strain on global supply chains and markets has aided in reducing carbon emissions, and it’s an unexpected positive to Covid-19. However, once the world opens up and the risks of the global pandemic subside, we could potentially experience extreme economic recovery. And with that, a sudden surge in carbon emissions as well.
A Hopeful Tomorrow
Nevertheless, all of these developments and news do point toward a hopeful tomorrow. Even if only two out of the three mentioned were to be realized, it would put the rest of the world in an advantageous position to pursue even greater climate action. And, if the cards do play out in our favor, we might grasp that greener and cleaner future in no time at all.