09 Jun Feel Good Friday: The Paris Agreement
Today we have some good environmental news!
It’s not all bad! It’s been a rough week for the environment, but we have some positive environmental news to give you some hope and make you feel better on Feel Good Friday!
Good News Story 1: Global carbon emissions appear to have stopped increasing.
According to a report issued by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, energy related CO2 emissions (aka the stuff that leads to global warming in case you forgot) were down in the first 6-months of 2016. They were at numbers that haven’t been seen since 1991! They attributed this to the large growth of wind, hydro-electric, and solar energies which saw significant growth over any other type of energy.
Read more at: “Energy-related CO2 emissions for first six months of 2016 are lowest since 1991.” U.S. EnergyInformation Administration, 12 Oct. 2016, www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=28312. Accessed 8 June 2017.
Good News Story 2: Google to be powered 100% by renewable energy from 2017
Google’s data centers and the offices for its 60,000 staff will be powered entirely by renewable energy starting in 2017, in what the company has called a “landmark moment”. The internet giant is already the world’s biggest corporate buyer of renewable electricity, last year buying 44% of its power from wind and solar farms. Now it will be 100%, and an executive said it would not rule out investing in nuclear power in the future, too.
Technology companies have come under increasing scrutiny over the carbon footprint of their operations, which have grown so fast they now account for about 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which rivals the aviation industry.
The company’s 100% renewable energy does not mean Google is getting all its energy directly from wind and solar power, but that on an annual basis the amount it purchases from renewable sources matches the electricity its operations consume.
Read more at: Vaughan, Adam. “Google to be powered 100% by renewable energy from 2017.” The Guardian, 6 Dec. 2016, www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/dec/06/google-powered-100-renewable-energy-2017. Accessed 8 June 2017.
Good News Story 3: India, Once a Coal Goliath, Is Fast Turning Green
Just a few years ago, the world watched nervously as India went on a building spree of coal-fired power plants, more than doubling its capacity and claiming that more were needed.
India’s plans were cited by American critics of the Paris climate accord as proof of the futility of advanced nations trying to limit their carbon output. But now, even as President Trump pulls the United States out of the pact, India has undergone an astonishing turnaround, driven in great part by a steep fall in the cost of solar power.
Experts now say that India not only has no need of any new coal-fired plants for at least a decade, given that existing plants are running below 60 percent of capacity, but that after that it could rely on renewable sources for all its additional power needs.
Read more at: Anand, Geeta. “India, Once a Coal Goliath, Is Fast Turning Green.” NY Times, 2 June 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/06/02/world/asia/india-coal-green-energy-climate.html?_r=0. Accessed 8 June 2017.
Good News Story 4: China’s Surprising Solutions to Clear Killer Air
The government’s efforts range widely. Chinese cities are pressing residents to give up coal stoves and furnaces at home. Officials have required higher-quality gasoline and diesel for vehicles. Car emissions standards set to take effect in 2020 will be comparable to European and American ones.
But the focus remains on heavy industry. In March, the national government announced the closure or cancellation of 103 coal-fired power plants, capable of generating a total of more than 50 gigawatts of power. It said it would also cut steel production capacity by another 50 million tons.
Read more at: Gardiner, Beth. “China’s Surprising Solutions to Clear Killer Air.” National Geographic, 5 May 2017,news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/05/china-air-pollution-solutions-environment-tangshan/Accessed 8 June 2017.
Thanks for a great week! Have a good weekend!
Looking to catch up on the week?