Energy Facts: Shifting Towards a Cleaner, Greener Society

Teresa Madaleno

It is easy to get dragged down by negative news, such as terrorism, wildfires, and the U.S withdrawing from the Paris Climate deal. Positive news, especially when it comes to climate change, often gets lost among all the pessimistic pundits; however there is plenty to smile about when it comes to creating a greener world.

Here we take a quick look at all the positives in relation to energy and creating a greener planet:

• Today there are close to 10 million jobs in renewable energy around the world. This could rise to 24 million in just another 10-12 years.

• Traditionally a strong supporter of coal, South Korea is now shifting towards renewables.

• In the summer of 2017 the United Kingdom set a record for sustainable power production.

• Falling wind and solar prices are leading to new power deals

• Two-thirds of Canada’s energy now comes from renewables

• Some of the World’s best-known brands have taken major steps to extend their green initiatives in the last 12 months, including McDonald’s, Google, Wal Mart, United Airlines, Brooks, and Coca Cola.

• More fashion labels than ever before are introducing eco-fashion lines. The textile industry is also cutting down on wastewater and plastics while still making us look good, at the same time.

• Several cities across the world, including at least 6 in the United States have banned plastic bags. Montreal is the first Canadian city to ban the bags, but more are expected to follow soon.

• In defiance of Donald Trump, a coalition of U.S governors, mayors, and business leaders paid for and opened up a program called “We Are Still In” to proclaim commitment to the Paris Agreement on behalf of Americans.

• Foundations, including Gates, Hewlett, and Leonardo DiCaprio, have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to help fight climate change.

The above are just a few examples of positives when it comes to fighting global warming. There have been too many scientific discoveries and engineering advancements in the last 12–18 months to mention in one small blog, but suffice to say that the work (research) being conducted every day is crucial to our sustainability. As an example, this past year, a team of researchers discovered that tropical forests, thought to be one of the biggest carbon sinks, are really a net carbon source. As a result of deforestation and degradation, these forests are emitting approximately 400 million metric tons of carbon into the air annually. Such information is important since it can help scientists determine how much carbon is going into and out of the atmosphere – and ultimately, how much humans can still emit without going over global climate goals.