Limiting global warming to 1.5℃ requires cutting global emissions by 7.6% each year this decade. This does sound difficult, but there are reasons for optimism.
First, it's possible technically and economically. For example, the use of wind and solar power has grown exponentially in the past decade, and their prices have plummeted to the point where they are now among the cheapest sources of electricity. Some areas, including energy storage and industrial processes such as steel and cement manufacture, still need further research and a drop in price, or higher carbon prices.
Second, it's possible politically. Partly in response to the Paris Agreement, a growing number of countries have adopted stronger targets. Twenty countries and regions, including New Zealand and the European Union, are now targeting net zero emissions by 2050 or earlier. A recent example of striking progress comes from Ireland – a country with a similar emissions profile to New Zealand. The incoming coalition's program for government includes emission cuts of 7% per year and a reduction by half by 2030.
Third, it's possible socially. Since 2019, we have seen the massive growth of the School Strike 4 Climate movement and an increase in fossil fuel divestment. Several media organisations have made a commitment to evidence-based coverage of climate change and calls for a Green New Deal are coming from a range of political parties, especially in the U.S. and Europe. There is also a growing understanding that to ensure a safe future we need to consume less overall. If these trends continue, then we can still stay below 1.5℃. (source: ecowatch.com)
What are you actively doing to help our beautiful planet? Adopt an eco friendly lifestyle, use renewable energy, use public transport whenever possible, buy local organic food and go vegan, plant trees, reduce, reuse, recycle, ditch single use plastics.
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