‘Ray of hope’: Climate action professionals share why 2022 was an optimistic year

As we look back to 2022, it’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to climate action.

As renewable energy grows, progress has been made on several fronts – in the EU, solar energy This year is up nearly 50 percent.

Sustainable transport is also high on the agenda, adapted for cities CyclistThe country is cracked down Short-haul flightsAnd Zero emissions Innovation is accelerating.

COP27 ended with an agreement to deliver loss and damage Financing for countries affected by climate disasters – a breakthrough step towards justice for developing countries.

And those fighting for climate justice through the courts and on the streets have found success with ClientEarth holding the UK government to account. Net zero strategyand more young voice Heard more than ever.

People using their skills to push for a better future haven’t given up hope, so neither should we. Here are six reasons to be positive about climate action from 2022, according to people who work full-time on the issue.

You can read more than 100 Positive environmental news 2022 stories on Euronews Green.

6. London’s ULEZ expansion will clean our air and protect our climate

In 2023, London will expand its Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which will address air pollution Charges cars that don’t meet pollution guidelines to drive in certain parts of the city.

Leo Murray, co-founder of Possible – a charity that empowers people to take practical action on climate change – tells Euronews Green why this is his best positive story of the year.

“Earlier this year, my daughter was diagnosed AsthmaAnd on high pollution days we had to call paramedics. It was one of the scariest days of my life. Most of the 4,000 premature deaths in London due to toxic air are in outer London where the benefits of ULEZ have yet to be felt.

“This is ready for change now that we have successfully secured a full commitment from the Mayor for ULEZ London From next year, another 5 million people will be protected. If you look at London air, London climate targets and London traffic jam Problem is, it’s obvious that it’s the right thing to do. Not only that, the money raised will go directly back into public transport outside of London, creating a virtuous circle of fewer cars and better buses.

“I love this story because it shows determination as well as political courage activism. Opposition is highest before such schemes are implemented. Had Ken Livingstone’s original congestion charge been put to a referendum, it would have been defeated. Just a year later, it received majority public support.

“Once people experience the benefits, traffic reduction schemes are popular and people want to keep them ULEZ expansion will clean our air, protect our climate and make London better place of residence. And if we can do it here, we can do it anywhere.”

5. Global renewable energy capacity will double in the next five years

As Project Drawdown’s Drawdown Lift Program Director, Kristen P. Patterson deepens collective understanding of the link between addressing climate change and poverty alleviation, particularly in countries in Africa and South Asia.

He is motivated by rapid global expansion Renewable energy.

“The International Energy Agency (IEA) announced in early December that the global Renewable energy Capacity growth in the next five years is going to double my spirits. The IEA reports that the world is poised to add as much renewable energy in the next five years as it did in the past 20.

“The source of recent pressure to secure global energy supplies is tragic (Russia’s invasion of Ukraine). Still, this news gave me hope: expanding Renewable energy An urgent need for a more just and equitable world in both high and low and middle income countries. 568 million people – 75 percent of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa – still lack access to electricity; That must change to eradicate extreme poverty and advance the right to sustainable development for all.

“And, those of us in high-income countries have a responsibility to cut ourselves back emissions. My family installed solar panels in October; It’s nice to play a small role in the renewable energy transition.”

4. Legal victory for eight Torres Strait Island claimants

Sophie Marjanac, lawyer for environmental law charity ClientEarthA recent ruling celebrates that Australia’s climate inaction is a violation of Torres Strait Islanders’ rights to family life and culture.

First of its kind Legal action Asking Australia to compensate the claimants for their losses and secure the secure existence of their communities.

“The legal victory for the eight Torres Strait Island claimants was another ray of hope in a year punctuated by the reality of the climate crisis.

“The indictment is further evidence that governments can and will hold responsible When they fail to protect people from the devastating effects of catastrophic climate change. This opened the door to further legal action by people Climate frontlineAnd it will strengthen the hands of communities fighting to get compensation for damages and losses.”

3. Financial support for climate activists is accelerating change

Climate psychologist, campaigner and academic, Jessica Kleska, feels optimistic about the emerging support for climate activists. Here’s why.

“What gives me hope for climate action in 2022 is a new initiative called HERO, which aims to provide a basic income for 10,000 climates. worker In the next five years. HERO is a subscription-based platform where people can support global activist groups working on policy issues and be part of their journey.

“I co-lead the UK Climate Justice Circle, which is focused on ending the new Fossil fuel UK for good. Climate activism is the most effective way to accelerate policy change, and compensating campaigners for the work would be an absolute game changer.

“Stanford Social Innovation Review Finds Funding Climate Action Can Be 100 Times More Cost-Effective Than Buying to Reduce CO2 Emissions Carbon offsets. Providing financial stability for workers is an exciting climate solution that is gaining momentum. People can subscribe to a Hero Circle through the app.”

2. Decarbonisation has become an economic and security priority

Elizabeth Cremona is an energy and climate data analyst at Ember, a think tank that aims to transform the world. coal To clear electricity. He says 2022 brings new hope for decarbonisation.

“This year was a key turning point in the way governments look at decarbonisation – no longer just as a climate goal, but an economic and security priority. This increased ambition is reflected in the response we have seen from many EU countries Energy crisis. Our research shows that this will translate into about 10 percent additional renewable energy by 2030, and the positive effects of this accelerated action are already being felt.

“We have seen the G7 economies commit to achieving a clean power system by 2035, recognizing this as an important milestone to keep the world on track for 1.5C.”

1. The United States has agreed to damage and loss funds and a fossil fuel phase-out

Ben Golf is a senior climate campaigner at the Center for Biological Diversity, a non-profit organization known for protecting endangered species Through legal action, petitions and grassroots activism. He is optimistic about US progress on two fronts.

“After persistent pressure, communities and activists have won two strides toward accountability from the United States for decades of climate damage. First, US leaders finally agreed to the United Nations loss and damage Funds for historically polluting countries to pay their fair share for climate damage in the global south. The proof will be in the pudding on how this is implemented, but it is a huge victory for the majority of people worldwide.

“And second, in recognizing that fossil fuels are the key driver Climate mattersUS officials for the first time joined a growing chorus of dozens of countries calling for clear commitments to phase out oil, gas and coal at COP27.

“We’ll be working this year to get them to speak up, reject new fossil fuel projects back home and demand protections against them. big oil-supports false solutions such as carbon capture and offset.”

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