Climate ChangeEnvironment

5 good reasons to be optimistic about fighting the climate crisis

From electrification of transport to growing awareness of the climate crisis

When the hammering of the president of the COP28 in Dubai marked the beginning of the transition from fossils, public opinion and observers split into two groups. Is it enough to say that we are finally on the right path in the fight against the climate crisis? Or not?

Those who see the glass as half empty note that it took 30 years before a climate summit could talk about fossil fuels and point out that the farewell to oil, gas and coal decided in December is very vague and far from in line with a trajectory compatible with 1.5 degrees. Those who see the glass half full highlight the scope of the global goals set in Dubai, including those on renewables and energy efficiency.

Broadening the horizon a little, a look back at what has changed from the approval of the Paris Agreement to today gives some more reason to be optimistic about the progress of the fight against the climate crisis. The NewClimate Institute recalls this in a report published recently.

5 reasons for optimism in the fight against the climate crisis

There are 5 major transformations that the approval of the Paris Agreement has triggered or accelerated, highlighted in the report of the NewClimate Institute.

Awareness in the fight against the climate crisis

The debate on combating the climate crisis has become mainstream. Before 2015 it was relegated to scientific debate and hardly entered the political agenda – at least not at the levels it is present today. Before the Paris Agreement, only a part of the world’s civil society was committed to the climate crisis and was aware of its impact and importance for future generations. And the legal precedent that can be used in climate disputes is growing, adding pressure on governments to change course.

Net zero emissions target

Before Paris, climate policy action focused on an incremental approach to reducing emissions. Today the cut of greenhouse gases has a much more defined horizon: to arrive at zero net emissions around the middle of this century. This means making drastic and immediate reductions, already in this decade. A position almost unthinkable only a few years ago. In 2015, only Bhutan had a target of net zero. By 2021, such targets will cover 90% of the global economy.

Climate, finance and investors

From niche topics, left aside, to central factors in every decision and business model. The fight against the climate crisis in the last 8 years has penetrated the strategies of companies and investors around the world and in a capillary way. As a result, investments in environmentally sustainable sectors are increasing and investments in more polluting sectors, including some of the fossil fuels such as coal, are gradually decreasing.

Competitive renewable

The trend of cost reduction of the main renewable energy – photovoltaic above all, but also wind – has accelerated a lot in the last decade. A transformation that, today, makes it possible to think of completely replacing fossils in energy mixes in a relatively short time and without shaking the economy and stability of energy systems. The cost of solar, onshore and offshore wind energy has decreased by 60-90% in the last decade. New renewable energies are now cheaper than new fossil fuels in 90% of the world and represent the cheapest source for mass electricity production.

Electrification as a mantra

Electrification in transport and buildings has made significant progress and industry is now working on zero-carbon strategies. While storage devices are increasingly cheaper, making it possible to advance electrification in every sector. The cost of lithium-ion batteries has fallen by 80% in 10 years. While the penetration rate of heat pumps is close to 40% annual growth in markets like Europe.

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