The world is going through a lot. Instead of focusing on bad news, we’ve rounded up the most encouraging environmental stories that made headlines this month
The climate crisis can seem quite bleak, and preserving the planet is a task that will require all hands on deck. While it’s easy to get discouraged by all the bad news out there, luckily there are plenty of Earth-lovers who are pushing for a more sustainable future with commitments, initiatives and policies that favour our environment. It’s refreshing and important to take a look at these champions and give them the credit they deserve, as well as use them as motivating examples to keep pushing our own sustainable choices.
So let’s celebrate these environmental wins that happened in May and stay motivated to protect the planet!
1. International Energy Agency reports renewable energy is expanding at the fastest rate in two decades
Photo by RawFilm on UnsplashThe International Energy Agency’s latest market update comes with some promising updates—renewables were the only energy source for which demand increased since 2020, with consumption of all other fuels declining. These renewable sources expanded at their fastest pace in two decades, and the agency has raised its wind and solar forecast by more than 25 percent since last year. In addition, in 2020, annual renewable capacity additions increased by 45 percent—the highest year-on-year increase since 1999.
2. UK commits to protecting and restoring wildlife with new legally binding targets
Photo by Niklas Hamann on UnsplashThe UK government is tackling the decline of biodiversity by rolling out a new plan to achieve a “net zero” equivalent for nature, as reported by BBC. The initiative promises to plant more trees, ban the sale of peat and set new targets to bring back wildlife species such as beavers and wildcats to the countryside, with legally binding targets that apply specifically to England for now.
3. Australia breaks record for rooftop solar panel installations
Photo by Vivint Solar on UnsplashAustralia installed a record-breaking amount of rooftop solar panels in 2020, with the panels now found in one out of four homes in the country. Australia has seen the investment in renewable energy sources rise year after year, with Clean Energy Regulator senior executive Mark Williamson citing the reasons for this being “sustained low technology costs, increased work from home arrangements and a shift in household spending to home improvements during COVID-19."
4. Over 21 million square kilometres have been added to global conservation areas since 2010Photo by MARIOLA GROBELSKA on Unsplash
The 2020 Protected Planet Report has found that over 21 million square kilometres (8 million square miles) have been added to protected and conserved areas around the globe. There is still much work to be done, specifically with the management and quantity of protected marine areas, but the coverage of protected areas on land has exceeded the 17 percent target and that is worth celebrating!
5. Turkey is banning most imports of plastic waste, putting pressure on UK’s exports
Photo by Nick Fewings on UnsplashThe Turkish government has announced it is banning the imports of most types of plastic waste. The ban comes after an investigation by Greenpeace conducted in the southern city of Adana, which examined 10 sites and found plastic waste from the UK laying or burning on beaches and roadsides. The UK exports about 30 percent of its plastic waste to Turkey, so this ban is a strong step towards reducing this accumulation of trash and has resulted in a push for the UK to ban its plastic waste exports to other countries.
We hope these pieces of good news will encourage you to think positively and motivate you to do your part as we work towards a more sustainable future!