The Future of Climate Change: 5 Highlights of April 2021

May 4, 2021
Avely Pütsep

“Future of Climate Change” is a monthly series: we choose 5 beautiful things that shaped the future of climate action and ecosystem protection in the past month.

If it makes the world a better place, we want to talk about it.

News on halting biodiversity loss, reducing carbon footprints, becoming carbon neutral, cleantech innovations, climate change solutions, and everything in between. 🌿

Plus, there’s SO MUCH GOOD happening, we just had to include a Biodiversity & Sustainability Bonus at the end.

1, 2, let’s go!

Leaders Summit on Climate held for stronger and cleaner climate action

Leaders Summit on Climate for stronger and cleaner climate action

40 world leaders were invited to the Leaders Summit on Climate by President Biden to underscore the urgency of stronger climate action.

"We cannot win this fight against climate change unless we go globally to fight it together," said Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, President of Kenya.

World leaders joined President Biden at the virtual climate summit to showcase clean energy commitments for tackling the global climate crisis. They shared their stories on how nations can break free of climate-destroying fossil fuels.

Three big goals from the Leaders Summit on Climate were discussed.

Nations have to:

  • unveil their 2030 emissions targets that align with net zero emissions trajectories
  • ramp up their climate finance to support developing countries and stop funding coal
  • commit to greening their COVID-19 recovery plans
Peru is establishing rainforest reserve for isolated Indigenous peoples

Peru is establishing a rainforest reserve for isolated Indigenous peoples

After nearly 20 years of discussions, good things are happening. The Peruvian government is moving towards establishing a new Indigenous reserve for “uncontacted peoples” deep in the Amazon rainforest.

The Yavarí Tapiche Indigenous Reserve will be established for peoples in isolation and initial contact, popularly known as “uncontacted tribes”. It will be 1.1 million hectares and home to peoples like Matsés, Remo, and Marubo.

These landscapes are some of the world’s most biologically diverse. And protecting native peoples there protects these amazing ecosystems, too.

Ireland to replace last coal plant with a wind farm

Ireland to replace last coal plant with a wind farm

Ireland is saying goodbye to coal! The last coal power station will be replaced with a huge green energy hub and floating wind farm.

The closing of the last coal-fired power station in favor of wind power, Moneypoint, is in line with Ireland Government’s plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Net zero for Ireland is even said to be scheduled “no later than 2025”.

Work has already begun on a €50m Sustainable System Support facility, which will provide a range of electrical services. It will also enable the incorporation of higher volumes of renewable energy sources for Ireland.

“We have long signaled our intention to cease burning coal at Moneypoint. Today we are unveiling plans for a reimagined Moneypoint, which will not only create hundreds of jobs, but will also help Ireland to meet its climate targets and maintain secure supplies of electricity into the future,” said Pat O’Doherty from Electricity Supply Board.

France banning domestic flights under a 2.5 hour train ride

France bans domestic flights under a 2.5-hour train ride

French lawmakers have approved a ban on short domestic flights to reduce air traffic pollution.

If a plane journey could be done with a 2.5 hour train ride, then the plane ride is history!

The French government seeks to reduce carbon emissions from the aviation industry. This plan is part of a bigger climate bill that aims to cut French carbon emissions by 40% before 2030.

There’s been some backlash on whether now is the right time for this ban as the economy is still trying to come out of the COVID-19 crisis. But when it comes to halting climate change, there’s no time to wait. Some environmental campaigners have even said the bill doesn’t go far enough.

World adds record new renewable energy capacity in 2020

The world adds record new renewable energy capacity in 2020

A record new renewable energy capacity was added worldwide in 2020 that is 50% greater than the year before! Cheers to all of us!

As countries further reduced their reliance on fossil fuels, the new record of 260 GW was set. More than 80% of all new electricity capacity added last year was from renewables, with solar panels and wind turbines accounting for a grand 91%.

Nations are switching to renewable energy (and slowly ditching coal!) to meet the long-term goal agreed under the 2015 Paris Agreement. Will we all be carbon neutral by 2050?

Nepal’s rhino population grows to highest in decades

Biodiversity & Sustainability Bonus

  • Nepal’s rhino population grows to the highest in decades!
  • Endangered condors return to California skies after nearly a century!!
  • Netflix has made a promise to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2022, and every year thereafter.
  • You can soon trade your aging vehicle for €2500 e-bike credit in France!
  • Starbucks is discontinuing disposable cups in South Korea by 2025.
  • Maryland is banning cosmetic testing on animals. They’re only the fifth state to do it, but hopefully it pushes others to change as well.

April was STRONG for Hawaii in the climate halting game:

  • Honolulu has banned single-use plastic!
  • Hawaii is the first state to declare a climate emergency.
  • Hawaii is to become the sixth state to ban cosmetic testing on animals.
  • Major food site Epicurious removes beef from recipes in them to encourage more sustainable cooking.
  • Honda aims for zero emissions and 100% electric car sales by 2040.

Author note about the “Future of Climate Change” series: climate change has become an inevitable part of our everyday lives, making it easy to get lost in Doomsday thoughts. In reality, attempts to halt climate change are happening all the time. The key is to notice them. That's what this series is about. Will you come back next month to read the new one?

Also, did you see the 5 climate change highlights from March?

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