The Future of Climate Change: 5 Highlights of January 2021

February 5, 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, and everything in between. 🌿

So... what happened in January 2021?

Single.Earth went live!

Let’s start off with a BANG: Single.Earth went live! It is now easier than ever to have a real impact on saving, protecting, and healing the world. This results in halting biodiversity loss and saving forests, wetlands, and other natural resources that would otherwise be destroyed.

Our mission is simple: we need to know where the areas in immense danger are (that’s where you come into play!) and then, well, we save them. We organize collaboration between people around the world to make sure humankind survives.

If you share our enthusiasm to save our planet, you simply need to take these steps:

Head over to Single.Earth to sign up

Fill our global nature reserve map with hearts and help us choose the first areas in need of immediate protection

Share your actions with others and invite them to join the movement!

Need more information? No worries, we wrote a blog post just for that. Head over to read it.

Or check out the news on Forbes and Reuters.

We are thrilled to have everyone join us in saving the natural world for real! 🌍


The powerful speech about biodiversity by the President of the European Commission at the One Planet Summit

The year started out strong with the president of the European Commission - Ursula von der Leyen - making a powerful speech on the importance of protecting biodiversity.

It was very fitting as the One Planet Summit 2021 focused on halting biodiversity loss and achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Stronger commitments and concrete decisions must be made. All stakeholders in public life and the economic world have to be mobilized in collaborative efforts.

Von der Leyen commented on the effect of biodiversity loss: “We see the changes in our everyday lives: From more concrete blocks to less wilderness and wildlife to increasing temperatures and extreme weather. These worrying changes are different sides of the same coin. In fact, they mutually reinforce each other. When we lose forests, we don't 'just' lose green space or natural habitat. We lose a key ally in our fight against climate change. When temperatures rise and nature disappears, we suffer more natural disasters and zoonotic diseases.”

After all, biodiversity is not just fluffy animals and a forest to have a walk in, it’s quite literally the thing keeping us alive: it gives us air to breathe, food to eat, and a place to live in.

P.s. We also wrote about the state biodiversity is in right now because of humankind, which is a must-read.  

It’s a strong and immensely important message by von der Leyen. It’s now more important than ever for people in power to raise awareness about climate change and ways to tackle it.


The USA rejoins the Paris Climate Agreement

On the 20th of January the thing many people had been waiting and hoping for happened: the US made the step to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement. 🎉

Joe Biden took office as the 46th U.S. president on January 20th, 2021 and as one of his first actions, he wrote to the UN to formally begin the process of rejoining the 2016 Paris Agreement. It can take up to 30 days for it to take effect and the USA will be a part of the Paris Agreement once more.

But the work doesn’t stop here. In contrast, it’s where it starts.

What does the Paris Climate Agreement really mean? According to the agreement, each participating nation of the nearly 200 is required to set emission reduction plans every five years. The goal is limiting global temperature increase to below 2 degrees C. Further, the agreement calls for developed nations (including the USA) and the largest emitters to financially assist developing nations in achieving their goals.

Now the USA must come up with a strong plan to reduce emissions (aka Nationally Determined Contribution or NCD) by November when the COP meeting takes place.

So… happy emission-reducing for every country!


Norway electric car sale numbers outrun those of petrol, diesel, and hybrid

Norway becomes the first country where the sale of electric cars beats those powered by petrol, diesel, and hybrid engines.

Wanting to become the first nation that ends sales of petrol and diesel cars completely by 2025, this is surely the right step towards that. As more and more models of electric cars are brought to the market, the sale of electric cars is thought to continue to soar.

The year that started as an unprecedented economic downturn during the first COVID-19 wave, turned into a success story for the electric car industry in Europe. In 2020 the worldwide sales of electric cars reached 3,24 million, compared to 2,26 million for the previous year. For the first time since 2015 electric car sales in Europe are bigger than in China.

There is no doubt the future is more electric cars-centered.


Biggest ever survey on climate change finds ⅔ of people demand change

Just as the month started, it also ends on a strong note – people demand change!

1.2 million respondents make the Peoples' Climate Vote the biggest ever survey of public opinion on climate change. A new approach meant a whopping 56% of the world’s population was covered.

The goal of the survey?

Educate people about climate change solutions and connect the public to policymakers in a way that’s never done before, at least not on this scale.

The benefits?

… are mind-blowing. For some countries, it’s the first time they’ve ever had access to systematically-gathered and analyzed information on what people actually think about climate change and policy situations. This is a vital insight for countries in order to act on what people demand.

The results?

… are also mind-blowing. Two-thirds of people around the globe said climate change is a global emergency. People demand, above all, protection and restoration of forests, but also renewable energy and climate-friendly farming, and promotion of plant-based diets. 🌿

The voice of the mass is clear. The plan to halt climate change is inevitable and people want actions taken ASAP.

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?

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