Includability Partner, Ecologi is celebrating several recent news pieces which reflected progress in the race against the climate crisis.
The month of May brought news that nearly 59M hectares of new forest has grown since 2000. That is an area approximate to that of France and it has the potential to soak up 5.9 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide – more than the annual emissions of the United States.
What is the area of forest regrowth?
Areas of regrowth highlighted in the Atlantic Forest in Brazil, where an area the size of the Netherlands has rebounded since 2000 due to conservation efforts and altered industry practices. 1.2m hectares of forest have regenerated in the boreal forests of Mongolia in two decades due to the work of conservationists. Forests also made a comeback in parts of central Africa and Canada.
The researchers commented in the Nature journal that although conservation and regeneration work is proceeding well, existing forests are still disappearing at alarming rates.
“With millions of hectares of old-growth forest disappearing every year, along with tens of thousands of forest species, scientists are calling for a greater emphasis on forest regeneration, in which natural forests are allowed or encouraged to recover under their own steam, for the benefit of ecosystems, communities and the climate.”
Find out more on this using an Interactive Map.
Did Ecology welcome the growth of renewable energy capacity?
Ecologi also celebrated that the rate of new renewable energy capacity grew by 45% in 2020 and that world leaders set targets to limit warming to 1.5C.
The targets stem from a new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) which sets out an energy roadmap to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. It is the world’s first comprehensive study of how the transition to a sustainable system would occur while ensuring stable and affordable energy supplies, and providing universal energy access while still enabling economic growth and maintaining cost effectiveness.
Some examples of the 400 milestones set out in the study include, no further investment in new fossil fuel supply projects, and no further final investment decisions for new unabated coal plants. No sales of new internal combustion engine passenger cars by 2035. The global electricity sector must reach net-zero emissions by 2040. Also, annual additions of solar PV to reach 630 gigawatts by 2030, and wind power to reach 390 gigawatts.
Faith Birol, Executive Director at the IEA, said,
“The clean energy transition is for and about people. Our Roadmap shows that the enormous challenge of rapidly transitioning to a net zero energy system is also a huge opportunity for our economies. The transition must be fair and inclusive, leaving nobody behind. We have to ensure that developing economies receive the financing and technological know-how they need to build out their energy systems to meet the needs of their expanding populations and economies in a sustainable way.”
Read more on the IEA Study.
Has a court in the Netherlands has ordered Royal Dutch Shell to reduce its global emissions by 45% by 2030, compared with 2019 levels?
This is the first significant court order placed upon a company in the oil and gas sector with the legal basis for the reduction obligation imposed on Shell is the “unwritten standard of care” stating they must “take the necessary steps to remove or prevent the serious risks ensuring from the CO2 emissions generated by them”.
The Shell group have the right to appeal the decision.
Read more on the Landmark Rulling.
“We still have a long way to go to turn the tide on the climate crisis, but progress is being made, and recognising the positives will help us stay motivated!”
In the lead up to COP26 in November where major decisions will have to be made to prevent the climate crisis, the world’s eyes will turn this week on the G7 summit in Cornwall which will showcase the UK’s technological innovations for combating climate change.