This year has been a record one in terms of climate change. Many of the records broken have been a terrible example of how the climate is changing. However, there have been many positive developments in the fight against climate change. In 2016, we have seen some of the highest investments made towards using clean energy.
Climate change is a very real and scary reality, and more and more people are being affected by it as the temperature changes across the globe.
We cannot escape climate change but we can change the way that we handle it and perhaps even reverse some of the damage already done and slow the process.
The shift to using clean, renewable energy has been phenomenal, even if it doesn’t make the headlines as often as it should. In this year alone, over half a million solar panels have been installed every day, while China, one of the world’s biggest polluters, has focused on building wind farms as an alternative way to generate power. Around the world, more countries have been building solar farms and wind farms to provide people with clean renewable energy.
Although the change has been slow, with previous years not showing as much progress as seen in 2016, the change is happening. The world can and will truly benefit, by following the example of those who have come before them. The effort has been put into creating a Greener, cleaner environment for every person.
We are not just changing the methods that we have depended on for the longest time to create and use electricity, we are attempting to change the very air itself. Around the world, there have been a number of interesting initiatives to bring renewable energy to the people, at affordable prices. These are just a few of the ideas that have the ability to be replicated and used to benefit numerous communities.
Leading by example, these are the ideas that can be replicated
- Ban all fossil fuels
It might seem like an almost impossible task, but many European countries have been considering an outright ban on the use of fossil fuels. This is a harsh decision to make, seeing that there are numerous communities in countries throughout the world that rely heavily on the mining of fossil fuels as a source of income.
Coal was once an important and unavoidable necessity in the production of electricity and petrol. Coal was the force behind the industrial revolution. Today, however, there are numerous alternatives and these alternatives are designed to assist in correcting the damaged caused by climate change. Other countries have taken to reducing fossil fuels by changing the way that fuel is made. While this might be considered to be a small step towards banning all fossil fuels, it is a step that every country can make.
Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway have all voted to ban the use of fossil fuels in petrol within the next ten years.
The UK, the Netherlands, Canada and places in the USA have taken the ban on fossil fuels much further by creating plans that will see the coal industry take a drastic knock.
- More focus on efficiency
Often we rely on fossil fuels instead of making sure that we have created and built efficient buildings. Insulation is a big factor in the colder nations around the world. When the harsh and icy winter months arrive, more energy is used to keep places warm. However, with better insulation and more efficient technology to keep spaces warm, energy can be saved. Reinforcing and retrofitting buildings and homes can make a dramatic impact on the amount of energy used. In 2014, the EU introduced measures to reinforce insulation and managed to save enough power, equivalent to keeping the whole of Finland powered.
- Introducing a carbon tax
Carbon tax is one of the ways that climate change can be tackled, and every country can use this method. Carbon tax is a tax that is levied on the amount of carbon found in fuels. Many countries are looking to introduce this tax as a way to combat climate change while many have already introduced such taxes.
Carbon is found in every type of fuel including petrol and coal, and once burned it pollutes the environment and contributes to the ongoing climate change.
Carbon tax has social as well as economic benefits and works well when a government is trying to enforce a climate policy. In South Africa, we already pay an additional tax whenever we buy a new car.
Each of these three ideas is easy to do in countries around the world and each has already shown to have a remarkable impact on the amount of carbon let into the atmosphere.
Green Leaf Alternative Solutions is a Green energy company providing solar panels, solar geysers and other alternative energy options to those who are determined to Go Green. Based in Johannesburg, our solar systems, energy efficient air conditioning and water management systems can help in the struggle against climate change.