We already have many of the solutions we need to protect our environment so future generations can live happy and healthy lives.
We know the enormity of climate change can be daunting and dispiriting. That as one person, what difference can you make? You may be surprised to know that you can make all the difference in the world. The climate crisis will be addressed by countless collective actions as there is no silver bullet solution to this mess we've gotten ourselves in.
We know what we need to do. We need to improve the energy efficiency of our existing buildings and build more in tune with nature moving forward. We need to rapidly adopt renewable energy sources and make advancements in energy storage. We need to deploy sustainable transportation systems that includes electric vehicles, car-sharing and public transit. We need to realign our agricultural practices that are aimed at sequestering carbon and reducing fertilizer use. We need to stop subsidizing the fossil fuel industry. We need to take into account the total cost of carbon and put a price on carbon. We need to stop deforestation, especially in our beautiful old growth forests. We need to restore, preserve and protect land, water, ecosystems and habitats. We need to Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle. And we need to move with the urgency that these challenges demand.
And to do all this, we'll need to let our elected leaders know that this is the future we need and want. That we are rising up together to working towards creating a more beautiful world so that future generations have the chance to lead healthy and happy lives.
You don’t have to look far for inspiring stories on how we are addressing the climate crisis.
Renewable energy growth has outpaced predictions and advanced dramatically in the last decade. The cost of solar and wind, both on and offshore, has dropped significantly and are now cost competitive with coal, oil, and gas. Everyday there are new breakthroughs in energy storage, smart grids and microgrids. And the clean energy section now employs more than 10 million, with solar jobs leading the way.
The Solutions Project has developed a 50 state transition plan that provides a roadmap for each US state to transition to 100% clean energy. If the entire US were to get its power from the wind, water and sun, we would see a 39% reduction in demand for power, 4.1 million jobs would be created, 45,761 lives would be saved and each person would save $10,019 per year.
We’re Still In was started in June 2017 when mayors, governors and business leaders promised to world leaders that Americans would not retreat from the goals of the Paris agreement. Since then, the bipartisan coalition has doubled in size, expanding to include over 3,500 representatives from all 50 states, representing a constituency of more than half of all Americans.
We Mean Business is a global nonprofit coalition working with influential businesses to take action on climate change. So far, 830 companies have taken action on science based targets initiatives to reduce greenhouse gases, commit to 100% renewable energy and electric vehicles, stop deforestation, support carbon pricing, and improve water security.
And there’s a growing number of organizations looking to bridge the partisan gap and have real discussions about the science and effects of climate change, including C-Change Conversations, Citizens Climate Lobby and Living Conversations.
Across the globe, real progress is being made to address the climate crisis. Wind energy has met more than one third of Britain’s electricity needs at a time of high demand. Scotland is steadily receiving more than two thirds of its electricity demands on a daily basis due to wind and hydropower. China is targeting at least 35% of electricity generation from renewable sources by 2030. India has announced that it aims to have 40% of energy needs met by renewable energy by the same year.
Spain has launched a plan to switch its electricity system to 100% renewable sources by 2050 and completely decarbonize its economy soon after. And if Australia maintains its current rate of solar and wind installations though the next decade, renewables could account for 78% of its electricity supply along its west and east coast main grids.
Millions of people are joining up and teaming together to address the climate crisis. Here on Cape Cod, we have Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative, Sierra Club, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Association to Preserve Cape Cod, Center for Coastal Studies, Cape Light Compact, Woods Hole Research Center, and Outer Cape Energize, just to name a few.
Another great local example is the Vermont Climate Pledge Coalition. This group of Vermont municipalities, non-profits, colleges and universities, businesses, farms, and other community organizations are committed to doing all they can to reduce carbon emissions and help Vermont meet the U.S. pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions levels from 2005 by 26-28% by 2025. They’ve launched the Climate Pledge Coalition Tracker, that will closely monitor progress towards the long-term goal of 90% renewable energy by 2050.
We at 350 Cape Cod are putting our heads together and are always on the look out for new solutions to restore, preserve and protect our beautiful corner of this wondrous globe. You are ready to take action?