From action in China and the US to falling solar costs and rising electric car sales, there is cause to be hopeful.
Here are ten reasons to be hopeful that humans will rise to the challenge of climate change.
1) Obama's emissions caps on coal power stations, announced last month were the culmination of a massive public relations push and scientific blitzkrieg with Obama as its champion, potentially making the next presidential election a referendum on climate change action.
2) The response of world’s largest emitter of carbon, China, has the potential to be swift and decisive, given its centrally controlled economy. Responding to smog-tired residents in China’s cities, the government has ordered a mass shutdown of coal plants within a few years.
3) According to the authoritative IEA thinktank, the price of installing photovoltaic (solar electricity) systems dropped by two thirds over the past six years. The resulting solar explosion has generated a “prosumer” market, in which the owners of homes and businesses are taking ownership of a growing proportion of the energy supply.
4) Dozens of cities, institutions and investors are taking their money out of fossil fuel companies after the launch of a divestment campaign in the US around 18 months ago.
5) Bangladeshi women who previously lived without electricity have been retraining as solar technicians to bring power to the country’s 95 million people who live without electric light. The country now has the fastest growing solar sector in the world with 2 million households fitted with solar power units.
6) Falling technology prices, innovation and some decent government initiatives have seen renewables taking an increasing share of global electricity generation.
7) In every part of the world (barring the Middle East) governments are taking advantage of the cheapest way to bring down their emissions – by saving energy.
8) Measures to cut emissions are turning out to be not just cost effective but actually a business imperative.
9) Oil and gas companies are finding it increasingly expensive to find and extract their buried gravy.
10) Since 2011 electric car sales have doubled every year. Consumer acceptance of the technology is on an exponential growth curve that researchers say will see more than one million such vehicles driven across the world by the end of 2015.
Via Georges Wagner