Best Environmental News From 2022:
When we talk about the climate or the environment, it is usually about how something is an issue and what the next new problem is going to be. More often than not unfortunately, we are talking about the current issues and crises various regions and communities are facing across the world.
However, all is not gloom and doom when it comes to the Environment and to celebrate this year’s Environment Day, we have brought you a list of some of the top good environmental news we have compiled among dozens to share with you to bring awareness that there is still hope for solving this climate crisis.
Also check out: What is Climate Anxiety or Eco-Anxiety? – Causes and Effects
Top 10 Positive Environmental Breakthroughs from 2022:
- Net Energy Gain Through Nuclear Fusion: Nuclear fusion is the process that happens on the sun. Humans have been able to replicate it on Earth since the 19th century. However, net gain- that is gaining more energy as a by product than what was used initially has never been possible before. Researchers have been trying to achieve that since the 1960s. For the first time, scientists replicated the power of the sun on Earth and brought humanity one step closer to achieving zero emission carbon power. This means if this process goes commercial it can provide limitless supply of clean energy for the whole world.
This is because nuclear fusion itself is a green and clean energy source as it does not rely on fossil fuels or produce GHGs. Using this process fuel supplies for all of humanity could last millions of years and one that can help us fight climate change. While this is definitely a milestone for the future of clean energy and the planet, further work and studies are needed before it can be used in homes and commercially.
Related: What is Nuclear Energy- Uses, Advantages and Disadvantages
- Coral Reef Regrowth: Ever since the bleaching event starting in 2015 that resulted in the historic loss of huge numbers of coral reefs. The recent reports as of December 2022 have shown amazing rebirth and regeneration of the coral population. The coral colonies across the ocean are currently averaging 43-53 million per square mile.
Also read: Latest Coral Reef Restoration Initiatives and Projects
- Transparent Wood: Another good news that was shared in 2022 was that of Transparent wood. It is being hailed as a sustainable alternative to plastic according to Dr. Feng Jiang at British Columbia. It is biodegradable and renewable that can serve as an alternative to both glass and plastic. It uses recycled forest waste with recyclable sodium hydroxide forming a water resistant film which behaves and looks similar to plastic. This can effectively cut down on single use plastic.
Also check out: 10 Green, Eco-Friendly Inventions Helping Restore Ecosystems
- Largest Climate Bill in History: A 369$ Billion climate bill of the US was passed in 2022 promising to effectively cut down on pollution by 40%- 1 gigaton of GHG emission by 2030. It is known as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 and it was signed into law in August of 2022. It will also be making a huge investment in clean energy by building 950 million solar panels and 120,000 wind turbines. This will not only be beneficial for the environment but will also create many millions of green jobs across the US.
- Healing of the Ozone Layer: The ozone hole is to predicted to completely heal in the next 50 years. This is largely attributed to the success of the implementation of 1987 Montreal Protocol to phase out ozone depleting chemicals. The World Meteorological Organization predicts that in 2060 the ozone hole over the Antarctic ozone hole will continue to close and return to its 1980s state.
- Australia’s Climate Legislation Act: Australia passed climate legislation act for the first time in 11 years on September 8th 2022. It will ensure to cut down on GHG emissions for the first time in the history of the country which is great news amidst the climate change we are facing. The stipulated goal is to cut down 43% of GHG emission by 2030 and to reach net zero by 2050.
- Human Hair Recycling: In Belgium, a local NGO is using recycled hair in the form of matted squares that can absorb oil, grease, hydrocarbons and other environmental pollutants. They can be used in hopes by placing at the mouth of drains and can even be used to treat oceanic spills and other water pollution problems due to flooding in affected areas.
- New EU Plastic Ban: As part of the EU Green Deal, the EU has banned the use of single use plastic packaging and toiletries in hotels across Europe. They hope to achieve net zero carbon emission by 2050 and achieve a circular economy.
- Increase in Solar Power Usage: In 2022, especially across Europe there has been an increase in the installation and use of solar power by 50% which is record breaking.
- Plant Power: A breakthrough was made in harnessing clean energy in various fronts in 2022. Another instance of this is of scientists have successfully generated energy using a succulent plant to create a living “bio-solar cell” that uses photosynthesis to produce energy. This is incredible to witness as studies continue to harness plant power esp. of shrubs and succulents to produce green energy and that one day we may be able to use it like wind or solar energy.
Also check out: Role Of Technology In Environment Protection And Restoration
In terms of climate action, 2022 was a very good year as there are numerous other stories and policies/laws that were imposed and entered into force. As the call for climate action gets louder with each passing day it is incredible to see that a lot of breakthroughs are being made in terms of clean energy and more eco friendly power sources such as the development of sea salt battery that has 4 times more energy storage capacity than lithium and is sustainable. There are many more stories that came out of 2022 and we can only hope that this action and urgency continues with the same fervor until we can curb the effect of climate change effectively.
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