Top 10 climate successes of the past year
This year has seen significant progress in the fight against climate change, with game-changing investments being made in clean energy and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Here are a few of the key climate wins from the past year:
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022: This law devotes a historic $369 billion to climate and clean energy investments, with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to around 40% below 2005 levels by 2030.
Clean energy technology accelerator: A $27 billion clean energy technology accelerator has been established to support the deployment of technologies to reduce emissions, particularly in disadvantaged communities.
Electric vehicle sales: Electric vehicle sales have seen a significant increase, with sales rising by 62% in the first half of 2022 compared to the same period in the previous year.
Efforts to limit deforestation: The European Union has put forward new plans to ensure that key goods sold in the EU do not contribute to deforestation or forest degradation.
Conservation of land and sea: The Kunming-Montreal Agreement includes commitments to conserve 30% of the world's land and oceans by 2030, with countries also pledging to manage the remaining 70% sustainably.
Regulation of toxic PFAS chemicals: The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has started regulating toxic PFAS chemicals, setting new advisory levels that are closer to research suggesting that no level of PFAS is safe.
Assistance for environmental justice communities: The US government has provided funding and support to environmental justice communities, including the creation of the first-ever Environmental Justice Advisory Council and the Justice40 initiative, which commits 40% of the benefits from federal climate and sustainability programs to these communities.
Investment in farmers, forestland owners, and resilient rural communities: The US government has provided $20 billion in grants and tax credits to support these groups, as well as investing in climate-smart agriculture, forest restoration, and land conservation. It has also made significant investments in clean energy development in rural communities.
Investment in American energy security and domestic manufacturing: The industry has received $60 billion to onshore clean energy manufacturing in the US across the full supply chain of clean energy and transportation technologies.
Resumption of climate talks between the US and China: The two largest producers of fossil fuel emissions have agreed to resume talks on transnational challenges, including climate change. This has been welcomed by activists as previous cooperation has motivated other nations and inspired broader collaboration.
Overall, it is clear that progress is being made in the fight against climate change, with a range of initiatives and investments being made to support the transition to clean energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While there is still a long road ahead, these climate wins demonstrate that we are heading in the right direction.