The path to a green future

The path to a green future

The world is at a crossroads. The global climate crisis threatens to destroy life as we know it, and the best way to address this is by shifting away from our reliance on fossil fuels.

While there has been some progress at the governmental level in reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), there are still many barriers that stand in the way of a sustainable future. But there are also exciting developments in renewable energy technology that give us hope for achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner.

The Paris Agreement

You might have heard of the Paris Climate Agreement, a global treaty signed in 2015 by 196 countries. The aim of the agreement is to limit the rise in average global temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. While not binding, the agreement set a target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

But while it may be encouraging to know that we’re all working on this together, there’s still quite a lot to do before we can reach our goals. Right now, carbon emissions are still rising; according to an analysis done by Climate Interactive, if current trends continue unabated until 2030 (by which point we need to have reduced emissions by 45%), then chances of staying within 1.5°C will be just one in four.

A renewable future

Renewable energy has the potential to close the gap with fossil fuels.

While renewable energy is growing, fossil fuels are declining. Renewable energy will soon be more available and reliable than fossil fuels. Many countries are developing strong laws and regulations around the use of fossil fuels and the adoption of clean energy. Until recent years most countries have been heavily reliant on gas and coal power, but with optimistic goals in place, renewable power should overtake fossil fuels in only a few years.

While the progression to clean energy is a great step, we also need to be more efficient with the energy we use. A lot of current practices are fuel and carbon intensive, and even with clean energy would still use considerable materials and unnecessary power.

The path to a green future is clear, but it’s not easy. We need to act now if we want a sustainable future for our planet. Renewable energy has the potential to close the gap with fossil fuels and alleviate some of the pressure on our natural resources. But there are other problems at play too, we must also address waste if we want sustainable solutions that works for everyone.