Proof that we can stop global warming

While the situation can feel hopeless, it’s good to remember that progress has been made. There are success stories. They are proof that we can act, and that our actions can have long-lasting effects.

The ozone layer is closing

Remember the hole in the ozone layer? Ever noticed that nobody talks about it anymore? That’s because politicians, scientists and industry quickly worked together to solve the problem in an agreement called the Montreal Protocol, and concentrations in CFC have dramatically declined ever since. The ozone layer is in recovery. If we can fix a giant hole in the atmosphere, we can reduce our greenhouse gasses. But we have to act just as swiftly and unilaterally.

A reduction in acid rain

U.S. President George H.W. Bush proved that cap and trade works back in the 1990s when he used it to limit SO2 emissions - the cause of acid rain. It was the first such program in the world. The goal of the Acid Rain Program was to cut annual SO2 emissions to 16 million tons. By 2010, with help from the Clean Air Interstate Rule, SO2 emissions had fallen to 5.1 million tons.

Renewable energy has made progress

There is good news when it comes to renewable energy. As of 2015, 17.5% of the world’s total energy came from a mix of renewable energy sources, of which 9.6% represents modern forms of renewable energy such as geothermal, hydropower, solar and wind. It is progress - but it is not nearly enough. In the UN’s 2018 climate change report, scientists have given us 12 years to reduce global emissions by 45 percent.