Replacing dirty energy with clean sources of power is the key to addressing the climate crisis. The extraction and burning of fossil fuels are a major source of greenhouse gas (ghg) emissions and as such they are the leading cause of anthropogenic climate change.
The combination of climate change, pollution and habitat destruction are driving the 6th great extinction and this is an existential crisis. The best science tells us radically reducing our greenhouse gas emissions is one of the most impactful things we can do is and to do this we must wean ourselves off of fossil fuels as quickly as possible.
The argument that such a transition is prohibitively costly does not reflect the findings in a plethora of cost benefit analyses all of which conclude that climate action (eg replacing fossil fuels with renewables) is far more cost effective than inaction.
Whether on the grid or locally generated, prioritizing the transition to clean power is our only hope of keeping temperatures from surpassing the upper threshold limit of 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial norms.
The evidence shows that nations that prioritize renewable energy see substantial decreases in their emissions. According to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, countries that are transitioning away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources are also reducing their carbon emissions.
This research shows a proportional relationship between clean energy policies and emissions reduction. The study also revealed that the countries with the most significant declines were also the most efficient energy users. This may be attributable to things like efficient heating and electric vehicles.
As reported by the CBC, one of the researchers who contributed to the study said countries need to invest more in renewables to reduce costs. Professor Corinne Le Quéré, from the University of East Anglia, said increasing our investments in renewables would drive down costs just as they did with solar energy.
In the same article climate scientist Michael Mann points to renewable energy as a source of hope.
“There is a clear path toward averting catastrophic climate change,” Mann said. “We just have to follow it.”
Ending fossil fuels and replacing them with renewables really is the answer and the transition is already underway, however, it is not happening quickly enough. According to the IPCC we have less than a dozen years to act and the Gap report tells us national governments are not doing enough.
Expediting our efforts to make this transition is the way forward, all we are lacking is the political will to make it happen.
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