5 good news stories about climate change

It’s giving optimism.

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1. A Dutch city will ban meat ads.

Between the land it takes to raise the animals and all those methane-loaded cow burps, meat accounts for more than 60% of all food production-related greenhouse gas emissions. To get peoples’ minds off meat, the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands is banning all ads for meat in public spaces.

The ban will go into effect in 2024 and will bar ads for meat-related products from buses, shelters, and other screens located throughout the city. It’ll also ban ads for fossil fuels, flights, and gas-guzzling cars. No one is going to be stopped from eating meat or driving around, but they won’t see ads for it, which might help diminish the reliance on these greenhouse gas-intensive practices.

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2. France banned fossil fuel ads.

The fossil fuel industry spent over $1.4 billion between 2008 and 2017 on public relations campaigns alone. But those ads won’t play in France anymore, as the country became the first in Europe to ban advertisements from fossil fuel companies.

Under the new rules, any ads that promote fossil fuel products, coal, or any carbon-releasing fuel source will be given a thumbs down if they try to run in the country. Violators will face fines of up to $100,000 per offense, with fines potentially doubling for repeat offenders. The move will strip the industry of its primary tool for greenwashing.

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3. An evangelical group called for major climate action.

Meaningfully addressing the climate crisis will require some unlikely allies. The scientific community just got a major boost from a large faith-based organization. The National Association of Evangelicals issued a report calling for climate action specifically from a theological point of view.

The report, which backs the scientific basis for climate change, says there is a biblical case for environmental stewardship. The NAE represents more than 45,000 evangelical churches and could be a significant ally in the ongoing effort to show the public how serious this issue is.

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4. California passed a suite of climate reforms.

In a series of votes, the California legislature agreed to more than $54 billion in climate-related spending that will get the state to net-zero carbon emissions by 2045.

Included are new restrictions on oil and gas drilling, including banning the use of carbon capture as a tool for offsetting ongoing fossil fuel projects. The state will also keep alive its last nuclear power plant as a means of keeping carbon emissions down while the build-out of renewable energy sources continues.

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5. Coal is falling out of favor.

According to new research, the coal surge that started due to energy demands during the pandemic has died off almost completely, and renewable energy now accounts for nearly a quarter of all energy production in the United States.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration found that we’re getting just 7% of all energy from coal, and that figure is declining rapidly as plants across the country continue to be shuttered. Meanwhile, renewables have skyrocketed in the last two years. We’re not where we need to be, but we’re trending in the right direction.

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Check out last week’s good news here.