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15 Reasons for Climate Optimism

Make your day better with our favorite headlines from 2022.

We could all use a little positivity, especially going into 2023. Here’s a list of our favorite headlines inspiring action across the globe.

Photos of reusable McDonald’s packaging went viral last week, with social media users “obsessing” over the retro design.

They were spotted by a Twitter user in France who shared images of glasses, chip holders, and even Happy Meal boxes. The post was retweeted by President Emmanuel Macron, who heralded the reusable packaging as a sign of things to come.

The French Post Office is using pedal power to try and reduce its carbon emissions by 30 percent before 2025.

Cargo bikes are just one innovative way La Poste is hoping to reach 100 percent carbon-free deliveries in 22 French cities by this date.

Renewable energy is on track to produce more energy than coal in the US this year.

According to figures from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), more than a fifth of all electricity by the end of 2022 will come from hydropower, wind, and solar.

That is higher than coal at 20 percent and nuclear at 19 percent. The only other year this happened was 2020, when energy generation was reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Plastic manufacturers in Germany will soon be forced to pay towards litter collecting. Starting in 2025, a new bill will require makers of products containing single-use plastic to pay into a central fund managed by the government.

The fund will collect an estimated €450 million in the first year, which will contribute to the cost of cleaning up litter in streets and parks.

China is planning the world’s largest wind farm, a facility so huge it could power the whole of Norway.

Chaozhou - a city in China’s Guangdong province - has revealed ambitious plans for a 43.3-gigawatt facility in the Taiwan Strait. Because of the windy location, its turbines will be able to run between 43 percent and 49 percent of the time.

The world’s first commercial nuclear fusion reactor will be up and running by 2040, the UK government has pledged.

The plant - which could theoretically provide near-limitless clean energy - will be built in Nottinghamshire.

Dutch students have invented a zero-emissions car that captures carbon as it drives.

Although EVs emit virtually no CO2 compared with their combustion-engine counterparts, battery cell production is highly polluting. As a result, it can take EVs tens of thousands of kilometers to achieve 'carbon parity' with comparable fossil-fuelled models.

The students' Zero Emission Mobility (ZEM) car aims to offset this using carbon capture technology. It features two filters that can capture up to 2 kg of CO2 over 30,000 km of driving, the Eindhoven team estimates.

Patagonia’s billionaire founder has been praised for giving the company away to help fight climate change.

Yvon Chouinard, who founded the outdoor apparel brand almost 50 years ago, is transferring his family’s ownership to a charitable trust, making Earth the sole shareholder and beneficiary of any profits not reinvested back into the business.

Hawai'i's only remaining coal-fired power plant closed this month after 30 years of operation, removing the state's dirtiest source of electricity. The facility produced up to one-fifth of the electricity on Oahu - the most populous island in a state of nearly 1.5 million people.

"It really is about reducing greenhouse gases," Hawai'i Governor David Ige said in an interview with The Associated Press. "And this coal facility is one of the largest emitters. Taking it offline means that we'll stop the 1.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gases that were emitted annually."

France has become the first European country to ban adverts for fossil fuels under a new climate law.

Announced on 22 August, the legislation prohibits advertising for all energy products related to fossil fuels, such as petrol products, energy from the combustion of coal mining, and hydrogen-containing carbons.

Adverts for natural gas are still allowed for now, but new rules are set to be introduced in June of next year.

World-famous toy company Mattel has launched a doll of renowned conservationist Jane Goodall.

It comes with all the accessories any aspiring naturalist could need, including a model of David Greybeard, the first chimp to trust Jane when she was carrying out her groundbreaking research on these animals. It is also made from 75 percent recycled plastic.

The primatologist said that she hopes it will provide a positive female role model for young girls.

We love this story simply because it shows how brilliant people can be. The winner wrote an open letter, while keeping his anonymity, to explain why he has made the excellent decision.

Can't recommend reading this piece enough, especially if you're feeling down about the world.

This was one of our top-performing articles this month - it seems our readers just can't get enough content about solar power!

And this was some particularly good news to receive.

Billionaires often have quite a bad reputation when it comes to climate change. But Mike Cannon-Brookes, the third richest person in Australia is trying to change that.

Frustrated with the Australian government's disregard for the climate, he is trying to buy three of the country's coal power plants. The aim is to do what the government won't by shutting them down for good and replacing them with renewable energy.

The actor, former Republican politician and environmentalist has pledged to "terminate pollution."

While the green movement isn't short of celebrity backers, it's good to see support from both sides of the American political spectrum.


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