This article appeared in the May 24, 2021 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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Small signs of progress in the climate fight

Alfredo Sosa/Staff
Wind turbines and solar panels generate power in LaSalle County, Illinois, May 5, 2021. Set on some 34,000 acres of private land, Invengery’s Grand Ridge Energy Center produces enough electricity to power more than 54,000 homes.
Clayton Collins
Director of Editorial Innovation

Progress can be hard to find in stories that are frustratingly cyclical (Israelis vs. Palestinians) or relentlessly incremental (the response to global climate change).

New developments suggest some movement on climate, though, at a time when evidence of the need for action appears as stark as ever – with climate-related disasters, for example, now producing more internally displaced people than wars do. 

New modeling by the International Energy Agency shows a “narrow but still achievable” path to global emissions goals by 2050. Global renewable energy capacity grew last year at its fastest rate since 1999.

The work of generating cleaner power remains halting in the United States. The first big offshore wind farm in federal waters was approved this month off Massachusetts. (It got some NIMBY pushback even in that progressive state.)

Can private businesses be the catalysts for deepening climate action? Besides being called “quick” by a delighted President Joe Biden last week, Ford’s new all-electric pickup truck can power a house for days (Texans, take note). A South Korean firm you’ve never heard of now uses autonomous drones to inspect wind turbines off Taiwan.

Practical innovation fosters trust. Yes, some corporations may take arguably unconscionable tacks in pursuing profits, but a new 14-country Edelman Trust Barometer puts businesses ahead of governments, nongovernmental organizations, and media. (Speedy vaccine development helped a lot.) That’s a thought shift, and maybe a nudge.

“People now expect corporations and CEOs to keep focusing on big social and political issues,” reports Axios, “even after the pandemic.”

This article appeared in the May 24, 2021 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 05/24 edition
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