When you look into what the future holds if we don’t successfully curb the climate crisis in the next decade is bleak. I see news that just sends me spiralling, so where are the good news climate change stories? It’s hard to find hope with such a momentous task at hand and everything we hear is bleak.
I feel angry sometimes. I should be looking forward to a future, I feel was robbed from me because of climate change. When you dig a little deeper, there is hope. Here’s some good news climate change stories to help lift our spirits, and remind of us what we’re fighting for.
Good News Climate Change Stories
1. The Earth Is Greener Than It Was 20 Years Ago
According to NASA, the earth is greener now than the previous two decades. India and China showed the most growth in forestation, with this growth being due to people planting more trees.
The more we allow nature to thrive again, the less CO2 in the atmosphere, and the more nature thrives, as seen when a Brazilian couple replanted a forest, and found that native wildlife returned.
As wonderful as planting more trees is, we still need to protect the existing ones as they absorb the most CO2. Trees are one our best defences against climate change. Moss and bamboo absorb lots of CO2 as well, so we should take advantage of them too.
2. The Ozone Layer Is Healing
The hole in the Ozone Layer was caused by aerosol chemicals, which thankfully have been banned since the late 80s, thinned out and broke the area above the Northern hemisphere of the Ozone Layer. Since banning these harmful chemicals, the ozone layer has been recovering. If the current trend continues, it could be healed as soon by 2060!
Without a strong ozone layer, we’re more exposed to the sun’s radiation, so the growth is wonderful news.
However, this is also more of an incentive to get our CO2 emissions under control, as less CO2 will be able to escape our atmosphere once the Ozone layer is fully healed.
3. Some Endangered Animals Are Bouncing Back
When I was a kid we just associated extinction with the dodos, but now we’re losing so many species, and pushing others to the brink, that every few weeks we see an article about a new extinct animal people take no notice of. The name just a few of animals that went extinct in the wild; the beautiful blue Spix Macaw, and white rhinos.
However, the Lesser Long Nosed Bat, the Louisiana Black Bear, and the Mexican Crocodile, have been on the brink of extinction and bounced back! The Humpback Whale is also no longer on the endangered species list.
In honour of the Lion King remake, Disney have pledged to launch a conservation campaign, #ProtectThePride, to help lion populations recover, given that they’ve halved since the 1994 release of the original!
4. Some Companies Are Taking Responsibility
The bulk of climate change is reportedly due to 100 companies, especially big oil companies who allegedly knew decades ago this would happen and continued with their unsustainable practices anyway, while hiding the evidence.
Although we should all strive to live green lives and lower our carbon footprints, the Average Joe is not responsible for the climate crisis – capitalism is. Given the growing public concern, and people putting their money where their mouth it, companies like Google, Apple, Ikea, Facebook, and Coco-Cola are all striving to run on 100% clean energy. These companies are so influential that this change will inspire others to follow suit – but we need to hold them accountable to ensure they follow through.
5. Shell Was Ordered To Reduce Emissions
Shell is a big pollutor, with the company and it’s customers behind behind 1.4 billion tons of CO2 emissions in 2021. A court has since ordered it to cut emissions by 45% by the end of 2030 – compared with 2019 levels. Judge Larisa Alwin pointed out: “The interest served with the reduction obligation outweighs the Shell group’s commercial interests.”
6. Renewable Energy Is On Track To Become The Largest Electricity Source
It’s predicted that by 2025, most energy demand will be for renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, as well as nuclear energy, making them the world’s most prominent electricity source. Although this will still total 35% of the world’s electricity, it’s still good news, as coal makes up 36%.
7. Gas & Diesel Car Sales Dropped In Europe
As of 2022, gas and diesel cars dropped while electric car sales increased by 36%. This means electric vehicles made up 19% of total car sales. Hopefully, the rest of the world gets on board.
8. Renewable Energy Prices Drop
Although it doesn’t feel like it thanks to the cost of living crisis, it’s now cheaper to set up a solar or wind farms than the majority of fossil fuel power plants. Given that one of the barrier to renewable energy was the higher price point, this is a great good news climate change story.
9. The Great Barrier Reef Showed Higher Coral Cover
In 2022, it was reported that two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef had the highest coral cover in almost four decades. The northern and central parts of the coral reef showed recovery – but the southern part saw loses because of a crown-of-thorns starfish outbreak.
The Central Pacific Coral Reef also reportedly showed recovery. Although this is a good environment story, it is a reminder that reefs that are further away from human populations are better able to recover, so we need to thread lighter on the earth.
Although these good news climate change reports are promising, the reefs are still incredibly vulnerable and at-risk.
10. There Are More Single Use Plastic Bans
Single-use plastic is a huge source of pollution – not to mention, the environmental impact from creating that plastic in the first place.
- In England, single-use plastic cutlery and plates are to be banned.
- France banned single-use plastic packaging on many types of fruits and vegetables.
- Kenya banned plastic bags.
These aren’t all working perfectly, but it’s a start.
I do want to point out that plastic straws are a necessity for many disabled people, so this is a complex issue. Please don’t harass disabled people who can’t made these changes – instead, make those changes yourself. Plus, according to Turning The Tide On Plastic, one of the reasons it became so prevalent was to protect animals as buttons used to made from ivory, bull horns and tortoise shells – and sadly, went on to harm animals (and humans).
11. Plastic Is Being Removed From The Ocean
The Ocean Cleanup has removed 200,000 kg of plastic from the ocean. Although this is only a small amount compared to the vast amounts of plastic in waterways, it’s a start. The company hopes to have removed 1% of the plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch by the end of 2023. By the end of the decade, they hope to have removed up 80% of the plastic in the North Pacific Ocean.
Although reducing the amount of plastic produced in the first place would be ideal, this good news environment story is still worth sharing.
12. Plastic Pollution Could Drop By 80% By 2040
According to the UN, plastic pollution could drop by 80% by the year 2040 if businesses and countries commit to making changes – using technology that already exists. This good news climate story is another reason we need to hold firm and ensure those in power take real action.
13. The Climate Crisis Is Being Taken Seriously
Another good news climate change story is that it no longer feels like shouting into the void.
Ireland and the UK declared climate emergencies, and the EU and Canada are banning single use plastics. However, plastic bans need to take disabled people into account.
Given how the Green Party did better in the EU, and local elections, than they usually do, the public is sending a clear message that this is a huge concern. The environment is now on the political agenda. I’m still sceptical because we all know that targets set my governments do get missed, and politicians can be all talk and no action. Outside of politics, Sir David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg are the social leaders. Approximately 88% of Blue Planet 2 viewers changed their lifestyle as a result.
Final Thoughts On Good News Climate Stories
The aim of sharing these feel-good climate stories is not so we can become complacent. It’s because we can become so paralyzed by fear that we give up altogether. So, when things feel bleak, it’s important to remember that something is being done and we need maintain that momentum to ensure those in power to do something, actually follow through.
You might also enjoy my eco-anxiety guide.
If you’re feeling inspired and want to change your own lifestyle, or spark change in your local government and businesses, here’s how you can live more sustainably and the top 10 zero-waste items to adopt into your lifestyle. While these are good news climate change stories, we need to keep the momentum up. I also wrote a list of climate charities I think are worth supporting.