The High 12 Local weather Developments of 2022


The previous yr noticed superb developments in local weather, power, and extra that can make a distinction for years to come back.

The previous yr may sadly be remembered because the yr that Russia invaded Ukraine — or for some even stranger occasions such because the Oscar slap, Musk’s Twitter chaos, or Taylor Swift ticket mayhem. However 2022 also needs to be celebrated for some superb local weather developments that can make a distinction for years to come back. Right here we listing our prime 12, in no specific order.

1. Fossil gasoline demand has already peaked

The world truly handed this milestone a number of years in the past since fossil gasoline demand peaked in 2019. However 2022 — as a consequence of Putin’s warfare, low renewable costs, and extra — made it more and more clear that worldwide demand for fossil fuels is now bouncing alongside a plateau earlier than an inevitable decline within the second half of this decade. As extra renewable options enter the power combine and effectivity will increase, fossil fuels are inexorably being squeezed out.

2. The most important local weather invoice in US historical past passes

Committing $369 billion to power and local weather, the Inflation Discount Act targets renewable electrical energy, clear transportation, environment friendly buildings, and provide chain infrastructure, providing an unprecedented alternative to decrease power prices, improve funding in clear power financial alternatives, and stimulate jobs and financial development.

3. Electrical automobiles speed up

Virtually all main automotive producers have now dedicated to producing zero-emissions automobiles, and two of the most important US automakers just lately upped their targets. GM accelerated the launch of its all-electric heavy-duty freight truck to 2035 and plans to put in as much as 40,000 EV chargers in rural America by 2035, the identical yr that it’s focusing on for all of its vehicles, vans, pickups and different light-duty automobiles to be electrical. And Ford plans to spend $50 billion on EVs by means of 2026, to succeed in 2 million EV gross sales by the top of that yr. At the least 5 extra states (Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington) are adopting California’s ban on new gasoline-fueled automobiles by 2025. And use of electrical two and three-wheelers are rising in rising economies together with Bermuda, Nigeria, and Indonesia.

4. Extra nations part out coal

The G20 and the European Union pledged $20 billion to hurry up Indonesia’s coal phaseout by 10 years to 2050. Indonesia is likely one of the world’s largest shopper and producer of coal. This plan, the biggest single decarbonization financing deal in historical past, is a part of the Simply Power Transition Partnership (JETP) launched at COP26 when america and European nations pledged $8 billion to assist South Africa part out coal. There’s additionally now a JETP deal to assist part out coal in Vietnam ($15.5 billion).

5. The methane second is shifting to methane motion

The launch of the worldwide Methane Alert and Response System (MARS) is a large step towards mitigating international methane emissions. Utilizing knowledge from satellites, MARS will establish methane scorching spots and attribute the emissions to a particular supply, notifying governments and firms concerning the emissions to allow them to take motion. And the US Environmental Safety Company introduced a brand new rule on oil and gasoline growth, promising to chop methane emissions from lined sources by 87 p.c, in contrast with 2005 ranges.

6. International locations agree on a loss and injury fund

After going into time beyond regulation at COP27, the ultimate doc included an settlement on establishing a fund for loss and injury. It will compensate nations that endure from local weather change however which have launched little of the heat-trapping air pollution liable for it. Whereas the main points nonetheless should be labored out on who ought to pay into the fund and the place the cash will come from, it’s the primary time {that a} mechanism has been established to assist creating nations for losses arising from droughts, floods, and extra.

7. Inexperienced hydrogen takes heart stage

International locations and firms all over the world introduced new roadmaps and initiatives in a race to develop into leaders within the inexperienced hydrogen market, led by the European Union’s purpose to deploy 20 million tons of renewably produced hydrogen as a gasoline and a feedstock by 2030. Gigawatt-scale inexperienced hydrogen manufacturing vegetation are within the pipeline all over the world, with the biggest clusters anticipated to have capacities as much as 30 GW by 2030. This improve in inexperienced hydrogen manufacturing might remodel sectors akin to aviation, delivery, fertilizer, and metal.

8. Personal finance helps decarbonize metal

Talking of metal, at Local weather Week NYC, six international banks — Citi, Crédit Agricole CIB, ING, Société Générale, Normal Chartered, and UniCredit — launched the Sustainable STEEL Ideas (SSP), a historic climate-aligned finance settlement amongst lenders to the metal sector. Beneath the SSP, monetary establishments decide to measure and disclose the alignment of steel-lending portfolios with 1.5°C local weather targets, positioning lenders to interact purchasers and facilitate the net-zero transition of the business — the biggest supply of commercial emissions globally.

9. India rolls towards zero-emissions mobility

India’s Shoonya marketing campaign grew to over 130 company companions. Shoonya (which implies zero in Sanskrit) goals to scale EV adoption for the ride-hailing and supply sector in India. Since its launch in Setember 2021, it has practically accomplished 70 million Shoonya deliveries and 40 million Shoonya rides avoiding greater than 13,000 tons of CO2 emissions, 1.6 tons of particulate matter emissions, and 59 tons of NOx emissions. And the Ship Electrical Delhi pilot, which was applied to assist this fast-growing Indian metropolis attain its goal of 25 p.c of recent automobiles registered in 2024 being electrical, tripled new EV gross sales in Delhi.

10. Extra areas transfer to get fossil fuels out of buildings

Following Berkeley, California’s lead, extra states and cities are banning gasoline in new buildings. This previous yr Washington State, Boston, and Los Angeles all handed payments to eradicate or restrict fossil fuels in new buildings and/or require all-electric house and water heating. As of September 2022, practically 31 million individuals throughout 12 states and Washington, D.C., stay in a jurisdiction the place native insurance policies favor fossil fuel-free, wholesome buildings, and dozens extra native governments have sturdy commitments to decarbonize their buildings inventory, which is able to quickly develop into formal coverage.

11. Communities prioritize resilience

From Africa to the Caribbean to Texas, communities are extra centered than ever on enhancing native resilience. The just lately launched Africa Minigrids Program will assist the deployment of renewable power minigrids to offer dependable electrical energy and new growth alternatives to a few of Africa’s poorest communities. Extra Caribbean islands are constructing solar-powered microgrids within the face of more and more extreme hurricanes. And cities throughout america are creating resilience hubs — bodily, renewably powered services that assist weak populations earlier than, throughout, and after excessive climate occasions or different disasters.

12. “Embodied carbon” goes mainstream

It might not be a family time period fairly but, however extra insurance policies and firms are addressing the carbon “embodied” in supplies akin to concrete and metal. In September, america introduced an formidable set of “purchase clear” suggestions that can advance inexperienced constructing supplies procurement for federal constructing and transportation initiatives. These requirements might straight cut back greenhouse gasoline emissions by a cumulative 17 million tons of CO2 by 2050, equal to eradicating 3.6 million gas-powered vehicles from the highway for a yr. And in 2022, main corporations together with Arup and the development and growth agency Skanska USA introduced new commitments to measure or acquire estimates of the embodied carbon of their portion of constructing initiatives.

© 2022 Rocky Mountain Institute. Printed with permission. Initially posted on RMI Outlet.

By Laurie Stone


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