It’s human nature to focus on the bad things, be it in politics, in life, and of course, in climate change. But we’ve seen a few good things happen, all the same. Here’s a list:
- Greta Thunberg
She’s actually been in the public eye for a year – to be precise ever since she began striking outside the Swedish Parliament for stronger action on climate change. This year, the sixteen year old activist upped the ante by literally scolding world leaders for their apathy at the UN Climate Action Summit.
Greta’s ‘Fridays For Future’ campaign spread across the globe and on 20 September 2019, an estimated 4 million people the world over joined the strike, many of them schoolchildren. She was even nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. She also scares the pants off grown men by her very existence – always a plus.
- Andhra Pradesh Leaves PPAs alone
The Andhra government of Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy had, earlier this year, directed renewable energy producers to renegotiate Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) that had been signed by the preceding Naidu government, on the grounds that the stipulated tariffs were far too high (in accordance with the tariffs prevalent at the time).
Despite a letter from the Minister of New and Renewable Energy dissuading Reddy from renegotiations, the government decided to reopen the energy contracts, causing investors to panic and drawing criticism from even international players. Reddy’s government even contested the High Court order prohibiting the revision of PPAs by filing an appeal against the same.
Fortunately, the Centre and state renewable energy and power departments were able to reach a compromise that allows for the state’s financially-crippled DISCOMS to recover somewhat from the crisis; the compromise also saw the Andhra government agree not to renegotiate the renewable PPAs.
- India Took Steps To Ban Single-Use Plastic
While a wholesale, nationwide ban on single-use plastic is understandably impractical, the Indian government reiterated its commitment to reducing plastic waste by pledging to completely phase out single-use plastics by 2022. A lofty goal.
Several states have already banned items such as polythene bags, and the Environment Ministry is reportedly working on a ‘practical and implementable definition of such products’.
Efforts are on to both curb plastic waste generation, as well as deal with the existing corpus of plastic waste. Plastic waste roads are currently being built, and other ways of repurposing plastic are constantly being ideated and debated at multiple levels.
- India’s renewable power capacity increased to 83.38 GW
As of October 31, 2019, the country’s renewable power generation capacity stood at 83.38 GW, which includes 31.69 GW from solar, 37.09 GW from wind, 9.95 GW from biomass, and 4.65 GW from small hydro projects.
“In an effort to harness local energy resources and to contribute to the development of Ladakh, the government of India is planning to set up 14 MW solar power projects with 42 MWh battery storage capacity in Leh and Kargil districts of the union territory.” RK Singh, Minister of State for Power and New and Renewable Energy.
- Donald Trump Has His Wings Clipped
Sure, an impeachment by the House is not the same as a Senate conviction, and there’s reasonable doubt that Trump will actually be convicted by the Republican-majority Senate. But should he, by some miracle, be impeached, there’s every chance that the scandal will ruin the chances of a Republican comeback, and instead, someone who actually believes in climate change might be sworn in, rather than another coal-and-oil backed Republican.
That can only be good news for the USA’s rising emissions, and the future of our species.
Hope, as Emily Dickenson said, is the thing with feathers.