We’ve all seen how quickly society can develop. Climate positive decisions have become mainstream and the new normal is much better for the planet. Think back 20 years. Renewable energy was around, but was far from common. Now, the amount of renewable energy being produced is far outstripping even the most hopeful predictions. The cumulative capacity of solar installations in the US alone has grown by 4,645% in the last ten years1. The price for lithium-ion batteries has fallen 73% since 2010 meaning electric cars are becoming much more affordable. In fact, 29% of cars in Norway already have plugs.
Rainforest doesn’t have that long. Society doesn’t have 20 years to decide to stop destroying rainforest, our safety net against climate change. The negative effects deforestation are already being felt too keenly to ignore. A recent study2 found that the average hottest day of the year in Europe, North America and Asia has been made significantly more intense as a result of deforestation. Forest is being chopped down at unprecedented rates for huge palm plantations but, more increasingly, in small patches that add up to devastation on a massive scale. With swathes of forest half the size of England lost every year3, the time to act is now.
A UN Emissions Report4 recently showed that accomplishing zero emissions from deforestation by 2020 is key if we want to achieve the long-term goals of emission reduction. It also proposes necessary steps including using science to guide targets, scaling up existing solutions rapidly, and encouraging optimism. Three things that Cool Earth is all about.
The renewable energy revolution has changed our daily lives, for the better. Now is the time to get behind stopping deforestation. Because it doesn’t require any new technology or investment, it can be done right now. By simply keeping trees standing we can prevent billions of tonnes of carbon emissions, and bridge the gap between today and a carbon-neutral future.
It can be done, and we have the answer: people power.