Paris 1.5C Goal Crucial to Protecting Communities from Rising Seas #auspol #StopAdani #ClimateChange

A study by scientists from Tufts University, Rutgers University, and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany projects that aiming for the lower global average temperature increase under the Paris Climate Change Agreement could save coastal communities and ecosystems from the most dire consequences of global sea-level change.

It also shows that even meeting the Paris targets will result in sizeable sea-level rise.

The 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement has the goal to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Research studies forecast that warming the planet by more than 2 degrees Celsius will result in not only extreme weather events—floods, wildfires, landslides, and hurricanes—but also catastrophic sea level changes, leading to ecosystem loss and mass migration. As temperatures rise, sea levels rise and directly affect coastal areas.

The researchers found that stabilizing global temperature rise at 1.5 degrees Celsius between now and 2150—which would require a swifter reduction in carbon emissions than under the 2-degree Celsius goal—would lower the impact of sea-level rise significantly; the global average sea-level in 2150 would be about 7 inches—or 17.7 centimeters—less than under a 2-degree Celsius rise.

The study’s lead author, Klaus Bittermann, a postdoctoral student in the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, said that the 0.5 degree difference could be a matter of life and death, as ecosystems and populations are overwhelmed by tidal flooding and other ecological changes. “For example, salt marshes and mangroves can be drowned if the local rate of relative sea-level rise exceeds their ecological ability” to adapt, he said.

“Some people might argue there will be no sizable difference between the two targets, so we should aim for the higher one, because it’s easier,” Bittermann said. But the findings challenge that idea.

“Those differences turn out to be significant,” he said.

Bittermann did the computational research along with Andrew Kemp, an assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, and colleagues from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany and Rutgers University. He said that highlighting the differences between the two targets contributes to the growing body of evidence that countries should step up efforts to reduce carbon emissions and protect the planet’s future.

Bittermann added that the paper, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, will be included in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2018 special report on 1.5 degrees Celsius, which aggregates current literature.

“I think this special report will be an important contribution to the public discourse,” he said. “It will inform also policymakers about what these Paris goals really mean from a physical and an economic point of view.

To those who want to know what the difference from a global sea level point of view is if you lower the temperature by just another 0.5 degrees Celsius, I think that our paper provides a very clear answer, and I think it is a difference that is worth fighting for.”

To learn more, visit the Tufts University website.

You can download the study here.

Press link for more: Cop23.UNFCCC.INT


#ClimateChange “All Hell will break loose!” #StopAdani #auspol #qldpol

When will we listen to the scientists?

To invest in new coal mines and ignore science is Criminal Negligence.

It is putting our children and future generations at extreme risk.

People all over the planet are demanding change.

We must declare a CLIMATE EMERGENCY

Renewables cheaper than fossil fuels. #StopAdani #auspol #qldpol

Renewable energy set to be cheaper than fossil fuels by 2020, according to new report

Josh Gabbatiss Science CorrespondentMonday 15 January 2018 16:00 GMT

Some solar energy projects are expected to deliver electricity by 2p or less by next year Getty

Renewable energy will be cheaper than fossil fuels in two years, according to a new report.

Experts predict that investment in green infrastructure projects will lead to decreases in the cost of energy for consumers.

Continuous technological improvements have led to a rapid fall in the cost of renewable energy in recent years, meaning some forms can already comfortably compete with fossil fuels.

The report suggests this trend will continue, and that by 2020 “all the renewable power generation technologies that are now in commercial use are expected to fall within the fossil fuel-fired cost range”.

Of those technologies, most will either be at the lower end of the cost range or actually undercutting fossil fuels.

“This new dynamic signals a significant shift in the energy paradigm,” said Adnan Amin, director-general of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IREA), which published the report.

“Turning to renewables for new power generation is not simply an environmentally conscious decision, it is now – overwhelmingly – a smart economic one.”

The report looked specifically at the relative cost of new energy projects being commissioned.

As renewable energy becomes cheaper, consumers will benefit from investment in green infrastructure.

“If the stuff you’re building to generate electricity costs less, the end effect of that is having to pay less for the electricity that comes from it,” Jonathan Marshall, energy analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) told The Independent.

“The cheaper you install it, the better it is for everyone.”

The current cost for fossil fuel power generation ranges from around 4p to 12p per kilowatt hour across G20 countries.

By 2020, IREA predicted renewables will cost between 2p and 7p, with the best onshore wind and solar photovoltaic projects expected to deliver electricity by 2p or less next year.

Other methods of producing renewable energy, such as offshore wind farms and solar thermal energy, are not yet as competitive as fossil fuels.

However, the results of recent renewable power auctions for projects to be commissioned in the coming years suggest these forms too are due to drop in price.

Auctions provide a useful means of predicting the future cost of electricity.

“These cost declines across technologies are unprecedented and representative of the degree to which renewable energy is disrupting the global energy system,” said Mr Amin.

The new report comes after 2017 was declared the UK’s “greenest year ever” by WWF, when data from the National Grid revealed 13 different renewable energy records had been broken.

However, current UK policy may hamper the development of renewable energy capacity.

“Under current policy, the UK is at risk of being left behind as other countries take full advantage of the relentless fall in the cost of renewable energy,” said Mr Marshall.

Notably, the subsidy ban for new onshore wind farms has been singled out, with the ECIU predicting it could add £1bn onto energy bills over five years.

“If the Government is serious about achieving the lowest cost electricity in Europe, the ban on onshore wind has to be first in the firing line,” said Mr Marshall.

“Until this happens – and all low-carbon electricity sources are allowed to compete on equal footing – the gap between the cost of electricity in the UK and elsewhere will prevail; to the ire of politicians, businesses and household bill payers.”

A spokesperson from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said the Government could still support onshore wind where there is local support, such as on the Scottish islands.

“We are pleased to see that established technologies, such as onshore wind and solar, are driving costs down for consumers,” they said.

“If this continues, and they have local support, they may play a significant role in the energy mix in future.

“Since 2010, the UK has invested more than £52bn in renewable energy and in October, we confirmed that up to £557m would be made available for future clean power auctions.”

Press link for more: Independent

1.5C a missed Target #ClimateChange #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani

Leaked Draft of Landmark Climate Change Report Pours Cold Water on 1.5°C Goal

Missed Targets

Bar a concerted global effort to reduce emissions and remove carbon from the atmosphere, the world is highly likely to exceed the most ambitious climate goal set by the Paris Agreement by the 2040s, according to a leaked draft of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report obtained by Reuters.

The IPCC is expected to release the final version of their highly anticipated Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C in October.

The preliminary version obtained by Reuters was submitted to a small group of experts and government officials for review and was not meant for public release.

Every few years, the IPCC publishes an Assessment Report containing the available research about the current state of climate change.

This year’s special report is the first focused on what is possibly the Paris Agreement’s most controversial climate goal: limiting global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.

Though some countries are in strong support of taking action to ensure the world meets this climate goal, research has shown that we are highly unlikely to do so.

The draft of the special report obtained by Reuters seems to confirm this low probability of success: “There is very high risk that […] global warming will exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels [should emissions continue at the current pace].”

The draft also states that meeting the climate goal would require an “unprecedented” leap from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy and extensive reforms everywhere from industry to agriculture.

Additionally, while curbing global temperatures would help reduce some of the worst impacts of climate change, including sea level rise and droughts, it would not be enough to protect the planet’s most fragile ecosystems, including polar ice caps and coral reefs.

Political Motives?

While the findings currently included in the report confirm what the public may consider the worst-case scenario, scientists who have read the report are not surprised by its contents.

“The report is unexceptional,” Peter Wadhams, Professor of Ocean Physics at the University of Cambridge, told Futurism. “It was already clear to every climate scientist that a 1.5 degrees Celsius warming limit would be breached by 2050 (in fact, probably much earlier) in the absence of drastic carbon capture measures.”

Gabriel Marty, a climate change analyst and former U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) delegate for France, told Futurism that it’s too soon to speculate on the content of the final report.

However, once it is released, he said readers should note the treatment of the uncertainties and risks of the so-called “bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS)” technologies designed to suck carbon emissions out of the atmosphere.

The risks associated [with heavily relying on these technologies] must be clearly outlined,” said Marty. “They do not exist yet, the scale that would be needed would be enormous, and the adverse impacts on land and water resources would likely be huge.”

According to sources familiar with the IPCC’s proceedings, the panel has been criticized in the past for being too coy about the limitations of BECCS and for understating their risks in order to present the 2 degrees Celsius target as “still viable.”

Wadhams also mentioned the possibility that the IPCC’s hesitation to release the special report itself could be politically motivated.

“The IPCC has long since become a political rather than a scientific organization, so their secretiveness and sensitivity about a perfectly ordinary report has some political motive,” he told Futurism.

““A lot could still change between now and the final version.”

Roz Pidcock, head of communications for the IPCC Working Group 1, told Futurism that that’s not the case. She said the fact that the special report is currently confidential has nothing to do with a lack of transparency on the part of the panel — they simply aren’t finished with it yet.

“All of the expert and government review comments that come in over the next few weeks are taken on board […] Just to give an idea of what that involves, the first draft of this report received 12,895 comments from nearly 500 expert reviewers around the world,” said Pidcock. “A lot could still change between now and the final version.”

We will need to wait until October for the IPCC’s final take on the viability of the extremely ambitious 1.5 degrees Celsius limit, but whatever the contents of the report, we can’t let it discourage us from taking the strongest action possible to prevent further damage to our planet.

Press link for more:

Renewables cheaper than coal. #StopAdani #ClimateChange #auspol #qldpol

Climate change is a reality.

We can no longer bury our heads in the sand about how we have changed our environment for the worse through our use of, and reliance on, non-renewable energy resources.

But the good news is that 2018 will finally mark a shift in our use of global energy.

Next year will see onshore wind and solar energy become the lowest-cost form of energy generation across the world.

This lower cost means that those with an interest in sustaining our planet are increasingly aligned with those who are driven by profit.

As Michael Drexler, agenda adviser to the World Economic Forum, stated in a debate in April 2017: “Solar and wind have just become very competitive and costs continue to fall.

It is not only a commercially viable option, but an outright compelling investment opportunity with long-term, stable, inflation-protected returns.”

The costs of solar and wind are falling each year – and today they are lower than coal.

According to engineering consultancy Arup, onshore wind is on track to be lower cost even than natural gas in the UK by 2018, especially if it is to be included in the existing Contract for Difference (Cfd) mechanism.

In the US, a report by Lazard, the asset-management firm, has shown that onshore wind and utility-scale solar have significantly lower costs today than any other form of energy if the energy playing field is levelled by taking away subsidies.

From the US to China and Nigeria to Mexico, investors and governments are rapidly catching up to the new rules of energy.

In 2018 we will see smarter regulatory environments, new projects coming online, even greater efficiencies in technologies and energy-storage costs and a further dawning realisation of companies exposed to long-term fossil fuels that their positions are increasingly untenable.

And the benefits will trickle down.

Citizens across Africa who are spending up to 16 per cent of their household income on fuels such as kerosene or disposable batteries now have multiple options to harness solar energy for their daily needs.

“The cheapest electricity in most of Africa now comes from a solar panel on your roof,” says Xavier Helgesen, CEO of Off Grid Electric. “The combination of growing demand for reliable electricity and plummeting costs for solar and batteries has started to spark a distributed-energy revolution in Africa.”

In 2018, the world will experience a global energy sea change based on solar and onshore wind being the cheapest forms of energy.

No more excuses and no more platitudes from our governments: now the markets and citizens will be the drivers of the energy revolution.

Press link for more: Wired

Doughnut Economics a compass for the 21st Century #ClimateChange #StopAdani #auspol #qldpol

What on Earth is the Doughnut?…

Humanity’s 21st century challenge is to meet the needs of all within the means of the planet.

In other words, to ensure that no one falls short on life’s essentials (from food and housing to healthcare and political voice), while ensuring that collectively we do not overshoot our pressure on Earth’s life-supporting systems, on which we fundamentally depend – such as a stable climate, fertile soils, and a protective ozone layer.

The Doughnut of social and planetary boundaries is a playfully serious approach to framing that challenge, and it acts as a compass for human progress this century.

The Doughnut of social and planetary boundaries (2017)

The environmental ceiling consists of nine planetary boundaries, as set out by Rockstrom et al, beyond which lie unacceptable environmental degradation and potential tipping points in Earth systems.

The twelve dimensions of the social foundation are derived from internationally agreed minimum social standards, as identified by the world’s governments in the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015.

Between social and planetary boundaries lies an environmentally safe and socially just space in which humanity can thrive.

Here’s a one-minute introduction to the Doughnut, by the brilliant animator Jonny Lawrence.

And here’s a commentary published in The Lancet Planetary Health, May 2017.

Since the first iteration of the Doughnut was published as a discussion paper by Oxfam in 2012, it has had traction in very diverse places – from the UN General Assembly and the Global Green Growth Forum, to Occupy London.

Why such interest?

I think it is because the doughnut is based on the powerful framework of planetary boundaries but adds to it the demands of social justice – and so brings social and environmental concerns together in one single image and approach.

It also sets a vision for an equitable and sustainable future, but is silent on the possible pathways for getting there, and so the doughnut acts as a convening space for debating alternative pathways forward.

Press link for more: Kate Raworth

Buying Time to #StopAdani #auspol #qldpol #climatechange

Buying Time To Beat Adani

Ben PenningsJanuary 13, 2018

Environmental activist, Ben Pennings.

The environment – and the people – will ultimately win the battle to stop the Galilee Basin being opened to coal mining, predicts Ben Pennings.

Adani is on the ropes, desperately trying to rescue the $1.5bn they gambled on the economically marginal and environmentally disastrous Carmichael coal mine.

Gina Rinehart, Clive Palmer or Aurizon might follow Adani into the Galilee basin but the environment movement has the numbers this time.

Mass social movements like #StopAdani will triumph over profit, either through the ballot box or in front of bulldozers.

People ask me why I quit my job at The Queensland Greens, why I put myself at physical and legal risk to initiate citizen resistance against Adani’s plans.

The answer is always the same.

To buy time.

There is enough coal in the Galilee Basin to not only cook the Reef, but to supercharge extreme weather and destroy farmland worldwide.

The resulting death and destruction is seemingly unspeakable.

Any time gained through stopping fossil fuel projects must be used to enact meaningful cultural and systemic change.

The 50 years of the modern environment movement have been the most ecologically destructive in human history, when hyper-consumerism has become our dominant religion and carbon emissions have soared.

Our dominant culture of over-consumption, expensive thrills and massive waste must be challenged and changed.

‘Civilised’ humans have turned their only home into a garbage dump, created an ecological debt that cannot just be written off.

Solar-powered ecocide is still ecocide.

Living beyond our means hasn’t made us any happier.

If needless consumer products gave us the happiness promised in their ads we wouldn’t ‘need’ to buy any more of them.

Few people are immune to the constant lies of advertisers and politicians advocating for faceless corporations.

US Ambassador Timothy Roemer is greeted by Gautam Adani, Chairman, Adani Group at Adani House in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. (IMAGE: U.S. Embassy New Delhi, Flickr)

Every kid that gets cancer, every cyclone, and every useless nick knack contributes to ‘economic growth’.

Progress must be measured differently – through wellbeing, social equality and harmony. Despite advertising being embedded in our culture, people value health, relationships, and recreation more than extra possessions.

The environment movement can only challenge consumerist culture by taking up the fight for economic justice.

People by nature compare themselves to others.

The outlandish and celebrated consumption of the super-rich must be curtailed, their wealth used to build communities where everyone gets a fair go.

Children aren’t the only ones who should be made to share.

Hyper-consumerism cannot be divorced from the creation of easy credit. Governments actively allowed bankers to provide credit at high rates for almost anything, regardless of personal or social value.

Governments can protect ecosystems and ensure economic justice by regulating financial systems that benefit wealthy rent-seekers above all others.

Dismantling the despotic power of the global financial system would take immense courage. Fortunately, courage is contagious.

If people start doing what is effective and necessary, rather than just what’s comfortable and socially acceptable, others will follow.

Governments will have to listen.

A small minority of powerful people cannot control the majority if they organise and disobey.

Ultimately, humans need to embrace a world view closer to that of traditional peoples, give up the delusion that somehow the laws of nature do not apply to us.

We will die out if we destroy the ecosystems we rely on to feed ourselves.

It’s simply not enough for governments to stop bad projects, or to power our destructive economic system differently.

We have to build better ways to structure and govern our communities, learn from other cultures and create new ways of doing things.

Only then can we look to the future with hope rather than living on the back foot having to stop destructive corporations like Adani.

Press link for more: New Matilda

U.N./WHO work together on environmental health risks. #StopAdani #AirPollution & #ClimateChange

UN Environment and World Health Organization agree to major collaboration on environmental health risks | UNFCCC

UN Environment and the World Health Organization have agreed a new, wide-ranging collaboration to accelerate action to curb environmental health risks that cause an estimated 12.6 million deaths a year.

Yesterday in Nairobi, Mr. Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment, and Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, signed an agreement to step up joint actions to combat air pollution, climate change and antimicrobial resistance, as well as improve coordination on waste and chemicals management, water quality, and food and nutrition issues. The collaboration also includes joint management of the BreatheLife advocacy campaign to reduce air pollution for multiple climate, environment and health benefits.

Although the two agencies cooperate in a range of areas, this represents the most significant formal agreement on joint action across the spectrum of environment and health issues in over 15 years.

“There is an urgent need for our two agencies to work more closely together to address the critical threats to environmental sustainability and climate – which are the foundations for life on this planet. This new agreement recognizes that sober reality,” said UN Environment’s Solheim.

He added: “Most of these deaths occur in developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America where environmental pollution takes its biggest health toll.”

The new collaboration creates a more systematic framework for joint research, development of tools and guidance, capacity building, monitoring of Sustainable Development Goals, global and regional partnerships, and support to regional health and environment fora.

The two agencies will develop a joint work programme and hold an annual high-level meeting to evaluate progress and make recommendations for continued collaboration.

The WHO-UN Environment collaboration follows a Ministerial Declaration on Health, Environment and Climate Change calling for the creation of a global “Health, Environment and Climate Change” Coalition, at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP 22 in Marrakesh, Morocco in 2016.

Just last month, under the overarching topic “Towards a Pollution-Free Planet”, the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), which convenes environment ministers worldwide, adopted a resolution on Environment and Health, called for expanded partnerships with relevant UN agencies and partners, and for an implementation plan to tackle pollution.

Click here to read the press release.

NYC Declares War on Fossil Fuels #CoalWar #ClimateChange #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani

As New York City Declares War on the Oil Industry, the Politically Impossible Suddenly Seems Possible

Naomi Klein

January 12 2018, 5:26 a.m.

Five years ago, when helped kick off the global fossil fuel divestment movement, one of the slogans the team came up with was “We > Fossil Fuels.”

The T-shirts and stickers were nice, but I have to admit that I never really felt it.

Bigger than fossil fuels?

With their bottomless budgets?

Their endless capacity to blanket the airwaves and bankroll political parties?

The slogan always made me kind of sad.

Well, yesterday in New York City, listening to Mayor Bill de Blasio announce that the city had just filed a lawsuit against five oil majors and intended to divest $5 billion from fossil fuel companies, I actually felt it.

After being outgunned by the power and wealth of this industry for so many years, the balance of power seemed to physically tilt.

It’s still not equal — not by a long shot — but something big changed nonetheless.

Regular humans may not be more powerful than the fossil fuel companies now — but we might be soon.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announces a lawsuit against five oil companies at a press conference on Jan. 10, 2018.

Within minutes of de Blasio’s announcement going public, activists in London started tweeting at their mayor to step up in equally bold fashion. And while the press conference was still streaming live, several of us started to get emails from city councillors in other cities around the world, promising to initiate a similar process in their communities.

Such is the power of an action emanating from a center as symbolically important as New York City: What felt politically impossible yesterday suddenly seems possible, and the dominos start instantly falling.

It’s also extremely significant that the divestment and lawsuit were announced in tandem — because they have the potential to reinforce one another in a kind of virtuous market cycle. Part of the reason why fossil fuel divestment has picked up so much momentum over the past two years is that fossil fuel stocks have been performing badly.

This is mainly because the price of oil has been depressed, but it is also because of market uncertainty created by the increasingly powerful climate and indigenous rights movements, and the signing of the Paris climate agreement.

All of this has raised the question of whether fossil fuel companies are really going to be able to get their pipelines and other infrastructure built, given the strength of the opposition. And they have also raised the question of whether these companies will be able dig up the huge oil, gas, and coal reserves that are currently factored into their stock prices — or are these are going to become stranded assets?

Right now, we don’t know the answers to these questions, and that uncertainty can give many smart investors pause.

(The Trump administration, by ditching the Paris Agreement and opening up vast new swaths of territory for exploration, has been trying frantically to reassure the markets by sending the opposite message — that it’s back to dirty business as usual.)

Now, with New York City’s lawsuit for climate damages, the market is confronting the prospect of a cascade of similar legal actions — cities, towns, and countries all suing the industry for billions or even (combined) trillions of dollars in damages caused by sea-level rise and extreme weather events.

The more suits that get filed, the more the market will have to factor in the possibility of fossil fuel companies having to pay out huge settlements in the near to medium term, much as the tobacco companies were forced to in past decades.

As that threat becomes more credible, with more players taking New York City’s lead, the investor case for dumping these stocks as overly high risk will be strengthened, thereby lending a potent new tool to the fossil fuel divestment movement.

A virtuous cycle. Oh, and the more we are able to hit the industry in the pocketbook, the less likely costly new drilling and pipeline projects will be to go ahead, no matter how many precious national parks and pristine coastlines the Trump administration attempts to desecrate.

If the economics don’t make sense, the drilling simply won’t advance.

That’s why New York’s actions are so significant, not just in New York or the United States, but globally. (It’s also why I got so cranky with the New York Times for treating it like a minor municipal event, buried on page 23.)

Yesterday was a big, good day for the planet – and we needed one of those.

Because we had been part of kick-starting the divestment movement, Bill McKibben and I were invited to speak at Mayor de Blasio’s press conference. Here are my notes from what I said there.

Top photo: Mayor Bill de Blasio is seen at a press conference on NYC’s plan to divest it’s pension system holdings of petroleum industry stock as a means of combating climate change at the Manhattan Youth Center in New York, NY, USA on January 10, 2018.

Press link for more: The Intercept.Com

9 Reasons to be Optimistic about #ClimateChange #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani

Nine Reasons to Be Optimistic About Climate Change in 2018

Amid all the awful news are some points of light.

There’s really no way around it: This was an awful year for climate change.

And much—but not all—of that is due to Donald Trump.

In his first year as president, Trump staffed his administration with climate deniers and fossil fuel allies, began the process of repealing the Clean Power Plan, pulled the US out of the Paris climate agreement, and basically did everything possible to halt progress at a time when it desperately needs to be accelerated.

As if that isn’t enough, a report in November showed that global emissions grew in 2017 after several years of modest decline, thanks in part to a bump in coal use in China.

So yeah, it was a pretty terrible 12 months overall.

But as bad as all these things are, they only tell part of a larger story.

Buried in the avalanche of depressing news this year were legitimate reasons for hope.

The nine trends and events listed below are not just excuses for wishful thinking: Any of these on their own is a major step forward for fixing climate change. And taken together, they show we might not be as screwed as the year’s headlines suggest.

1. China is making big moves on climate

It’s true that China is the biggest carbon polluter on the planet. And, yes, its coal use went up last year. But China is taking serious steps to shift off of fossil fuels. This year alone, the Communist government promised $361 billion in spending on renewables, said that it will be banning gas-powered vehicles, moved to close hundreds of coal plants, and unveiled the world’s largest financial market for reducing emissions. China sees solving climate change as a way to get richer and stronger. And its actions could reshape the entire global economy.

2. Renewables are beating fossil fuels

You wouldn’t know it from all the attention given to the coal industry by Trump’s administration, but renewable energy is doing spectacularly well. There’s a simple economic reason for that: Stuff like wind and solar is getting ridiculously cheap and outcompeting fossil fuels. More than two-thirds of new electricity added to the world in 2016 was from renewables. Prices reached record-breaking lows in Argentina, Chile, India, Denmark, and several other countries, industry tracker REN21 calculated last June. Even the International Energy Agency, which has underestimated renewables in the past, argued in October “what we are witnessing is the birth of a new era.”

3. Clean energy survived the GOP tax bill

There’s a curious fact about the Republican Party’s denial of global warming. It doesn’t include a rejection of renewable energy. In red states such as Texas, Iowa, and Kansas, clean energy is booming and creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs. So when Republicans in House and Senate proposed big cuts in its tax bill for federal programs that support wind, solar, and electric cars, some Republican congresspeople raised concerns. The final bill, while projected to add more than $1 trillion to the debt to fund tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the wealthy, nonetheless preserves credits for clean energy that both Democrats and Republicans support.

4. The era of fossil fuel cars is ending

The vast majority of vehicles on today’s roads are still run by gas and diesel. But there were many signs in 2017 this could quickly change. It wasn’t just that Volvo announced plans to only sell electric vehicles and hybrids by 2019. Nor that China, as I noted earlier, will be banning gas-powered cars. There is an emerging consensus among followers of the industry that the entire auto business model is radically changing—shifting from privately owned cars to fleets of robot-driven electric vehicles hailed on your phone. “It saddens me to say it,” acknowledged the former vice chairman of General Motors Bob Lutz in an article for Automotive News, “but we are approaching the end of the automotive era.”

5. Voters are electing climate leaders

Though the big political story of this past year remained the global rise of the far right, there is growing evidence of a progressive backlash. First came the national election this summer in the UK, where a surge of young voters helped create unexpected gains for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. Next were the string of Democratic wins in this year’s state and local elections. Climate change wasn’t central to any of these elections. But many of the winning candidates, including Doug Jones in Alabama, have promised strong solutions to global warming. And a Democratic “wave” in 2018 could help deliver on them.

6. Fossil fuel divestment keeps growing

Amid the insanity of 2017, a movement urging investors to sell off investments in fossil fuels didn’t grab much attention. But it won some big victories. Indigenous activists helped pressure cities like Seattle and Santa Monica to sell off billions of dollars worth of financial ties to banks financing the Dakota Access Pipeline. And in November, Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund caused European oil stocks to fall after it floated plans to dump $35 billion in oil and natural gas stocks. So far, institutions worth over $5 trillion have committed to some form of divestment.

7. Climate lawsuits are multiplying

Suing governments or companies for causing climate change is hard. With federal leaders unwilling to take action, however, more and more people are willing to try. Researchers from the United Nations and Columbia University calculated that the number of climate lawsuits worldwide has tripled since 2014, with 654 cases in the US alone. Experts like Tim Crosland of the UK climate law group Plan B think that only one big case has to be successful—whether it’s former tobacco lawyer Steve Berman suing big oil or a Peruvian farmer taking on a German utility—to cause an “avalanche” with “the potential really to bring down the fossil fuel companies.”

8. States and cities are stepping up

When California governor Jerry Brown went to China for an energy conference earlier this year, he got a private meeting with President Xi Jinping. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, who also attended, met with a lower-ranking official. It pretty much sums up US climate policy in 2017: States such as California passed wildly ambitious legislation, while the Trump administration denied basic climate science. Actions of states and cities can’t replace strong and focussed federal policy. Yet they’ve helped the US already get halfway towards its Paris emissions goal.

9. Oil companies are questioning their future

The CEO of Royal Dutch Shell made an astounding prediction in July: Global oil demand could peak and then begin declining in about ten years, due partly to the trends and events I’ve described above. Statoil is making similar predictions. It raises existential questions for an industry whose profits depend on continuous expansion. Others like Chevron are publicly dismissing the concept of peak oil demand—but the fact that big oil is debating it at all means industry leaders are increasingly unsure about their future. With Trump as president the fossil fuel industry has never looked so powerful. In reality, its days may be numbered.

Geoff Dembicki is the author of Are We Screwed? How a New Generation Is Fighting to Survive Climate Change. Follow him on Twitter.

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