Environmental Highlights of 2018 Are Paving Way to Bright and Sustainable 2019

NEW YORK, NY - While the fight to sustain and protect the environment on this fragile little sphere that we all occupy is a constant uphill battle, 2018 was nonetheless a year that saw significant progress in advancing the “green” agenda, laying down the groundwork for an even more successful and productive 2019.

The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report in October of 2018 that the planet has only 12 years left in which mankind can institute changes – particularly a cut of at least 50 percent in carbon emissions by the planet as a whole – that will help to circumvent the most harmful and hard-hitting effects of global climate change. 

This report was given credence by a report put out approximately a month later by the United States government, backing up the IPCC’s claims, noting that climate change has already had a serious impact upon America in the form of an increase in wildfires and hurricanes and that the occurrence and severity of these events will only increase if something is not done. The widespread coverage these reports received in the media last year helped to communicate the vital importance of combating global warming by all countries, great and small.

However, despite this grim news, 2018 also saw a great many stories regarding how the global community is taking steps to safeguard the environment in a number of effective and progressive ways, and that these efforts will carry over into the new year and beyond.

For example, clean, renewable energy sources were turned to at a much higher level than ever before in years past; companies worldwide purchased more clean energy solutions in a mere six months than in all of 2017 as a whole, which represents a significant investment by the overall business community in pledging themselves to using green power sources – including solar and wind – for their needs.

Electric vehicle sales from 2017 to 2018 also increased by a factor of 50 percent, and are predicted to continue their upward climb for the foreseeable future as the technology is further developed and refined, experts say. Their success is such that major automotive manufacturers such as Volvo, Nissan, Audi, Jaguar, and Mercedes are getting in on the act, with plans to develop and sell various models of electric cars in 2019. Also, many countries are adopting the use of electric buses for mass transportation needs, with China leading the way by replacing tens of thousands of internal combustion-based buses with their electric equivalent every month or two. 

Major corporations has increased their transparency and public engagement in terms of their progress in adopting green attitudes as well; many well-known companies have installed displays in publicly-accessible areas of their buildings to engage visitors and convey the steps they have taken to reduce their carbon footprint, reduce their impact upon the environment, and incorporate sustainable practices in their business model.

In addition, 2018 saw a vast increase in the number of large companies that are rolling up their sleeves and pitching in with the cleanup of the Earth by way of monetary donations in the face of disaster relief across the planet. At the turn of the millennium, fewer than 35 percent of big businesses pitched in at all; fast-forward to 2018, and that number has risen to almost 90 percent, which is a definite sign of the overall trend in the corporate world to embracing sustainability and doing their part in protecting the planet that we all live on. 

In contrast, coal mines are being closed across the world; 2018 saw Germany close its last remaining coal mine, and France is slated to do away with a majority of its coal mines by 2021. In addition, India has called off their plans to construct a number of new coal mines in their country as well and are investing in newer, green energy technologies to take up the slack for their power needs.

As you can see, 2018, while presenting some speed bumps in the global fight to preserve the environment, nonetheless was a red-letter year when it comes to not only shedding well-publicized light on the plight of climate change and how it’s affecting us in the here and now, but also when it comes to the nations of the world embracing green tech and power and curbing their reliance on fossil fuels. Indeed, the groundwork has been laid to ensure that 2019 will be even better.