Wrapping Up 2023 with Optimism

Wrapping Up 2023 with Optimism: Embracing Advances in Sustainability and Climate Solutions

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As we approach the end of the year, it’s an opportune moment to reflect on the strides made in the global fight against climate change. Amidst the challenges, stories of hope and inspiration emerge, highlighting remarkable efforts worldwide. Join us in exploring these impactful initiatives that pave the way for a more sustainable future.

Canada’s Leap in Renewable Energy

Throughout 2023, Canada significantly expanded its renewable energy frontiers, marking notable achievements in its pursuit of sustainable power sources. Wind, solar, hydro, and biomass have substantially scaled up,
positioning Canada as a leader in embracing sustainable energy solutions. Notable wind farms in Ontario and Quebec, coupled with robust hydroelectric power in British Columbia and Quebec, form the backbone of Canada’s clean energy portfolio. Committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, Canada’s active participation in global accords like the Paris Agreement demonstrates its dedication to collaborative climate action.

Réunion Island’s Sea Turtle Rebirth

Centuries of human settlement on Réunion Island nearly eradicated baby turtles, but dedicated conservation efforts have heralded a remarkable revival. The sixth round of egg-laying by the 150kg green turtle ‘Emma’ signifies the resurgence of a globally endangered species, underscoring the impact of relentless conservation work.

The Wealthy’s Stake in Fossil Fuel Transition

A recent study conducted by Joule challenges misconceptions about the financial implications of transitioning away from fossil fuels. It reveals that the economic burden primarily falls on the super-wealthy, sparing the majority of individuals from significant impact. Oil and gas corporations, major contributors to global heating, face the brunt, reshaping conversations about transitioning to renewable energy sources.

Sweden’s Plastic Recycling Revolution

Sweden’s ‘Site Zero’ in Motala stands as the world’s largest plastic recycling facility, employing cutting-edge technology to process 20,000 tonnes of plastic packaging annually. Infrared cameras sorting waste into 12 distinct plastic categories set a new global standard in recycling efficiency.

Sweden’s Breakthrough in EV Battery Recycling

Swedish researchers have pioneered a groundbreaking method in recycling electric car batteries, presenting an eco-conscious alternative to conventional practices. This innovative approach, known as hydrometallurgy, involves an aqueous-based recycling technique that diverges from the conventional path. Traditionally, hydrometallurgy dissolves all metals present in an EV battery cell using inorganic acids. This dissolution process serves to extract valuable metals like cobalt, nickel, manganese, and lithium while separating out what is
perceived as “impurities,” notably aluminum and copper.

Brazil’s Rediscovery: The Resurfacing of ‘Ilex sapiiformis’

Scientists celebrate the rediscovery of the ‘Ilex sapiiformis’ tree in Brazil after nearly two centuries. Found in urban Igarassu, Pernambuco state, this reemergence offers hope for preserving endangered species.

UK’s Carbon Offsetting Rethink: Embracing Local Initiatives

UK-based initiatives challenge flawed carbon offsetting programs by advocating for localized sustainability projects. ‘The Great Reserve,’ planting 100,000 giant sequoias, stands against greenwashing and promotes genuine climate action.

Solar-Powered Rails: Global Trend in Sustainable Transportation

India, Germany, and Poland lead in leveraging solar energy to power railway networks, showcasing a shift toward eco-friendly transportation infrastructure on a global scale.

A decline in Climate Denial: Shifting Public Perception

Despite online climate denialism surges, recent analysis reveals a decline in outright climate deniers in the US, signifying a positive shift in public perception towards acknowledging climate realities.

Whales: Unsung Climate Heroes

Recent findings highlight whales’ role in mitigating climate change by absorbing significant CO2 from our atmosphere, underscoring oceans’ crucial contribution to climate solutions.

Ocean Bacteria: Unexpected Clean-Up Crew

Researchers discover bacteria consuming ocean plastic, offering a potential solution to tackle plastic waste. However, their impact remains limited, raising challenges in scaling this solution.

Hope on the Horizon: Ozone Layer Recovery

Positive projections indicate the healing of the ozone layer by 2066 over Antarctica, showcasing a global commitment to protecting the Earth from harmful solar radiation.

These stories illuminate significant strides toward a sustainable future, highlighting collective action and innovative solutions. However, this journey is ongoing. Embracing sustainability, advocating for enhanced policies, and striving for zero carbon emissions remain paramount. These stories illuminate significant strides toward a sustainable future, highlighting collective action and innovative solutions.

References

1) Smith, R., & Nicholson, P. (n.d.). Climate Change Progress in 2023. Climate Institute. Retrieved from https://climateinstitute.ca/climate-change-progress-in-2023/#:~:text=Significantly%2C%20just%20give%20
policies%20are,and%20 improvements%20to%20 carbon%20 pricing.


2)Adhem, J., & Euronews Green with AFP. (2023, May 23). French Islanders Celebrate Sixth Egg-Laying of Emma, a 150kg Green Turtle. Euronews. Retrieved from https://www.euronews.com/green/2023/05/23/french-
islanders-celebrate-sixth-egg-laying-of-emma-a-150kg-green-turtle#:~:text=Three%20 centuries%20of%20human%20settlement,for%20the%20 globally%20 endangered%20 species.


3) Elton, C. (2023, June 23). Only the Super Wealthy Stand to Lose Money from Shutting Down Fossil Fuels, Study Finds. Euronews. Retrieved from https://www.euronews.com/green/2023/06/23/only-the-super-wealthy-stand-
to-lose-money-from-shutting-down-fossil-fuels-study-finds


4) Euronews Green with AP. (2023, November 16). Infrared Cameras Enable This Swedish Factory to Sort More Plastic Than Anywhere Else in the World. Euronews. Retrieved from https://www.euronews.com/green/2023/11/16/infrared-cameras-enable-this-
swedish-factory-to-sort-more-plastic-than-anywhere-else-in-th


5)Hughes, R. A. (2023, October 17). Promising New Breakthrough for Recycling EV Batteries Discovered by Swedish Scientists. Euronews. Retrieved from https://www.euronews.com/green/2023/10/17/promising-new-
breakthrough-for-recycling-ev-batteries-discovered-by-swedish-scientists


6)Medlicott, L. C. (2023, September 23). Nature Surprises Us: Scientists in Brazil Rediscover Tree Thought Extinct for Nearly 200 Years. Euronews. Retrieved from https://www.euronews.com/green/2023/09/23/nature-
surprises-us-scientists-in-brazil-rediscover-tree-thought-extinct-for-nearly-200-
ye

7)Elton, C. (2023, September 24). This Homegrown Tree-Planting Scheme Wants to Tackle Carbon Offsetting’s Greenwashing Problem. Euronews. Retrieved from https://www.euronews.com/green/2023/09/24/this-
homegrown-tree-planting-scheme-wants-to-tackle-carbon-offsettings-greenwashing-problem

8) Sparkoncept. (n.d.). Solar-Powered Railways: India, Germany, and Poland Lead the Way. Retrieved from https://sparkoncept.com/solar-powered-railways-india-germany-and-poland-lead-the-way/


9)Deny, Deceive, Delay (Vol 2). (2023, January 19). Retrieved from https://caad.info/analysis/reports/deny-deceive-delay-vol-2/


10)Meghani, M. (2023, May 30). Whales: The Unsung Heroes of Climate Change. Medium. Retrieved from
https://medium.com/@meghani.mehboob/whales-the-unsung-heroes-of-climate-change-
6de56b5bca76#:~:text=As%20the%20phytoplankton%20thrive%20and,it%20re
mains%20for%20my%20 years.


11)Sadler, J. C., Wallace, S., & Robertson, M.-A. (n.d.). Bacteria serve up a tasty solution to the global plastic problem. Portland Press. Retrieved from https://portlandpress.com/biochemist/article/43/6/28/230397/Bacteria-
serve-up-a-tasty-solution-to-the-global


12)Ozone layer recovery on track, helping avoid global warming. (n.d.). United Nations Environment Programme. Retrieved from https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/press-release/ozone-layer-recovery-
track-helping-avoid-global-warming-05degc#:~:text=On%20track%20to%20full%20recovery&text=If%20current%20
policies%20remain%20in,the%20rest%20of%20the%20world.

About Post Author

Yazhini Srinivasan

Yazhini Srinivasan is an International Student at Fleming College. She is currently doing her Post Graduate Certification in Sustainable Waste Management after completing her Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering. She is highly passionate about waste diversion methodologies and finding solutions to climate change.
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