It’s January, it’s cold and wet (unless you’re reading this from sunnier climes in which case I am sincerely jealous!)! As a new year begins, we often reflect on what has happened in the previous year and look forward to the new year (new year, new start and all that…)
With the continuous onslaught of crises impacting our society (Covid, Climate, Homelessness, Migration, Inequality, Nature loss to name but a few), as well as what has been at times a tremendously difficult year for us all in different ways, it’s hard sometimes to feel excited and energised for 2022.
So if there was ever a time for Curious Earth to step up and inject positivity and optimism to your news feed, we think it might be about now.
We’ve pooled our collective knowledge, brain power and furiously stubborn optimism to bring you 22 (YES 22!) reasons to be hopeful for the new year.
REASONS TO BE HOPEFUL…
- Part 2 of the Nature and Biodiversity UN conference is due to take place in Kunming, China this year. Attendees from around the world will agree on 21 targets and 10 ‘milestones’ to be achieved by 2030, with net improvements by 2050 – including the conservation and protection of at least 30 percent of the planet’s lands and ocean.
- France has banned all plastic packaging on fruit and veg – demonstrating the country’s commitment to phase out single-use packaging and value the environment!
- Governments are starting to get serious about climate finance – the US has massively increased its climate finance team, whilst BlackRock – one of the biggest investors in the world – includes environmental sustainability as one of its core goals!
- The legal system is becoming an increasingly powerful tool to protect people and planet. Last year we saw the legal definition of ‘ecocide’ agreed in court, a ‘duty of care’ precedent established towards young people in an Australian court and a multinational oil and gas company ordered in court to reduce its carbon emissions (after they concluded its policies were too vague). With precedents continuing to be set, the legal system is proving to be a powerful tool to spur further climate action.
- Parts 2 and 3 of the IPCC report will be released this year, focussing on the impacts of climate change and mitigation to avoid the worst of these impacts. The IPCC report is the godfather of all scientific reports on climate change, and we can expect the findings from these parts to both terrify and inspire governments into action.
- The green pound is at its highest point ever, and is growing. The Co-op’s Ethical Consumerism Report found ethical spending to have reached record levels last year, with the trend continuing into 2022!
- Renewable energy is continuing to grow worldwide, and is predicted to account for 95% of power generation increases from now until 2026.
- More and more businesses are wanting to deliver long term impact for people and planet, as well as profit. As of this summer, more than 4,000 companies across 77 countries and 153 industries are now certified B Corps. This certification demonstrates a business’ high social and environmental performance, legal commitment and transparency – all positive attributes of a future-fit business.
- Greenwashing is being increasingly called out by investors and consumers. This trend will only continue as mandatory reporting and demand for transparency encourages further scrutiny of ‘green’ claims.
- Fashion is getting serious(ish) about sustainability with big names making big commitments, new business models that reduce consumption and waste emerging, and cool new eco-materials being developed that reduce the impact of clothing on our planet.
- Ocean conservation has reached new levels, with countries joining together in Central America to converse vast swathes of ocean floor to allow easy migration and protection. The Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor (CMAR) covers more than 500,000 sq km and extends existing national protection areas to form a huge protected region. It sets an exciting precedent for future marine conservation!
- UK farmers will be encouraged to adopt more nature-friendly and sustainable farming practices with the beginning of the sustainable farming incentive scheme.
- Farmers are also being paid to rewild, with the government inviting bids for 10-15 pilot projects. The projects will cover an area of approximately 10,000 hectares in the first two-year phase – that’s about 10 times the size of Richmond Park in London!
- We are valuing and connecting with nature more than ever before. In 2021, nearly 60% of people from 24 countries were more mindful of their impact on the environment than before. This connection is vital if we are to continue to value and protect the natural world.
- Community gardens, allotments and other local nature-based schemes are continuing to rise in popularity, providing benefit to both wildlife and local communities. Here’s some cool examples from last year…
ABOUT OUR LIVES:
- Vegan and vegetarianism will continue to become easier and more mainstream – this month looks like veganuary’s most popular year ever and the array of vegan and vegetarian options in the supermarkets and restaurants continues to grow – yay!
- It’s becoming easier than ever to rent, share and swap clothing. Apps and platforms like Nuw, Depop, Vestaire Collective and Hurr are making sustainable fashion cool and simple.
- It has never been easier to put our money where our mouth is, with a plethora of sustainable options for all goods and purchases, now priced competitively (in most cases)! Investment pots that deliver environmentally and socially positive impacts now offer increasingly competitive returns and are a legitimate alternative to other options on the market.
- It’s getting easier to repair rather than buy and buy and buy. Repair shops, classes and workshops alongside the continued growth of DIY is making it much easier to repair and improve rather than take and waste!
- Sustainable transport options are getting easier, with growth in bike lanes, public transport, low-emission neighbourhoods and e-car sharing options taking us out of gas guzzlers and into fewer, more environmentally-friendly (and healthier) forms of travel.
AND 2 MORE…
21. Sustainability is now, most definitely mainstream! This means you are no longer the weird eco-warrior, but a sensible caring earth-dweller when you express great care about the planet and its continued destruction.
22. Curious Earth will continue to supply you with your weekly enviro-news updates in a creative, curious, and (hopefully) enjoyable, manner! YAY
Stay positive and stay subscribed readers, 2022 has a lot to be hopeful for!