Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit.
- Many environmentalists (like Nat Geo Explorer David de Rothschild) are critical of the climate accord reached in Paris last week. Why is this Nat Geo News article more optimistic?
- The first reason for optimism is “The Big Tent.” What organizations are under the expanding tent of sustainability?
- Companies including Ikea, Coca-Cola, Dell, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Procter & Gamble, Sony, and Walmart have all pledged to cut their carbon emissions.
- financial institutions.
- Fifteen of the world’s largest banks, with nearly $2 trillion in market value, have made commitments to invest in sustainable technologies.
- Other financial organizations have pledged to divest (withdraw financial support) from companies that produce coal, oil, or natural gas. See a list of divestment commitments here.
- city and regional governments.
- Urban areas including Paris (France), Oslo (Norway), San Francisco (United States), and Melbourne (Australia) have pledged to divest from fossil fuel companies. See a list of divestment commitments here.
- nonprofit organizations.
- Many faith-based, educational, philanthropic, and corporate-sponsored nonprofits have pledged to divest from fossil fuel companies. These include the World Council of Churches, the University of Hawaii system, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation. See a list of divestment commitments here.
- The Breakthrough Energy Coalition is a new nonprofit created by tech-industry leaders working to “get clean-energy ideas out of the lab and into the marketplace.” Learn more about this “billionaires’ clean energy club” here.
- The second reason for optimism is “Cheaper Renewables.” What sources of renewable energy are getting less expensive?
- The third reason for optimism is the “Promise of Technology.” What are some examples of improved energy efficiency or low-carbon technology?
- more commercially available biofuels
- commercially available fusion energy. Fusion energy is derived through nuclear fusion, a process that currently takes more energy to create than produce.
- more commercially available electric cars
- more commercially available fuel cell vehicles. Fuel cell vehicles run on hydrogen gas rather than gasoline and emit no harmful tailpipe emissions.
- more advanced nuclear reactors
- “new approaches” to renewable energies. In addition to cheaper and more efficient solar, wind, and nuclear energy, new approaches include investment in tidal and wave energy, geothermal energy, biomass energy, and even algal energy.
Nat Geo: What Are Our Energy Choices?
Nat Geo: What is Renewable Energy?
Nat Geo: Paris’s Shortcomings: We Need Conservation, Not Conversation
Fossil Free: Divestment Commitments