As we reflect back on the year, we wanted to highlight our top five moments for climate change in 2018 — some solutions-focused, and others setbacks.
Amongst the climate change impacts we witnessed across the world, the swell of momentum toward the resilient, equitable, clean energy future we envision inspires us.
1. Xcel Energy committed to going completely carbon-free by 2050
In December, our local utility Xcel Energy became the first U.S. utility to commit to 100% clean energy! Leading up to their zero-carbon goal, they committed to being 80% carbon-free by 2030.
2. The release of the IPCC 1.5 Special Report and the 4th National Climate Assessment highlighted the urgency for immediate action
In October, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report from the world’s leading climate scientists warning that there is only 12 years to reduce carbon emissions to keep the earth’s warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Not soon after, the White House released the 4th National Climate Assessment that maps out significant damage to the United States economy, public health, and environment if immediate action isn’t taken.
3. Minnesota joins the We Are Still In initiative at our MN is Still In fundraiser and business workshop
Minnesota became the first Midwestern state to join the We Are Still In initiative this June. Over 70 representatives from 38 Minnesota-based companies and organizations—ranging from multinational to local in scale—came together at our business workshop to workshop and amplify their commitments to carbon reduction and clean energy.
4. The Trump Administration has made eliminating environmental rules a priority – 78 of them, in fact
The New York Times continues a running update on the number of environmental rules and regulations the Trump Administration has successfully eliminated and are currently in the process of rolling back. These regulations fall under categories like air pollution and emissions, toxic substances and waste, water pollution, drilling and extraction, and more.
5. Events like the Peoples Climate March, Global Climate Action Summit, and the Zero Hour March amplified youth and underrepresented voices on climate action
The People’s Climate March in September brought hundreds of thousands of people together to march for action in Washington, D.C. and around the country, demanding that the Trump Administration take action on climate change. This led up to the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, where world leaders and businesses made commitments to further action alongside demonstrators outside the Summit calling for a focus on equitable climate solutions. Earlier in the summer, youth with Zero Hour organized a march that highlighted stories of youth on the frontlines of the climate crisis and their demand for action.
With the growing popularity and support of a Green New Deal and the recent outcome of the international climate change conference (COP24) seeing a finalized rulebook for implementing the Paris Agreement, we’re ready to dig in even deeper in 2019.