Every day we look at our phones and the world doesn’t seem to get any better. Forests are burning. The ocean is rising. The pandemic is raging. People are dying.
And it’s making people rightfully angry.
Time and time again, the answer is clear: we need to stop relying on fossil fuels. They account for 85 percent of global energy while contributing to two thirds of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Only a select few continue to prosper from oil, but their reign is coming to an end.
We beg and plead and protest governments and businesses to make change. And it seems like they’re getting the message.
The UK announced its plans to host Cop26, the UN climate summit that will take place in September 2021. Bedrocks of industry like BlackRock and BP are reluctantly accepting the inevitable and making the shift towards renewable energy. Even Alaska, the US state that pays their residents an oil dividend, is considering renewable energy endeavors.
The future is green — there’s no denying it. Hiro Mizuno, the newest member of the Tesla Board of Directors, recently stated “In the market where ESG is becoming mainstream, purpose- or mission-driven businesses will gain long term investor support.”
As the world concludes the third quarter of 2020, and possibly the second wave of COVID-19 is on the rise, businesses and governments alike are taking action on green initiatives.
Tesla Reinforces Its Position as the Poster Child for Electric Vehicles
Energy storage is a hot topic when it comes to green energy. But for electric vehicles (EV), batteries are literally the fuel that keep the cars running. Tesla announced their latest efforts to not just produce more batteries, but to improve the design.
Their most popular vehicle, the Model S, can travel 402 miles on a single charge. They plan for the next generation of batteries to have 16 percent more range, although they’ve also announced that their new Model S Plaid (to be released in late 2021) will have a range of 520 miles.
And by producing a better battery, the company hopes to offer a quality EV at a reduced price. This comes as no surprise, especially in light of the China’s extended subsidies for EVs. Earlier this year, Tesla lowered the price of its Model 3 to 291,800 yuan ($41,318) so that buyers could still benefit from the subsidy (a maximum of 300,000 yuan).
The company is smart to appeal to the country: China bought more than 25 million vehicles in 2019 alone. And with their recently opened factory in Shanghai, it would be a disadvantage for Tesla not to meet the subsidy threshold.
After announcing their goals to manufacture a car that retails at $25,000, to decrease the cost of batteries, and to release their Model S Plaid for $140,000, their shares dipped 4 percent. But beyond profits, Tesla represents so much more to the future. It seems nothing can stop them from leading the way into the new green era.
New York’s Governors Island Will Be a Research Station
New York recently concluded Climate Week, during which numerous governmental bodies and businesses pledged to decrease their carbon emissions by 2050. Additionally, experts and professionals from all over the world delivered online presentations about smart buildings, green legislation, and ESG investing.
Perhaps more exciting was their announcement to build a climate solutions center on Governors Island. The coronavirus epidemic has served as a wake-up call for many to take action, and New York is no different. The Trust of Governors Island plans to create 8,000 new jobs and generate $1 billion in economic impact for the city.
They hope to invite academic researchers, commercial innovators, and environmental justice organizations to join the initiative. And once the center is up and running, they also intend to host visitors for events and conversations about climate change solutions.
The new climate solutions center has incredible potential not just to attract more business, but to paint a vision of a green utopia. New York isn’t afraid to make the future happen — other cities will be wise to follow suit.
Friday Climate Strikes Resume
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the Friday climate strikes have been on pause. But students around the world resumed their weekly protests during the conclusion of Climate Week on 25 September.
Students activists Greta Thunberg and Vanessa Nakate used the opportunity to highlight the most affected people and areas as a result of global warming. Countries such as Sudan and Ethiopia have been devastated by flooding, which threatens health and food security in multiple regions.
While most participants have moved their protests online, they continue to call on leaders all around the world to prioritize climate change in their policies and actions. They want to remind decision makers that climate change hasn’t stopped as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravish the globe.
21st Century Power
Taking meaningful action on climate change is necessary for any business or government to succeed over the next couple decades. As Elon Musk stated in his address to shareholders, “By how many years did we accelerate sustainable energy? That’s the true metric of success.”
The world knows that decarbonizing energy today will slow the devastation of climate change, and hopefully curb it altogether. And so the race to be the next Rockefellers and superpower of green energy has started. Businesses need to get in the game if they want to survive the green leap forward.