Climate Action

Climate action: 5 positive stories that inspire change

Wind turbine in a sunflower field.

Wind and solar produced more energy in the EU during May than all fossil fuels combined. Image: Unsplash/Nuno Marques

Meg Jones
Writer, Forum Agenda
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Future of the Environment

This article is part of: Centre for Nature and Climate

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  • The top four risks to the world in the next 10 years are all climate-related, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2023.
  • But there are reasons to be hopeful - from accelerating solar power usage to cleaner air commitments, technology and innovation are helping to build a more resilient world.
  • This round-up brings you some of the latest positive climate action wins happening right now.

Unprecedented hot weather around the globe is currently hitting the headlines, alongside reports of other extreme weather events which are becoming more frequent. They present a stark reminder of a changing climate, which can only get more extreme "until we stop building up more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere."

Indeed, the top four risks to the world in the next 10 years are all deemed to be climate-related, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2023.

We are witnessing an ever-shrinking window to stay below a 1.5°C world, and phrases like ‘eco-anxiety’ and ‘climate change apathy’ are becoming commonplace.

However, amid the uncertainty and distress, there are individuals, businesses and communities fighting to pave the way for a truly sustainable future.

From eco-innovation to resilient solutions, these five examples prove there’s reason for hope in the face of climate doom and gloom.

Rooftop solar is powering the clean energy transition

Global rooftop solar capacity grew by 49% in 2022.

Installed rooftop solar is projected to reach 159 gigawatts (GW) by the end of this year, according to SolarPower Europe.

The industry trade group says that “out of the over 300GW of new global renewable power generating capacity, solar alone installed more capacity than all other renewable technologies combined”.

Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) is on track for a “huge collapse” in fossil fuel power this year, according to the energy think tank Ember.

Chart showing electricity generation growth rate from 2021-2022, by technology.
Solar power is leading the global energy transition. Image: SolarPower Europe

What's the World Economic Forum doing about the transition to clean energy?

Climate-resilient schools stand strong

High-magnitude earthquakes in February 2023 inflicted heavy damage in provinces across Turkey.

With reconstruction still underway, the recovery effort has found reason for hope… the recently constructed climate-resilient schools withstood the devastating impacts of the disaster.

Since 2017, Turkey’s partnership with the World Bank, the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and the European Union (EU) has seen 57 schools built to be safer and more resilient to climate emergencies.

According to the World Bank, over 40,000 people in Turkey now have access to safer and more resilient schools as a result of the Ministry of National Education’s initiative.

Swiss citizens say yes to climate action

The Swiss electorate has voted in favour of a new climate law, which will see the country cut net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.

A majority of 59% of voters approved the government’s Climate Protection Targets, Innovation and Strengthening Energy Security Act.

The legislation aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by equipping all buildings with renewable heating systems, supporting businesses in their roadmaps to climate neutrality and shifting to renewable fuel sources.

Indonesia and Malaysia are rooting for their tropical forests

The tropics lost 10% more primary rainforest in 2022 than in 2021. While there is cause for concern that deforestation is accelerating in certain regions, there is still reason for hope.

The world’s two biggest palm oil-growing nations, Indonesia and Malaysia, have managed to keep rates of primary forest loss to near record-low levels, according to the World Resources Institute.

Chart showing the top 10 countries for reduction in primary forest loss as of 2022.
Indonesia has reduced its primary forest loss more than any other country in recent years. Image: Global Forest Watch

Brazil's president has also revealed a plan to eliminate deforestation in the Amazon rainforest by 2030, using satellite imagery to help restore the "lungs of the planet".


How is the World Economic Forum fighting the climate crisis?

London's Ultra-Low Emission Zone is clearing the air

London’s ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) is due to be expanded across the entire capital this summer, bringing cleaner air to 5 million more residents, according to the city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan.


From 29 August, drivers of older, polluting cars will have to pay £12.50 a day to use their vehicle across Greater London, reports the Guardian.

Khan has said the capital’s toxic air is both a public health and climate emergency, and that this legislation will work to drive the most polluting vehicles off the road.

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