Clean Energy Insights

Three Facts That Give Me Great Hope This Earth Day

3 minute read

This may sound obvious, but in order to solve the climate crisis, and continually find the courage and resolve to do the work that needs to be done, we have to remind ourselves as often as we can that it’s solvable. To do that, let’s look at the positive momentum building towards a more sustainable and equitable future.

Here are three facts that give me great hope this Earth Day.

1. Last year there was a record-breaking $88B invested in clean energy in the US

This is the most money ever spent on clean energy in the US, and this trend will only continue, here and around the world. Global investments in clean energy started to exceed fossil fuel development in 2016 and in 2023 eclipsed fossil fuel investments by half a trillion dollars. We’re now well past the point where clean energy is the cheapest form of energy in history, and we’re watching in real time the sunset of the 200-year fossil fuel era where humans dug up and burned fossils to power our lives.

In WWII the Allied forces were facing slim odds of victory until the juggernaut of the United States decided to enter the war. In the fight for our planet, while many nations have been aggressively prioritizing clean energy for the past three decades, the US was largely sitting on the sidelines…until now.

In 2022 the Biden Administration announced the $369B Inflation Reduction Act that will supercharge the clean energy transition, with its Justice40 provision ensuring 40% of the funds will go into the most vulnerable communities and those historically impacted by environmental injustice. The final winners of the $7B Solar For All program (a subset of the $27B Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund that will create a national green bank and accelerate clean energy at the community level) were announced today! Congratulations to all the amazing winners!

2. The seeding effect of solar

Many in the solar industry know that solar is contagious. When you see your neighbor go solar, you’re much more likely to go solar. A study came out at the end of last year from Lawrence Berkeley Lab that found that every time one nonprofit, house of worship, or municipal building goes solar (any non-residential installation) that around 80 homes in that community will go solar as a direct result over the next five years. Holy moly! The scientists call this the “seeding effect.” The data proves we’re literally planting seeds for a more equitable, community-based clean energy powered-future with every solar installation that goes up!

3. Your neighbor cares as much about the planet as you do

One of the world’s top climate scientists, Katharine Hayhoe, reminds us that the most important thing we can do about climate change is talk about it. Why? Well, apparently over two-thirds of Americans never talk about it! But here’s the most interesting stat I’ve read in a while. While around 80% of Americans support climate change mitigation policies, the general perception is only 40% of Americans support climate policies. In other words, we’re all sitting here thinking about climate change, wishing our leaders would take action, and not talking to each other about it! Today, every day, and especially when holding political and business leaders accountable, talk about the fact that Americans are in agreement that it’s time to solve the climate crisis.

Now, put the screen away and go for a walk outside! 


By Andreas Karelas, Founder and Executive Director of RE-volv

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