As people worldwide began to realize more and more the importance of a stable environment, there has been an honest effort to take better care of it. Everyday people have started making strides to a greener Earth and their efforts have not gone unnoticed. 2016 was a big year for the environment and there is nowhere to go from here but up. Reflect with us on some of the biggest environmental wins in 2016.

Renewable Energy Breaks Records

National Geographic has reported that for the first time in renewable energy history, electric-generating capacity has beat out the growth in fossil fuel generating capacity. This basically means that in comparison to 2015, clean sources of generating energy have produced more gigawatts than fossil fuel sources like coal or oil. These clean alternatives include wind and solar power. These alternatives have increased in popularity as time has passed, information became more widely available, and the benefits have been proven. This is a major win for the environment because it statistically proves that renewable energy sources have the potential of being just as effective, or even more effective, than traditional fossil fuels.

Preserving the Oceans

One of the hardest areas to protect is the ocean. What makes it so hard to monitor and preserve is the number of countries that need to agree on a solution as it it affects them all . 2016 was an outstanding year for marine preservation. In September, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Colombia agreed to cooperatively protect 10,000 square miles of marine life near the Galapagos. Less than a month later, a deal designed to protect a staggering 600,000 square miles off the coast of Antarctica was outlined.

The progress does not stop there. 25 countries including Brazil, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Russia agreed that the Ross Sea should remain untouched. Thus, creating the Earth’s single largest protected area.

Curbing Refrigerants

The refrigerants are called hydrofluorocarbons (HFC). These long-lasting refrigerants capture thousands of times more heat than CO2. As the economies of emerging countries like China and India continue to grow and industrialize, the world continue to gets hotter.

The U.S. State Department announced late last year that just about 200 countries agreed to begin to replace synthetic chemicals with cleaner alternatives beginning in 2019. Experts have stated that by completely eliminating the use of these chemicals, global warming could decrease by half a degree by the end of the century.

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