These Short Videos May Give You Hope About Climate Change

Published: Oct. 27, 2015

By Gillian Willman for National Geographic

From super-efficient homes in the United States to an ingenious plan for extracting fuel from living forests in Indonesia, promising projects are expanding the reach of clean, affordable energy.

UN-led climate talks beginning November 30 in Paris may determine the course of high-level action to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Plenty of smaller projects across the globe, however, are showing what can be done right now—in one village, one town, one city block.

Check out six short and sweet stories about innovators—each recipients of funding from National Geographic’s Great Energy Challenge—who are making a difference.

How a Town-Size Solar Grid Is Changing Lives in Haiti

In Haiti, where nearly three-quarters of the population lacks access to electricity, even a few watts can be life-changing. Allison Archambault of EarthSpark International explains how her group pioneered a first-of-its-kind solar-powered smart grid in the rural community of Les Anglais. The goal is to go beyond solar lanterns. “The first watt is the most life-changing,” she says, “but everybody aspires to higher levels of access.”

View this and five more inspiring videos at National Geographic.

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Oct. 2, 2017

Microgrids, like the one built by EarthSpark in Haiti, are more storm-resilient; they don't transmit power long distances over storm-vulnerable wire. Rebuilding in Puerto Rico offers a chance build a grid that's less centralized, decreasing the chance for widespread, long-term outages after a storm.