By Kimberly Bishop, Corporate Responsibility
Historic heat waves continue to sweep across the U.S., Canada, and Europe, exacerbating deep drought and wildfire risk. Deadly floods in Europe, a historic deluge in China, and devastating fires in the Pacific Northwest are all popping up at an alarming and unprecedented rate. According to the Global Drought Monitor, every continent except Antarctica is currently experiencing drought.
Extreme weather events worldwide fueled by climate change will worsen, according to the recent report by the International Panel on Climate Change.1 While there are many important steps we can and should take to support the planet, renewable energy is one of the best ways to stave off the worst effects of global warming. Solar power doesn’t emit carbon dioxide, a gas that is one of the biggest threats to our planet’s core temperature. And while it’s exceedingly affordable once it is up and running, the largest barrier many people face is the substantial price of installation.
That’s why NortonLifeLock is investing in expanding solar energy by funding GRID Alternatives’ National Tribal Program. GRID is a leading nonprofit helping low-income communities get clean, affordable, renewable energy, transportation, and jobs. They are working towards a rapid and equitable transition to a world powered by sustainable resources that benefits everyone. GRID does this through programs like no-cost solar installation, solar training to connect people with clean energy jobs, and through their focus on renewable energy policy.
Since the beginning of April, our funding has helped the Tribal Program install over 360 kW of solar power across California, New Mexico, Montana, and Alaska. The Alaska project was a first for GRID and the installation teams saw the urgent need for climate action firsthand. The teams faced two unprecedented weather events: constant rain and flooding in one part of the state and high heat in another.
These installations include residential projects to help individual families, as well as a handful of Tribal community buildings like preschools, high schools, community colleges, and other youth education buildings. These solar projects provide both a local source of clean energy and the opportunity to reinvest the energy savings back into the community. With NortonLifeLock-funded projects alone, GRID is expecting to offset almost 5,000 tons of carbon emissions over the lifetime of the systems.
If you’re looking to get involved, GRID Alternatives is always looking for donors and volunteers. Learn more on their website. And if you’re looking to help reduce your own carbon emissions, start by looking into solar rebates. There are many options for those interested in renewable and sustainable energy, and a multitude of programs to help offset the initial cost.