It’s easy to feel despondent about the state of the global environment in 2021. More than a million species are at risk of extinction, levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere continue to increase, and the planet was rocked by a series of climate change-fueled extreme weather events. Meanwhile, the world continues to grapple with a deadly pandemic that seems like it will never end.
But, as the year draws to a close, there are reasons to feel cautiously optimistic about areas in which the environment scored victories in 2021.
It’s important to note that even these promising developments involve pledges that may yet be watered down, misleading, or altogether unfulfilled. Still, there are signs of