Like the start of every year in recent history, the planet is getting warmer, climate disasters continue to strike, and emissions aren’t falling fast enough. Unlike other years, however, some positive developments in recent months set us up for a stronger 2021.

“The last few months of 2020 were genuinely encouraging,” says Joss Garman, U.K. director of the European Climate Foundation. “You saw significant climate commitments, despite there not being much spotlight or political pressure and despite the economic carnage caused by the pandemic.” These included net-zero announcements from China, Japan and South Korea, the European Union’s Green Deal, the U.K.’s climate-disclosures mandate, and the election of Joe Biden as the next U.S. president

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