The Future of Climate Change: 5 Highlights in December 2021

November 30, 2021
Avely Pütsep

“The Future of Climate Change” is a monthly series: we choose 5 beautiful things that shaped the future of climate action in the past month.

If it makes the world a better place, we want to talk about it.

News from November 2021 on halting biodiversity loss, reducing carbon footprints, becoming carbon neutral, cleantech innovations, climate change solutions, and everything in between. 🌿

Plus! When you start looking, you’ll notice so much good happening. That’s why we had to include a Biodiversity & Sustainability bonus at the end!

COP26 has taken over the entire world’s media, so in this article, we’ll highlight other beautiful climate change news.

So, what is the good climate news in November 2021?

Giant pandas are no longer endangered

In a decade, the giant panda population increased by 17%.  

They’re still in danger, though, with human action being the biggest threat. But giant pandas have now moved from ‘endangered’ to ‘vulnerable’.

Why is it important?

Giant pandas are no longer on the endangered list.

  1. Giant pandas are no longer on the endangered list
  2. It’s a clear indication that conservation actions really make a difference.

Let’s hope conservation efforts continue at full speed to help save more species from extinction.

Wind and solar energy finally overtook fossil fuels in Europe

This month, we learned that wind and solar energy overtook fossil fuels in Europe last year.

Renewable energy generated 38% of Europe’s electricity in 2020, compared to 35.8% in 2019.

Meanwhile, fossil-fired energy fell to 37%, meaning renewables took over by 1%.

What’s crucial now is to move even more towards renewable energy.

Luckily, over 40 countries have agreed to stop using coal. Let’s hope this pledge will be put into action to create a greener future.

Coral coverage increases up to 39% in the Great Barrier Reef

Amazing news: the Great Barrier Reef is in a recovery window after decades of disturbances!

After decades of mass coral bleaching events, cyclones, and harmful human actions, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel for the reef. In 2021, the coral coverage in the Great Barrier Reef increased 39%.

The report by the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) is called “Long-Term Monitoring Program - Annual Summary Report on Coral Reef Condition for 2020/21”.

“Coral reefs can recover from disturbances if given enough time and the Reef has been given a breather over the last year,” said the CEO of AIMS.

It seems like the ‘breather’ has finally happened.

More than 20 African countries have joined together to plant a giant wall

The Great Green Wall is an African-led movement with a big ambition: grow an 8000km wall of trees across the entire width of Africa.

The project has been worked on for a decade already.

It’s aiming to:

  • Bring life back to Africa’s degraded landscapes
  • Provide food security and jobs
  • Give the millions of people who live in the planned Great Green Wall area a reason to stay

It’s also said that the Great Green Wall makes economic sense.

Once complete, the Great Green Wall would be the largest living structure on the planet - three times the size of the Great Barrier Reef.

More than 20 African countries have joined to build the Great Green Wall to stop the spread of the Sahara Desert.

When’s the wall ready? The Great Green Wall’s completion date is set to 2030. Looking forward to it!

Florida beaches are seeing record numbers of sea turtle nests

Amazing news about turtles! Some Florida beaches are seeing a record year for sea turtle nests.

Biologists were pleasantly surprised when they saw how many leatherback turtle nests there were in South Florida beaches this year.

“It’s difficult to say why Broward County saw such an increase in leatherback nesting this season,” commented biologist, Stephanie Kedzuf, who specializes in sea turtles.

She added that she’s curious to see whether other areas in the state will see a similar increase.

We sure are too!

List of Biodiversity News

  • Vast area of Scottish Highlands to be rewilded in a 30-year project.
  • Ecuador will expand the marine reserve encircling the Galapagos islands.
  • Thames wildlife is booming! The river in London, England, once claimed to be ‘biologically dead’, now has 115 species, from fish to seals.
  • Software is now able to predict the movement of large land animals.
  • England is planning massive rewilding with a Nature-Based Economy.
  • Beaver breakthrough! After 500 years, beavers are returning to Scotland.

List of Sustainability News

  • The ozone layer is on track to heal completely, claims the UN environmental agency. 
  • A carbon-neutral jet fuel is being worked on in Germany.
  • Barcelona citizens will get free transport if they ditch their car. Good move from Spain!
  • 9000kg of plastic was removed from the ocean by nonprofit, ‘The Ocean Cleanup’.
  • The US and EU have announced a cut greenhouse gas methane emissions by 2030 with the Global Methane Pledge.
  • Microsoft is the first big company to commit to the right to repair.

Author note about the “Future of Climate Change” series: The climate crisis has become an inevitable part of our everyday lives, making it easy to get lost in Doomsday thoughts. In reality, attempts to halt climate change are happening all the time. The key is to notice them. That's what this series is about. Will you come back next month to read the new one?

Oh also, did you see the beautiful climate news that happened in October?

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