In just some of the extreme weather events of 2021, wildfires engulfed entire towns in California, flash floods devastated parts of Western Europe and China’s Henan province, and a record deep freeze left millions of Texans without power for weeks. Each disaster is a stark forecast of what’s to come if the climate crisis remains unaddressed.
To that end, this year also saw climate change rise to the top of local and national leaders’ agendas — though commitments to cut emissions fell short of the goal to limit the global temperature rise to just 1.5 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels. In the U.S., President Joe Biden is pushing for historic investment into climate resilience and environmental justice in his currently stalled Build Back Better legislation. Across Europe, cities from London to Paris are kicking out cars from some of their busiest thoroughfares.