2019 in review: A year of urgency, and some action, on climate

© Conservation International/Flavio Forner

Nature saw its ups and downs in 2019, and Conservation News was there for it all. This month, we are revisiting some of the most interesting and significant stories and issues we covered in the past year. 

Scientists overwhelmingly agree that humanity has a narrow window of opportunity to avoid the most severe impacts of the climate crisis — but only if every sector and government on the planet makes immediate, drastic cuts to their carbon emissions and prioritizes protecting nature.

Many of our most-read stories in 2019 reinforce this urgent need for action — and highlight the people fighting to stop catastrophe while we’ve still got time. 

Something was different about Climate Week in New York earlier this year — a sense of urgency and moral clarity permeated the week’s discussions. Unfortunately, world leaders failed to transform this urgency into action at the UN climate talks later in December. Conservation News spoke to climate experts to determine what needs to happen in 2020 to avoid a climate catastrophe. 

Read more here and here

In 2019, climate activist Greta Thunberg sparked protests across the world with her impassioned pleas to protect the planet. A powerful film featuring Thunberg offers hope — and clear solutions — for the climate crisis. The film’s main message is captured in its title: We need to protect “Nature Now.” 

Read more here. Watch the film here.

From “climate adaptation” to “blue carbon,” environmental jargon is everywhere these days. This year, Conservation News interviewed a range of science and policy experts to explain the climate concepts you need to know: 

California's giant leap for climate action

In a major win for the climate, California approved a blueprint for allowing tropical forest protection efforts to be included in the state’s programs to cut carbon emissions. By passing this historical initiative, California sent strong signal to the rest of the world that it pays to protect nature.

Read more here.

Kiley Price is a staff writer at Conservation International. Want to read more stories like this? Sign up for email updates here. Donate to Conservation International here.

Cover image: Monte Pascoal National Park, Brazil. (© Conservation International/Flavio Forner)