The world is going through a lot. Instead of focusing on bad news, we’ve rounded up the most encouraging environmental stories that made headlines this month

The climate crisis is continuing to show itself in new ways around the globe, and many signs point to a bleak future for the planet. But we must remain diligent and positive in paving a more sustainable path forward. There are lots of important and encouraging efforts being made towards preserving the planet, and it’s important to acknowledge the good along with the bad.

So lets celebrate these environmental wins that happened in November and stay motivated to protect the planet!

1. COP26 Global Climate Summit set new commitments to curb global warming

deforestationPhoto by Jay Mantri on UnsplashWorld leaders gathered at the COP26 summit in Glasgow to address the climate crisis and get back on track with pledges set out in the Paris Agreement. New commitments were made including: leaders from more than 130 countries (accounting for about 90 percent of the world’s forests) promised to stop deforestation by 2030; more than 100 counties agreed on a plan to cut 30 percent of methane emissions by 2030; the Galapagos marine reserve protected area was expanded by 60,000 square kilometres; plus more.

2. Record number of once-endangered humpback whale calves recorded in Salish Sea

humpback whalesPhoto by Vivek Kumar on UnsplashEndangered just 25 years ago with zero recordings off the coast of Seattle, humpback whales are making an encouraging comeback in this part of the world. Whale-watchers and researchers have recorded 500 whales and a record 21 calves off the coasts of Washington and British Columbia this season, indicating a promising future for the species.

3. Portugal becomes fourth country in Europe to stop using coal

PortugalPhoto by Nick Karvounis on UnsplashFollowing the lead of Belgium, Austria and Sweden, Portugal has become the fourth European country to stop burning coal for electricity, shutting down its last remaining coal plant this month. Coal is one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gasses, so this is a big step forward in sustainability.

4. First Nation installs 300 kW solar power station, eliminating excessive diesel consumption

solar panelPhoto by Markus Spiske on UnsplashThe First Nation community of Fort Severin, located in northern Ontario, has installed a new 300-kilowatt solar power station, providing energy and jobs in an environmentally friendly manner. The community previously relied on diesel delivered by a charter plane, so this new installation will reduce fuel consumption by approximately 400,000 litres of diesel a year.

5. Formerly “biologically dead” River Thames now showing a rebound in wildlife

River Thames in LondonPhoto by Sander Crombach on UnsplashThe Zoological Society of London has completed the first full ‘health check’ of London’s River Thames in 60 years, and the results are positive for wildlife and ecosystem recovery. Despite being declared “biologically dead” in 1957, conservation efforts have helped improve water quality and increase natural habitats and animal populations, including birds and marine species, such as seahorses, eels, seals and even sharks.

We hope these pieces of good news will encourage you to think positively and motivate you to play your part as we work towards a more sustainable future!