Humans Actually Did Some Good Stuff For The Planet In 2015

This year was a big one for the planet, and world leaders are finally listening to scientists who say all is not well in the world.

But while some things look dire, we’ve made progress in 2015. The planet has banded together to stave off the worst effects of climate change. Threatened habitats have been protected, and most of us cite environmental protection as one of the biggest issues of our time.

While there’s still work to do, here are five things that would’ve made Captain Planet proud this year. Let’s hope the Republican presidential candidates take note.

The world approved a landmark climate deal

After more than a decade of misfires, the world finally reached a sweeping climate deal in an effort to halt the worst of greenhouse gas-induced warming. The leaders of more than a hundred nations were present in Paris for the landmark talks, which United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called “a historic moment … [for] one of the most crucial problems on earth.”

The pact itself will encourage nations, especially the biggest carbon emitters like the U.S., China and India, to move away from fossil fuels and invest in renewable energy. By itself, it won’t keep the planet from crossing the warming threshold scientists say we must stay beneath to avoid the worst climate-related effects. But the deal represents what President Barack Obama called “the best chance we have to save the one planet that we’ve got.”

Obama established the planet’s biggest marine sanctuary

In September, Obama created the world’s largest protected marine reserve in the Pacific Ocean. The act expanded the Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument to nearly half a million square miles.

The move represented a significant shift in environmental policy in the U.S., where more than 10 percent of land is —> Read More