Last year, climate change came into sharp relief for much of the world: The planet experienced its hottest 12-month period in 125,000 years. Flooding events inundated communities from California to East Africa to India. A heat wave in South America caused temperatures to spike above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the middle of winter, and a heat dome across much of the southern United States spurred a 31-day streak in Phoenix of 110 degree-plus temperatures. The formation of an El Niño, the natural phenomenon that raises temperatures globally, intensified extreme weather already strengthened by climate change. The U.S. alone counted 25 billion-dollar weather disasters in 2023 — more than any other year.

Yet this devastation was met by some of the largest gains in climate action to date. World leaders agreed for the first time to “transition away” from oil and gas at the annual United Nations climate summit, hosted last month by the United Arab Emirates. Funds and incentives from President Joe Biden’s signature climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act, started to roll out to companies and municipalities. Electric vehicle sales skyrocketed, thousands of young people signed up for the first-ever American Climate Corps, and companies agreed to pay billions of dollars to remove harmful chemicals called PFAS from drinking water supplies.

As we enter a new year, we asked Grist reporters what big stories they’re watching on their beats, 24 predictions for 2024. Their forecasts depict a world on the cusp of change in regard to climate — both good and bad, and often in tandem. Here’s what we’re keeping an eye on, from hard-won international financial commitments, to battles over mining in-demand minerals like lithium, to the expansion of renewable energy.

  1. A new climate corps will turn young people’s anxiety into action
  2. Despite rising temperatures, climate change takes a backseat during the 2024 election
  3. A climate reparations fund gets off the ground
  4. ‘Greenhushing’ spreads as companies seek to dodge lawsuits
  5. A global treaty to end plastic pollution faces delays

Read the full article about climate trends predictions at Grist.