On Tuesday, the United States government published the Fifth National Climate Assessment — an exhaustive summary of the leading research on climate change and how it affects life in every part of the country. It may come as no surprise that its findings are dire. Impacts that we are already experiencing today, like the rate of temperature increase, frequent and extreme wildfires, and ongoing drought in the West, are “unprecedented for thousands of years.” These changes will only worsen for as long as society continues to burn fossil fuels, and for some time after.

But the report also offers reason for hope. “The takeaway from this assessment, the takeaway from all of our collective work on climate, should not be doom and despair,” Ali Zaidi, the White House national climate adviser, said in a press call. Instead, he and others stressed, the message should be one of action and possibility.

As the crisis has intensified, so have efforts to mitigate it. States, cities, businesses, and organizations across the country are taking increasingly large steps to reduce emissions — and those efforts are aided by the falling costs of renewable energy and other decarbonizing technologies. The report notes that the cost of solar energy has fallen 90 percent in the last decade, and the cost of wind power has dropped 70 percent. Between 2005 and 2019, greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. decreased by 12 percent. Still, emissions must decrease far more rapidly than that by 2050 to keep us in line with international climate goals.

In the meantime, communities across the country are taking the necessary steps to adapt to climate impacts, and in many cases, doing so in ways that address inequities.

Read the full article about climate actions in U.S. cities at Grist.