Today marks the end of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). Solutionists from around the world gathered to address the planet’s greatest challenges and, more importantly, discuss solutions and strategies for scaling them. After two weeks of conversation and collaboration among world leaders and decision makers, a number of solutions have been put forth that will help drive change.

In a statement last week, Solutionist Tom Chi, an investor, inventor, and technologist, shared his reflection on the relationship between humanity and the planet. As a global leader whose inventions and investments have helped scale solutions for improving our impact on the environment, Chi’s words send a poignant message underscoring the importance of putting our commitments into action after COP26.

“Business and society thrive on a thriving planet,” Chi said. “Whether it takes 50 years, 100 years, or more, we need to strive towards becoming a civilization where humanity becomes a net positive to nature. It’s what humanity and the planet deserves and it’s something we’re fully capable of.

Watch Tom Chi’s full statement here.

Let’s take a look back at 10 solutions from COP26 that have us looking forward to a brighter, net positive future for humanity and the planet.

1. UK’s financial hub and big businesses told to reach net zero by treasury

The City of London is planning to become the world’s “first-ever net zero aligned global financial center,” according to UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak. During his keynote speech at COP26, the Chancellor announced plans to ensure that large companies and financial institutions become carbon neutral. Firms will need to submit public plans for achieving emissions targets by 2023. This falls in line with the UK’s overarching goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050. It’s an exciting and ambitious plan that will have a great impact as long as it is regulated correctly. 

2. Money is moving (slowly) away from fossil fuels

Sunak’s announcement on behalf of the U.K. coincides with a wider net zero pledge made by over hundreds of financial institutions at the summit. According to the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, all 450 of their members have committed themselves to the net zero transition. This means that over $130 trillion dollars of assets are now tied to the goal. While the financial industry is known for its slow progress towards change, this is an amazing step in the right direction.

3. Gates foundation announces $315 million to CGIAR, the largest public agricultural innovation network

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have announced their pledge of $315 million dollars over the next three years to support CGIAR’s climate-related work, a global research partnership dedicated to reducing poverty and enhancing food security. “Climate impacts on food production are an existential threat for several hundred million people who depend on agriculture to support their families,” said Bill Gates. “CGIAR has been delivering high-impact solutions to smallholder farmers for half a century and I’m confident they can lead a global effort to develop the innovations needed to adapt to a changing climate.”

4. COP26 offered hope for the world’s forests

In the first major deal at COP26, world leaders have promised to end and reverse deforestation by 2030. This pledge is set to protect the “lungs of our planet” which provide us with 50% of the world’s oxygen. The pledge includes almost $19.2 billion dollars of public and private funds. 124 countries who signed the pledge account for over 85% of the world’s forests, including Canada, Indonesia, China, Brazil, the United States and many more. The announcement was well received by green groups, eager to see progress towards reversing deforestation, particularly in the Amazon rainforest.

5. Businesses team up to grow sustainable aviation fuel sector

The Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance has opened to new members for the first time. The Alliance was launched in April, aiming to bring together the purchasing power of fuel buyers to stimulate the scaling of supply chains for alternative fuels, as well as encourage policy support. Its founding members include large companies such as JP Morgan Chase, Boeing, Microsoft, Netflix, and more. Their overall mission is to decarbonize the future of flying.

6. Stella McCartney leads conversations on the future of fashion 

Stella McCartney, a global leader in reshaping the fashion industry with solutions for the planet, met with world leaders at COP26 to discuss how we can incentivize fashion brands to Make better products. She met with leaders such as Prince Charles, John Kerry, and Al Gore to discuss how governments can reshape policies to incentivize businesses to improve their impact on the planet. McCartney also hosted a “Future of Fashion” art gallery at the conference, spotlighting their mushroom-based leather products to spark conversation around material science solutions that can help brands reduce their carbon footprint and innovate the fashion industry for the better.

7. Bezos Earth Fund pledges $10 billion to be used to fight climate change and restore land

Founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, recently announced a $2 billion pledge towards restoring nature and improving food systems. Through the Bezos Earth Fund, a total of $10 billion will be used to restore land, promote sustainable practices, and reduce carbon emissions. Bezos delivered the speech at COP26, reflecting on how his recent trip to space changed his outlook on the planet. “I was told that seeing the Earth from space changes the lens from which you view the world but I was not prepared for just how much that would be true,” Bezos remarked.

8. Global Energy Alliance launches $10.5 Billion Fund for emerging economies

The Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, (GEAPP), has pledged $10.5 billion towards helping emerging economies transition away from fossil fuels and adapt to renewable energy. “To confront the climate crisis head-on, countries need to transition to clean energy as quickly as possible. This will not only prepare them for the future, but also make them healthier places to live right now, and help grow their economies,” said Michael Bloomberg, UN Special Envoy for Climate Ambition Solutions. 

9. $1.7 billion pledged to help protect indigenous lands and resources

At COP26, governments from the United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Norway, Germany and 17 private funders have committed to invest $1.7 billion in support of Indigenous communities protecting their lands and resource rights, resulting in the largest ever public-private pledge to support Indigenous people and local communities. This investment is in recognition of the importance Indigenous people play in land stewardship and keeping our planet’s health in balance. Although Indigenous people represent just 5% of the world’s population, they protect 80% of biodiversity across the planet. While the funding is welcomed, Indigenous leaders took the stage at COP26 to promote increased representation in decision-making rooms, highlighting the importance of having a seat at the table.

10.  WHO introduces pledge, countries commit to low-carbon, climate-resilient health systems

Governments of 50 countries have committed to adapting health systems to “climate-resilient” models. The pledge plans to develop low-carbon health structures as part of the COP26 Health Program, established between the UK government, World Health Organization (WHO), the UNFCCC Climate Champions, and other health groups. Numerous countries such as the United States, Germany, and Indonesia have signed up for the initiative, symbolizing the growing awareness of our planet’s health on our own.

COP26 has shown us the beauty of seeing a whole city (and planet) come together in the shared mission of achieving a better future. A number of pledges have been made, offering promises to drive forward solutions for our planet’s greatest challenges. As COP26 comes to a close, it’s imperative we continue to strive towards solutions that have real impact, and support existing solutions that are making a difference.