A conference attendee looks at a projection of the Earth on Monday, the opening day of the COP 21 United Nations conference on climate change, in Le Bourget, on the outskirts of Paris. Alain Jocard/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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The Beijing Environment Exchange, one of seven emissions trading pilot programs in China, may be part of a nationwide carbon market by as early as 2017. Anthony Kuhn/NPR hide caption

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Sebastian Preuber/Flickr; Daniel Ramirez/Flickr

Elizeu Berçacola, a leader of a group of rubber tappers in Machadinho d'Oeste in the Brazilian state of Rondonia, just after burring down three illegal logging camps. There is a war over the future of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil: those that are fighting it call it 'the war over wood.' Kainaz Amaria/NPR hide caption

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"I think there's a move that needs to be made toward accelerating what's already inevitable, which is a clean-energy transition that'll create jobs, safeguard our environment and reduce our dependence on foreign oil," Jay Faison told NPR. Courtesy ClearPath hide caption

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Residents of Flint, Mich. (shown here in January), have been protesting the quality and cost of the city's tap water for more than a year. Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio hide caption

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In this August 2015 file photo, plants burned in the Rocky Fire are shown near Lower Lake, Calif. NPR's environment and climate change reporting encompasses related topics such as wildfires, drought, and other natural disasters. Jeff Chiu/AP hide caption

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A diver swims in a kelp forest in California's Channel Island National Park, where several of the state's marine protected areas are located. National Park Service hide caption

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In the past decade, freshwater and sediment diverted from the nearby Mississippi River have turned what once was an open bay into a thriving wetlands area. Local environmental groups have planted thousands of cypress trees, attempting to create a marsh that will help absorb storms that pass through. Weenta Girmay for WWNO hide caption

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A town in California's Central Valley plans to transform farmland into an eco-friendly residential community. An artist's rendering shows plans for Kings River Village in Reedley, Calif. Courtesy of the City of Reedley hide caption

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A Tea Party supporter rings a bell in protest of the health care law in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, as Obamacare supporters shout behind her. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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Fresh oil puddles on the white sand in Orange Beach, Ala., during the BP oil spill in 2010. Debbie Elliott/NPR hide caption

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