The author of one of the most ambitious climate plans in the European Union says 2020 was a turning point that’s left him optimistic about the future of the planet.

Although the year showed the scale of the effort needed — with temperatures rising despite lockdowns across the world that brought most economies to a virtual standstill — Danish Climate Minister Dan Jorgensen says there’s cause to be more upbeat. He points to the EU’s latest climate deal and the U.S. election, which will bring the world’s biggest economy back into the Paris agreement.

"It is remarkable that closing down our societies has not led us anywhere near the level of reductions we need, so behavioral changes alone won’t do it,” Jorgensen said in an interview in Copenhagen. But while the analysis is often negative, "there are reasons for optimism and to celebrate as well,” he said.