Environmental conditions in North America have improved due to policies, institutions, data collection and assessment, and regulatory frameworks. Air quality, in particular, continues to improve in response to concerted policy action and favorable trends in technology and energy markets. Drinking water quality is extremely good, although water scarcity is of increasing concern in the region. Meanwhile, a rich network of well-managed protected areas is in place and is helping to conserve biological diversity. However, in recent years environmental challenges have emerged, posing new risks to human wellbeing and ecosystems. Climate change is generating impacts across the region, and aggressive hydrocarbon extraction methods bring the possibility of increased emissions, water use and induced seismicity. However, ongoing trends in renewable energy, rising efficiencies, and energy storage technologies demonstrate the potential to achieve a sustainable energy system. The GEO-6 report looks at the state of play in key areas.