Good News in 2018

Good News in 2018

1 DECEMBER 2018 - 13 DECEMBER 2018

The world’s largest maritime shipping company is slowly ditching fossil fuels, and has just committed to eliminating all of its carbon emissions by the year 2050. It’s a key moment for maritime shipping. Quartz

Last year, 120 million people gained access to electricity. That means that for the first time in history, the number of people without access is less than one billion. IEA

Germany has announced one of the most ambitious waste management schemes in history. The government plans to recycle 63% of its total waste within the next four years,  up from 36% today. DW

Following a ban by two of its biggest retailers, Australia has cut its plastic bag usage by 80% in the last three months, saving 1.5 billions bags from entering the waste stream. NY Post

Since 2010, global HIV/AIDS infection rates have fallen by 16% in adults and by 35% for children. Most countries are on track to eliminate infections by 2030. Undark

Tunisia has become the first Arab nation to pass a law giving women and men equal inheritance, overturning an old provision of Sharia Islamic law. Dhaka Tribune

25 million doses of a new cholera vaccine have been administered globally, and five countries are preparing to run the largest vaccination drive in history. UNICEF

Jean Paul Gaultier has become the latest fashion designer to ban fur, joining Gucci, Versace, Armani, and just about every major fashion house. Independent


9 NOVEMBER 2018 - 30 NOVEMBER 2018

A little perspective. Global suicide rates have dropped by 38% since 1994, saving 4 million lives, four times the number killed in combat during that time. Economist

Cigarette use among Americans has dropped to its lowest level since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started collecting data in 1965. CNN

In the DRC, doctors are winning the war on sleeping sickness. At the turn of the century there were 30,000 cases. Last year, there were 1,100. Guardian

More ammo for fun conversations with population-obsessed baby boomers. The global fertility rate (average number of children a woman gives birth to) has halved since 1950. Half the world's countries are now below replacement levels. BBC  

Scotland is the first country in the world to include teaching of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex rights into its state schools curriculum. The Scotsman

Officials in South Korea are bulldozing the country's largest dog slaughterhouse. The reason? Years of campaigning by activists, and shifting tastes in millenials. BBC

The Republic of Congo has created its fifth national park, protecting western lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, elephants and other threatened wildlife. MongaBay


27 OCTOBER 2018 - 8 NOVEMBER 2018

The United States is on track to set a new record for coal plant closures this year, with 22 plants in 14 states totalling 15.4GW of capacity going dark. #MAGA. Clean Technica

Spain will shut down most of its coalmines by the end of this year, after the government agreed to early retirement for miners, re-skilling and environmental restoration. Guardian

In the last two decades, female genital mutilation has fallen from 57.7% to 14.1% in north Africa, from 73.6% to 25.4% in west Africa, and from 71.4% to 8% in east Africa. Guardian

Nepal has become the 54th country in the world, and the first country in South Asia, to pass a law banning corporal punishment for children. End Corporal Punishment

According to a new report by UNICEF, Bangladesh has reduced its child mortality rate by 78% since 1990, the largest reduction by any country in the world. Kinder-World

The Portuguese parliament has just passed a new law, approved with support of left-wing and right-wing lawmakers, banning the use of wild animals in circuses by 2024. Phys.org

The United Nations says that the ozone hole will be fully healed over the Arctic and the northern hemisphere by the 2030s, and in the rest of the world by 2060. Gizmodo

The European Parliament has voted for an extensive ban on single-use plastics, estimated to make up over 70% of marine litter. It will come into effect in 2021. Independent

250 of the world's major brands, including Coca Cola, Kellogs and Nestle, have agreed that 100% of their plastic packaging will be reused, recycled or composted by 2025. BBC

$10 billion (the largest amount ever for ocean conservation) has just been committed in Bali for the protection of 14 million square kilometres of the world’s oceans. MongaBay

The Kofan people of Sinangoe, in the Ecuadorian Amazon, have won a landmark legal battle to protect the headwaters of the Aguarico River, nullifying 52 mining concessions and freeing up more than 32, 000 hectares of primary rainforest. Amazon Frontlines

We usually try to keep our heads above the fray, but we can't help ourselves this time around. One of the big winners in the recent US midterms? SCIENCE. Nine new members of Congress have STEM or medical backgrounds and at least six have kept their seats. So good. Bloomberg


12 OCTOBER 2018 - 26 OCTOBER 2018

India installed 4.9GW of solar in the first half of this year, meaning it is now the second largest installer in the world for 2018 (first place is China). #MEGA. The Hindu

New York City, home to 8.6 million people, just went a whole weekend without any shootings for the first time in more than a decade. #MAGA? Time

Thanks to tougher anti gun laws, between 1990 and 2016, the rate of deaths from firearms in Australia went from 3.4 deaths per 100,000 people to 1 per 100,000. JCU

Malaysia has abolished the death penalty for all crimes and has halted all pending executions, a move hailed by human rights groups in Asia as a major victory. SMH

This one goes out to all our Malthusian fans. The United Nations says India’s fertility rate has halved since 1980, thanks to better family planning and fewer unwanted pregnancies.

Abiy Ahmed strikes again. Ethiopia now has the most diverse government in the country's history, with women ministers making up 50% of the new cabinet. Face2FaceAfrica

Marijuana is now legal in Canada. A major crack in the grass ceiling, and a wonderful moment for fans of evidence-based decision making everywhere. BBC

Thanks to stricter catch limits and better monitoring, the population of eastern Atlantic bluefin tuna has increased from 300,000 tons in 2005 to 530,000 tons today. NatGeo


27 SEPTEMBER 2018 - 11 OCTOBER 2018

Quietly and unannounced, humanity has just crossed an extraordinary milestone. For the first time in 10,000 years, more than half of the world is middle class. Brookings

The Journal of Peace Research says that global deaths from state based conflicts have declined for the third year in a row, and are now 32% lower than their peak in 2014.

Following 30 years of public health efforts, Malaysia has become the first country in the Western Pacific to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. MalayMail

According to the WHO, teenage drinking has declined across Europe, the continent with the highest rates of drinking in the world. The country with the largest decline? Britain.

It's not just the kids. Suicides among elderly Britons have dropped so much that the country now has one of the lowest rates in the rich world. Economist

Honduras had the highest homicide rate in the world in 2012. Murders have decreased by half since then, more than any other nation. Here's how they did it. Ozy

Denmark is the latest country to announce a ban on internal combustion engines. It will stop the sale of petrol or diesel cars in 2030, and hybrids by 2035. Bloomberg

Following China's ban on ivory last year, 90% of Chinese support it, ivory demand has dropped by almost half, and poaching rates are falling in places like Kenya. WWF


14 SEPTEMBER 2018 - 26 SEPTEMBER 2018

Japan's Marbeni, one of the world’s biggest power developers, has just announced it will no longer be building any new coal plants. Just 1,600 more plants to go! Quartz

A new global youth survey says that young people in all countries are more optimistic than adults, though there is widespread dissatisfaction with politicians. Nine in 10 teenagers in Kenya, Mexico, China, Nigeria and India report feeling positive about their future. Guardian

According to the UNDP, 271 million people in India moved out of poverty between 2005 and 2016, and the country's poverty rate has been cut nearly in half. Times of India

Youth crime in California has fallen so dramatically that many state detention centres, built in the 1990s in anticipation of a crime wave, are now sitting empty. Voice of San Diego

Theresa Kachindamoto, a female chief in Malawi, has established a new law to prevent child marriage and has annulled 850 child marriages across the country to date. Femalista

Three years after India made it compulsory to use plastic waste in road construction, there are now 100,000 kilometres of plastic roads in the country. Himalayan Times

Deforestation in Indonesia fell by 60% last year, as a result of a ban on clearing peatlands, new educational campaigns and better law enforcement. Ecowatch

The population of wild tigers in Nepal has nearly doubled in the last nine years, thanks to efforts by conservationists and increased funding for protected areas. Independent


31 AUGUST 2018 - 13 SEPTEMBER 2018

California has just unveiled the most ambitious climate target ever, with a commitment to making the world's fifth biggest economy carbon neutral by 2045. Vox

After 20 years, troops have been withdrawn and the Ethiopian and Eritrean border has been reopened at two key crossing points, reuniting hundreds of families. BBC

India’s highest court has just struck down a more than century-old prohibition on gay sex, calling the Victorian-era law “irrational, indefensible, and manifestly arbitrary.” Al Jazeera

In a huge step forward for gender equality, Morocco has passed a law that criminalizes violence against women, and imposes harsh penalties on perpetrators. Albawaba

New Zealand has become the latest country to outlaw single-use plastic shopping bags, and will phase them out over the next year. Time

France has become the first country in Europe to ban all five forms of neonicotinoid pesticides that researchers believe are killing off bees. Telegraph

The Malaysian government has announced it will not allow any further expansion of oil palm plantations, and that it intends to maintain forest cover at 50%. Malaymail


2 AUGUST 2018 - 30 AUGUST 2018

In 2000, trachoma threatened 2.8 million people in Ghana (15% of the population) with blindness. It is now the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to eliminate the disease. Devex

India is in the middle of the largest sanitation building spree of all time. Almost 80 million household toilets are estimated to have been built since 2014. Arkansas Democrat Gazette

In Germany, 26% of refugees admitted since 2015 are now employed and the share of MPs with migrant backgrounds has risen from 3% to 9% in the last two elections. Economist

Costa Rica's Supreme Court has ruled that the country's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional, and has given the government 18 months to change the law. BBC

Scotland has become the first nation in the world to guarantee free sanitary products to all students at schools, colleges, and universities. Quartz

The rate of prison recidivism (people who return to state prison after being released) in the United States has dropped by nearly a quarter over a recent seven-year period. Pew

Brazil cut its carbon emissions from deforestation by 610 million tons last year, reaching its 2020 climate change targets three years ahead of schedule. VOA

New Caledonia has agreed to place 28,000 square kilometres of its ocean waters under protection, including some of the world's most pristine coral reefs. Forbes

In the past three decades, southern Niger has been transformed by 200m new trees, part of the largest positive transformation of the environment in African history. Guardian


20 JULY 2018 - 1 AUGUST 2018

Guess which country had the largest overall reduction in carbon emissions in 2017? If you've been following us for a while you'll probably know the answer. #MAGA. Fortune

Sweden is on course to reach its renewable energy targets 12 years ahead of schedule, with wind turbines making its original 2030 goal achievable in 2018. The Local

South Africa, home to the world’s largest population of people living with HIV, has shocked health officials with a 44% decline in the number of new infections since 2012. Telegraph

Following months of campaigning by human rights activists, India's finance ministry has announced it will scrap the 12% GST on all sanitary products. BBC

New Zealand has become the second country in the world (after the Phillipines) to pass legislation granting victims of domestic violence 10 days paid leave. Guardian

In a major milestone for human rights in the Middle East, a Lebanese court has issued a new judgement holding that homosexuality is not a crime. Beirut

The number of homeless people in Japan has fallen to its lowest level in 15 years, following additional housing and counselling support from the government. Japan Times

Adidas is expecting to sell 5 million pairs of shoes made from ocean plastic this year, and it has committed to using only recycled plastic in its products by 2024. CNN

In California, the world’s smallest fox has been removed from the Endangered Species List, the fastest recovery of any mammal under the Endangered Species Act. Conservaca


7 JULY 2018 - 19 JULY 2018

Six sovereign wealth funds representing more than $3 trillion in assets have committed to only invest in companies that factor climate risks into their strategies. UNFCCC

Meet Ethiopia's new prime minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed. He's been in office for 100 days, has ended the 20 year war with Eritrea, and released over 7,600 political prisoners. BE

75% of Americans say immigration is good for the nation, the highest share since 2001, and only 29% say it should be decreased, the lowest share since 1965. NYT

Thanks to anti-pollution measures, parking restrictions and new cycle lanes, the number of vehicles on the streets of Paris has fallen by 6.5% since the beginning of 2018. road.cc

For the first time since 2005, and for only the second time on record, no one was killed by tornadoes in the United States in either May or June. USA Today

Seattle has become the first US city to ban plastic straws, and New York and Virigina have become the first two states to enact laws requiring mental health education in schools.

Spain is creating a new marine wildlife reserve for the migrations of whales and dolphins in the Mediterranean and will prohibit all future fossil fuels exploration in the area. AP

Following 'visionary' steps by Belize, UNESCO has removed the Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest in the world, from its list of endangered World Heritage Sites. BBC


22 JUNE 2018 - 6 JULY 2018

Ireland has become the world’s first country to divest from fossil fuels, after a bill was passed with all-party support in the lower house of parliament. Guardian

In 2017, the solar industry in the United States employed 250,000 people on a full time basis. Coal industry jobs are now less than half of that, at 92,000. #MAGA. Clean Technica

Between the 17th and 23rd June, the Qinghai province in China used only hydropower, wind and solar to generate energy for 6 million people. Business Insider

The share of black men in poverty in the US has fallen from 41% in 1960 to 18% today, and the share in the middle class has risen from 38% to 57% in the same time. CNN

India, home to 500 million internet subscribers, has just approved the principles of net neutrality, ensuring online access is unrestricted and non-discriminatory. Times of India

Single use plastic bans work. The use of plastic bags in Holland has dropped by 71% since the government banned shops from giving them out for free in 2016. NL Times

India's second most populous state, Maharashtra, home to 116 million people, has banned all single use plastic (including packaging) as of the 23rd June. Indian Express

Colombia has officially expanded the Serranía de Chiribiquete to 4.3 million hectares, making it the largest protected tropical rainforest national park in the world. WWF


8 JUNE 2018 - 21 JUNE 2018

Scotland's carbon emissions have halved since 1990, and its leaders have announced a new target to reduce levels by 90% by the middle of the century. BBC

Ikea has announced it will phase out all single-use plastic products, including straws, plates, cups, freezer bags, garbage bags, from its shops and restaurants by 2020. CNN

India has registered a 22% decline in maternal deaths since 2013. That means on average, 30 more new mothers are now being saved every day compared to five years ago. The Wire

The World Health Organization has just certified Paraguay as having eliminated malaria, the first country in the Americas to be granted this status since Cuba in 1973.

In 2017, crime and murder rates declined in the United States' 30 largest cities. The overall crime rate fell by 2.1%, violent crime rate by 1%, and the murder rate by 3.4%. Vox

Crime falls when you take in millions of refugees too. The number of reported crimes  in Germany fell by 10% in 2017, dropping to the lowest level in 30 years. Washington Post

Following the collapse of ISIS, civilian deaths in Iraq have decreased dramatically. 80% fewer Iraqis were killed in the first five months of 2018 compared to last year. Anti-War

Still worried about the kids? Youth crime in New South Wales has plummeted in the last 20 years. Vehicle theft is down by 59%, property theft by 59%, and drink-driving by 49%. ANU

Mexico's population of wild jaguars, the largest feline in the Americas, has grown by 20% in the past eight years, and 14 Latin American countries have just signed an agreement at the UN to implement a regional conservation program for the big cats through 2030. Phys.org


25 MAY 2018 - 7 JUNE 2018

India's environment minister has announced the country will eliminate all single-use plastic by 2022, the largest, most ambitious anti-plastic pledge of all time. Economic Times

Hawaii has passed a law to become fully carbon neutral by 2045, the most ambitious emissions reduction and renewable energy plan of any state in the United States. FastCo

Norway has become the first country where electric vehicle adoption has started to affect the oil industry, with consumption of gasoline and diesel falling in 2017. Elektrek

Ireland has overwhelmingly voted to liberalise abortion. More than two-thirds of voters said yes to overturning a 35 year old law that restricted women's rights. Irish Times

France has seen a sharp fall in daily smokers, with one million fewer lighting up between 2016 and 2017. There has also been a decline in low income and teenage smokers. BBC

After five successful, annual rounds of large-scale, school-based deworming across Kenya, worm-related diseases have fallen from 33.4% in 2012 to 3% in 2017. KEMRI

High school dropout rates among Hispanic students in the United States is at record lows, extending a decades-long decline. College enrollment is also at a record high. Pew

Beijing continues its successful fight on pollution. Levels of particulate have dropped by 20.5% compared to the average level in 2016, and by 35% since 2013. Xinhua

In the forests of central Africa, the population of mountain gorillas, one of the world’s most endangered species, has increased by 25% since 2010, to over 1,000 individuals. Reuters


11 MAY 2018 - 24 MAY 2018

Repsol has become the first major fossil fuels producer to say it will no longer be seeking new growth for oil and gas, and will reduce its reserves to only eight years. Bloomberg

India's coal industry is in big trouble. Thanks to plummeting clean energy prices, 20% of coal plants are stressed assets, and a fourth of those are now unviable. Quartz

Mexico has almost finished building the largest solar farm in Latin America, a "sea of panels turning the desert green." Once switched on, it will power a million homes. SBS

Annual deaths from tuberculosis (TB) the most deadly vaccine-preventable disease, have been reduced from 1.8 million in 1990 to 1.21 million in 2016. OurWorldinData

Following a successful five year pilot in its capital, Estonia is set to become the first country in the world to make public transport free everywhere, for everyone. Popupcity

Canada has signed another conservation deal with its First Nations people, creating the largest protected boreal forest (an area twice the size of Belgium) on the planet. BBC

Evidence of an environmental Kuznet's curve? Between 1990 and 2015, forest cover increased by 1.31% per year in rich countries and by 0.5% in middle income nations. BBC

Following a decade long drive by scientists and volunteers, South Georgia's birds are safe from rats for the first time in two centuries, the largest eradication effort of all time. NPR


13 APRIL 2018 - 10 MAY 2018

Allianz, the world’s biggest insurance company by assets, will immediately cease insuring coal-fired power plants and coal mines and ban new coal from its investment portfolio.

In the first two months of 2018, 98% of new power generation capacity added to the grid in the United States came from wind and solar projects. #MAGA. ThinkProgress

China is now adding an electric bus fleet the size of London's every five weeks. If they continue at this rate, by 2025 half the world's buses will be battery powered. Bloomberg

The global shipping industry, which has always been excluded from climate change negotiations, has for the first time agreed to cut its emissions of greenhouse gases. BBC

Seventy years after independence, India has finally managed to bring electricity to every village in the country (three years ago, 18,452 villages had no electricity). Moneycontrol

In 1990, 70% of Africa's urbanites and half of Asia and Latin America's, lived in slums. By 2014, those figures had fallen to 56%, 35% and 25%, respectively. HumanProgress

Still worried about the kids? In the last generation, arrests of Californian teenagers have fallen by 80%, murder arrests by 85%, gun killings by 75%, imprisonments by 88%, teen births by 75%, school dropouts by half, and college enrollments are up by 45%. Sacbee

The proportion of people being sent to prison in the United States has fallen to its lowest level in 20 years, according to new data from the Department of Justice. Pew Research

Trinidad and Tobago is set to decriminalize homosexuality after its high court ruled that the Caribbean nation’s colonial-era law banning gay sex is unconstitutional. NBC

Pakistan's parliament has passed a landmark law guaranteeing basic rights for trans-gender citizens and outlawing all forms of discrimination by employers. Al Jazeera

Good news for cyclists... since 1999, total traffic in the City of London has fallen by 40% and bicycles are now the dominant vehicle during the rush hour. Guardian

Eight months after enacting the world's toughest plastic bag ban, Kenya's waterways are clearer, the food chain is less contaminated – and there are fewer 'flying toilets.' Guardian

France has passed a new law mandating that by 2020, all plastic cups, cutlery and plates should be compostable, and made of biologically-sourced materials. Independent

Chile has become the latest country to pass a plastic bag ban. A new resolution has been passed which will ban all bags in commerce within the next 12 months. Latercera

In an effort to protect the continent's bees, the world’s most widely used insecticides will be banned from all fields in the European Union within the next six months. ABC

Following decades of efforts from conservationists and scientists, the lesser long-nosed bat has been removed from the endangered list — the first US bat species to do so. NatGeo

Colombia has announced it will protect 80,000 km2 of new land for conservation and will also give indigenous communities autonomy to govern their own territories. Yale360


30 MARCH 2018 - 12 APRIL 2018

Portugal generated enough renewable energy to power the entire country in March, and the government has also just suspended all fossil fuel subsidies. C'mon Australia. Quartz

More bad news for fossil fuels. New Zealand just banned new oil and gas exploration, and only half of the United States' coal plants earned enough to cover their costs last year.

Around the world, the number of people dying due to insufficient calorie or protein intake has fallen from almost half a million in the 1990s to roughly 300,000 today. OurWorldinData

The global media went into a frenzy over Cape Town's water shortages and Day Zero. Strangely, nobody is reporting how the Mother City successfully averted the crisis. apolitical

A cryptocurrency startup just funded all 35,647 open projects on public school crowd-funding platform DonorsChoose.org, reaching more than 16,500 schools in the US. Fast

A new report says that, thanks to shifting tastes amongst millenials, 70% of the world's population is reducing meat consumption or leaving meat off the table altogether. Forbes

Four years after imposing a 5p levy, the United Kingdom has used 9 billion fewer plastic bags, and the number being found on the seabed has plummeted. Independent

Colombia has been ordered by its courts to protect the Amazon, in Indonesia they're cleaning up the world's dirtiest river, and in Mumbai, turtles are returning to the beaches.


9 MARCH 2018 - 29 MARCH 2018

Big milestone for us here down under. This summer, for the first time ever, renewable energy generated more electricity than brown coal (nice work Australia). AFR

The world's solar market grew by almost 30% in 2017. That brings the planet's total solar power to 405 GW, nine tenths of which was installed in the last 7 years. Yale 360

The number of new coal plants under development around the world fell by an additional 28% in 2017, bringing the total decline to 59% in the last two years. EndCoal

The United Kingdom just struck a major blow for equality, making it compulsory for all companies with more than 250 employees to publicly disclose gender pay gaps by April 2018. apolitical

NPR says South Sudan has stopped transmission of Guinea Worm. Zero cases were reported in 2017 and the country hasn't had a case in 15 months (nice work Jimmy Carter).

Meet Vania Masías, a former ballerina whose non-profit dance school has taught hip hop classes to more than 100,000 underprivileged kids in Peru since 2005. Guardian

Have you heard of the Akshaya Patra Foundation? They run the largest charitable meal scheme in the world. Every day, they feed lunch to 1.6 million students at 13,839 schools across India. LiveMint

Four years ago, China declared a war on pollution. It's working. Cities have, on average, cut concentrations of fine particulates in the air by 32%. New York Times

Adidas, the German sportswear giant, sold 1 million shoes made out of ocean plastic last year. Each pair of those shoes re-uses the equivalent of 11 plastic bottles. USA Today

Chile has passed a new law protecting the waters along its coastline, creating nine marine reserves and increasing the area of ocean under state protection from 4.3% to 42.4% BBC

Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay have signed a declaration to protect the Pantanal, the world's largest tropical wetland and one of the most biologically rich ecosystems on Earth. WWF


23 FEBRUARY 2018 - 8 MARCH 2018

There are now more than 100 cities around the world that get at least 70% of their electricity from renewable sources such as hydro, geothermal, solar and wind. CDP

Canada has just announced $3.1 billion in new funding for science, “the single largest investment in basic research in Canadian history." Nature

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, which sends free books to children from birth until their start of school, has just delivered its 100 millionth book. Mashable

Since 2010, South Africa, the country with the world’s largest concentration of people with HIV/AIDS, has halved the infection rate and decreased deaths by 29 percent. Borgen

Taiwan has announced a ban on single-use plastic items. Straws, cups and bags will be eliminated by 2030 and restaurants will face restrictions from 2019. Channel News Asia

Rome, one of Europe’s most traffic-clogged cities, has announced plans to ban all diesel cars from its center by 2024. That follows similar, recent announcements from Milan and Turin

The Seychelles has created a new 130,000 square kilometre marine reserve in the Indian Ocean, protecting their waters from illegal fishing for generations to come. National Geographic


9 FEBRUARY 2018 - 22 FEBRUARY 2018

Under the current US administration, more 'beautiful' coal plants have been closed in the first two months of 2018, than during Obama's entire first term. MAGA. Greentech Media

After a decade long effort, Herat, Afghanistan’s deadliest province for landmines, has been declared free of explosive devices. Nearly 80% of the country is now mine free. Reuters

Thanks to growing awareness from #metoo, the biggest anti-sexual violence organization in the US has reported the highest ever number of calls to its crisis hotlines. Vice

Rwanda has become the first low income country to provide universal eye care to all 12 million of its citizens, with 3,000 nurses trained in over 500 health clinics. Telesur

In the last ten years Tanzania (a country where nine in ten people live in a malaria zone) has reduced the malaria death rate by 50% in adults and 53% in children. Borgen

Germany is about to start a radical plan to reduce road traffic by making public transport free in five cities, in an effort to meet EU air pollution targets and avoid big fines. Guardian

Thanks to tightening restrictions, the United Kingdom has reported a 12% drop in vehicle emissions since 2012, as well as significant overall drop in air pollutants. BBC


26 JANUARY 2018 - 8 FEBRUARY 2018

94% of net new electricity capacity in the United States came from renewables last year, and the country lowered its total emissions by 1%. Electrek

In 2017, for the first time, the EU generated more clean energy than coal (five years ago coal generated twice as much as renewables). Carbon Brief

China brought 12.89 million people out of poverty in 2017, dropping the rate to 3.1%. About 70 million rural people have climbed out of poverty since 2012. Channel News Asia

Despite rising air pollution, respiratory disease death rates in China have fallen by 70% since 1990. The reason? Rising incomes, cleaner cooking fuels, better healthcare. Twitter

India has announced plans to create the world's largest government-funded healthcare programme, covering more than 100 million of the country's poor. BBC

A massive new study on three quarters of all the cancer cases around the world from 2000 to 2014 has shown that survival rates are increasing in most countries. Jamaica Observer

A new report says democracy is more widespread than ever. Six in ten of the world's countries are now democratic - a post war record. Pew Research


13 JANUARY 2018 - 25 JANUARY 2018

Chile has managed to quadruple its clean energy sources since 2013, resulting in a 75% drop in the average cost of electricity. C'mon Australia. IPS News

Russians are drinking and smoking less than at any point since the fall of the Soviet Union, with tobacco use down by a fifth since 2009, and alcohol by 20% since 2012. Straits Times

Following the legalisation of medical marijuana in US states that border Mexico, robberies have declined by 19%, murders by 10%, and drug-related homicides by 41%. Forbes

After a 30 year long fight, the Norwegian Animal Rights Organization (NOAH) has just announced that Norway will implement a total ban on fur farming. Live Kindly

The number of suicides in Japan dropped by 3.5% in 2017, marking the eighth straight year that the overall rate has come down. NHK World

The United Kingdom is creating a forest of 50 million trees between Liverpool and Hull, and China will plant 6.66 million hectares of new forests this year, an area the size of Ireland.

Plastic bans go into effect this month in Montreal, Vanuatu & the United Kingdom, Iceland has become the first major supermarket to say it will eliminate plastic within five years, and the European Union says it will make all packaging reusable or recyclable by 2030.


1 JANUARY 2018 - 12 JANUARY 2018

The United Kingdom smashed almost every record there is for renewable energy in 2017. Wind power alone now generates twice as much electricity as coal. The Conversation

The annual murder rate in the United States declined by more than 5% in 2017, and in New York, crime rates dropped to their lowest level since the 1950s. CS Monitor

In a year when more people flew to more places than ever, 2017 was the safest ever for airlines. There were no passenger jet crashes anywhere in the world. Independent

Ammunition for your next dinner party. In 2017, natural disasters caused fewer deaths than almost any year in human history. Headline news everywhere, obviously.  Buzzfeed

As of the 1st January, the US military has been allowing transgender people to openly sign up to serve in the armed forces, providing they meet certain medical criteria. EuroNews

The Brazilian government says it will no longer build dams in the Amazon, and Belize has permanently suspended oil operations on the largest reef in the Western hemisphere.

After more than ten years of debate, 140 nations have just agreed to begin negotiations on a historic "Paris Agreement for the Ocean," the first-ever international treaty to stop overfishing and protect life in the high seas. National Geographic


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