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Global Good News Round Up

Synopsis of last week's most important positive news from around the world.

Women celebrating good news with some Champagne
Celebrating the good news!

New Discovery: German cave re-writes history of humans in Europe, placing Homo sapiens in central Europe far earlier than previously thought, and lived side by side with Neanderthals.

Huge Conservation Win: Canada is close to finalising a historic Indigenous-led conservation agreement that will secure funding for protections 'unprecedented in scope and scale' across the Northwest Territories - protecting at least 30 million hectares (116,000 square miles) of freshwater habitats and wildlife, says The Pew Charitable Trust.

Historical Specimens: Researchers around the world will soon have access to millions of historical specimens found in UK museums. The information will be available at the click of a button, illuminating the secrets of the world’s rich history and should help to solve some of the most urgent issues of today. These samples are expected to be key to scientific breakthroughs like preventing future pandemics and protecting the planet.

Ethical Shopping: New report shows that British shoppers are voting with their wallets for the planet and ethical work practices more than ever before. "British shoppers do not trade down on their values when times are tough,” said Fairtrade Foundation CEO Michael Gidney.

Landmark Rulings

The European Court of Human Rights says that member countries are obligated to protect citizens from climate crisis impacts. The court said the Swiss government had violated the human right to a private and family life, by failing to put in place sufficient domestic policies to tackle climate change. It's the first time that an international court has ruled on climate change, and could have a ripple effect across Europe and beyond.

The Supreme Court of India has ruled that an individual’s “right to life” includes protection against the impacts of climate change, stating that “Without a clean environment which is stable and unimpacted by the vagaries of climate change, the right to life is not fully realised.”


Hardest Geezer: Russ Cook - aka the "Hardest Geezer" - is the Brit who last week completed a run of 10,100 miles (the equivalent of 385 marathons) across the entire length of Africa, over 352 days and 16 countries. And has raised almost £1 million for charity.

Progress on Parkinson’s: Affecting 10 million people globally, Parkinson’s is a disease for which there is no known cure. New research, however, has found that lixisenatide - a drug used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes - could help slow its devastating impact. “The new clinical trial results… represent a really promising and very exciting step forward in our research fight to get new drugs to the clinic for Parkinson’s.”

Auto Industry Disrupter: Most people will tell you that EVs are still too expensive, but what if there were no upfront costs at all? Enter Helixx Technologies. It has started taking registrations in Southeast Asia for its electric car and van subscription service. Set at the wildly attractive price of $6 per day with no up front fees and nothing else to pay (including insurance and maintenance) ... just add your own electricity.

By The Numbers

12: The number of US states that now produce enough renewable energy to cover half of their electricity needs. The biggest producers? South Dakota, followed by Montana and Iowa.

2024: The year Slovakia will become coal-free, six years ahead of target. Joining Belgium, Portugal, Austria and Sweden as Europe's coal-free nations.

40: The percent of Australia’s total electricity supply from renewables.

60: Europe's renewable generation of electricity in January and February satisfied a whopping 60 percent of overall power demand. It's a year-over-year gain of 12 percent from the same period in 2023.

x 2: The rate of carbon emissions cuts in the US has doubled since the passage of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), now running at four percent annually - twice the pace of the year before passage of the law.


World Population: Most people assume that population growth will continue at ever-increasing rates and that it will necessarily have detrimental impacts to people and the planet. However, the global total fertility rates have fallen from around five children for each woman in 1950 to 2.2 children in 2021. A new study published in The Lancet now estimates that the world could fall below the replacement level of 2.1 as soon as 2030.

UK Gender Pay Gap: The gender pay gap is the smallest ever recorded in Great Britain since data reporting became mandatory. Women, on average, are paid 91 pence for every one pound paid to men.

Remarkable Achievement: In 2001, reports CRPE, 40 percent of Grade 3 students in the Brazilian city of Sobral could not read a single word. To improve literacy, authorities initiated a series of reforms, and within 12 years, Sobral went from being ranked 1,366th to first among Brazil’s municipalities for education quality, for both primary and lower secondary education. With 85 elementary schools and almost 34,000 students, Sobral now dominates national assessments - outscoring even affluent students in Saõ Paulo, Brazil’s financial centre.

Better Buildings: Buildings should be front and centre in efforts to tackle climate change. Buildings account for 40 percent of global energy demand and a third of all greenhouse gas emissions, so it's good news that efforts to renovate buildings to make them more energy-efficient are slowly underway. In a new study published in Nature Communications, researchers from Switzerland took a deeper look at two common renovation strategies: changing the fossil fuel-based heating system and better building insulation. Their finding: switching to heat pumps or wood pellets, and the use of bio-​based insulation materials such as straw or hemp could slash greenhouse gas emissions of buildings in Switzerland by up to 87 percent.

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