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Global Good News Round Up

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


Woman celebrating hearing some good news

US Conservation: American voters have supported five significant conservation measures in four states in the November elections. The victory represents “a collective effort to safeguard natural areas, protect wildlife habitat, mitigate wildfire risks, enhance park access, and invest in climate resilience,” says the Trust for Public Land. This includes Texas, where three quarters of voters supported a $1 billion fund for state parks, the largest investment in nature in the state’s history.


Tantalising Technology: A clever team has figured out how to use 19th Century clean energy tech to power islands - by using the natural temperature difference between shallow and deep waters to generate non-stop renewable power.


Final Chapter of TB: Last year, 7.5 million people were vaccinated against tuberculosis - the highest figure ever recorded, reports WHO. Global efforts to combat TB have now saved over 75 million lives since 2000. "Today, we have knowledge and tools... We have political commitment, and we have an opportunity that no generation in the history of humanity has had: the opportunity to write the final chapter in the story of TB," said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.


Biodegradable Satellite: Scientists are preparing to launch the world’s first wooden satellite next summer as an environmentally friendly alternative to the aluminum ones currently circling the Earth.


Caribbean Sanctuary: A roughly 300 square mile patch of ocean in the territorial waters of Dominica is the only place known on Earth where sperm whales (the largest toothed whale) can be seen regularly throughout the year. They also breed here. The PM of the Caribbean island nation has now established the world’s first sperm whale reserve here.


Clever Improvement: Electrified trailer radically cuts fuel use of semi-trucks - without requiring

the trucks themselves to be modified.


Shakti: Karnataka is the most recent Indian state to make bus travel free to women, a program called Shakti, a Hindi word for strength. Delhi was the first, in 2019, giving out free, pink paper tickets to women. More than 1 billion have been used so far, reports Bloomberg. “These policies suddenly open up new opportunities for women,” said Satya Arikutharam, an independent mobility expert.


Grassroot Support: More than half of Americans reside in states where marijuana will be legal after Ohio voters approved a measure to allow recreational marijuana use. Ohio became the 24th state to allow adult cannabis use for non-medical purposes. Medicinal use is legal in 38 states. Seven in 10 Americans think marijuana use should be legal, according to a new Gallup poll.


Miracle Dog: A Jack Russell terrier defied the odds by surviving 72 days alone in the Colorado mountains.


Les Vélos: In Paris, the number of people using bike paths has doubled in the last year, and during rush hour, bicycles now outnumber cars on some of the capital's main roads, reports Le Monde.


Curbing Methane Emissions: The EU has struck a deal - the first of its kind - that will force the fossil fuel industry to rein in dangerous methane pollution. It applies within the EU and will also extend to apply to imported fuels by 2030.


Progress For Women: Seven sub-Saharan African countries have now implemented legal changes that have had a profound impact on women's economic participation, reports World Bank. Côte d’Ivoire and Gabon have led the way, with the elimination of all restrictions on women's employment, legislation on gender-based discrimination in financial services and domestic violence, and mandates for equal remuneration.


World's Largest: The United Arab Emirates has opened the world’s largest single-site solar farm. The massive Al Dhafra solar farm in Abu Dhabi and will power nearly 200,000 homes - eliminating over 2.4 million tons of CO2 emissions annually.


R-R Cranks It Up: Rolls-Royce has taken a major green step, announcing that not only has its giant UltraFan demo jet engine been run at full power on 100 percent Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), but tests have proven all its current civilian engines are compatible with 100 percent SAF. The company estimates its engines running on SAF will "contribute around 80 percent of the total solution" for the industry's race to net zero by 2050.


Transatlantic Success: Gulfstream Aerospace has flown into history as one of its G600 aircraft completed the world's first transatlantic flight burning 100 percent Sustainable Aviation Fuel.


End of The Line: Last week, the final internal combustion engine built in Munich by BMW officially left the assembly line. Good news for workers, too. There were previously 1,200 employees who worked in engine development in Munich and all of them have been relocated to different positions within BMW.


Criminalising Ecocide: The European Union has become the first international body to criminalise wide-scale environmental damage “comparable to ecocide”. Lawmakers have agreed an update to the bloc’s environmental crime directive punishing the most serious cases of ecosystem destruction with much tougher penalties.


That's it for this week's global good news round up.

 
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