Synopsis of last week's most important good news from around the world.
Surprisingly Optimistic: Issuing his annual predictions for the year to come, Bill Gates said 2024 will be a “turning point.” OGN's synopsis.
Old Growth Forests: The Biden administration has announced a proposal to conserve and restore old-growth trees in US national forests. The amount of carbon dioxide U.S. forests absorb is equal to more than 10 percent of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions. The new proposal, if adopted, would add to the over 26 million acres of waters and lands that have already been protected by the administration.
New Antibiotic: A new class of antibiotics for drug-resistant MRSA bacteria has been discovered using artificial intelligence. The use of AI is proving to be a game-changer when it comes to medicine with the technology now helping scientists to unlock the first new antibiotics in 60 years, reports EuroNews. The discovery of a new compound that can kill a drug-resistant bacterium that kills thousands worldwide every year could prove to be a turning point in the fight against antibiotic resistance.
Quitting Fossil Fuels: Denmark’s largest bank announced it would end all fossil fuel financing. The bank determined that 99.9 percent of its own carbon footprint came from financing fossil fuel projects - so it’s not doing it anymore.
Streaming Record: Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas Is You breaks Spotify record for most streams in a day, bringing in nearly 24 million streams on Christmas Eve.
2 Doing Better Than 4: There are currently 280 million e-bikes and scooters in use around the world - 10 times as many as the total number of four-wheeled electric vehicles. As a result, e-bikes and scooters are displacing four times as much demand for oil as electric cars at present.
India's Capital: New Delhi, famous for its polluted atmosphere, is making good progress. Just over one-third of the total electricity consumed by residents now comes from renewable energy sources. It's projected that in the next four years, says The Times of India, that the share of renewable energy in the power pie is likely to cross 50 percent.
ACC Now Funded: The White House has secured funding for the American Climate Corps, a federal program aimed at employing thousands of young Americans in clean energy, conservation, and climate resilience. The program, set to launch its first cohort next summer, draws inspiration from President Franklin Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps. According to the White House, nearly 50,000 people from every state and territory, including Puerto Rico, have signed up to learn more about joining the ACC since it was first announced.
Landfill to Ecosystem: Over 100 million tons of garbage were dumped into the largest landfill in Latin America, polluting the bay nearby as well as surrounding rivers. Rio de Janeiro officially shut the landfill down in 2012. Then, it began efforts to recover and restore the area to a thriving mangrove ecosystem. And it’s working: Just a decade later, the mangrove is thriving with crabs, snails, fish, birds, and more. Beyond restoring this local ecosystem, mangroves are incredible in the fight against climate change because of their immense capacity to capture and store large amounts of carbon dioxide. Experts say they can store more carbon than a tropical rainforest.
PNG Marine Protection: Papua New Guinea has created two massive new Marine Protected Areas. Together they cover more than 6,200 square miles, tripling the country’s marine area under protection, and are the country’s first to be co-managed by Indigenous communities, reports Mongabay. The process of establishing the MPAs involved consultation with more than 9,000 people in more than 100 Indigenous communities.
That's it, you're up to date. The team at OGN wish you a very happy and healthy 2024.