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What Went Right Last Week

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

Jumping for joy on hearing good news

Splendid Necklace: A man's doctor suggested he take a bit more exercise, so he buys a metal detector to make his walks more interesting and strikes gold - dating from the sixth century and described as the gold "find of the century" in Norway. Beginner's luck...

Good News for Koalas: Down Under, a new logging ban will protect 8,400 hectares (21,000 acres) of forest where koalas in the wild are known to congregate in their largest numbers. It's an “historic step forward,” said the Nature Conservation Council, describing the area as “the most important koala habitat in the world.”

Milestone Moment: The Laura Maersk, the world’s first green container ship, was launched in Denmark and is expected to change the future of marine transportation by running solely on green methanol. According to the Methanol Institute, green methanol can lower CO2 emissions by 60 to 95 percent when compared to conventional fuels like gasoline or diesel.

Urban Mining: The UK's Royal Mint is to start turning 90 tonnes of e-waste into gold every week. It's a clean, energy-efficient system which they claim extracts 99 percent of gold from the printed circuit boards found inside discarded laptops and old mobile phones. It's an encouraging development in the burgeoning field of 'urban mining.'

Elephant Survey: Afrik21 reports that the first-ever comprehensive survey of elephants in southern Africa’s biggest conservation area (which includes Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe) has recorded a stable population of 227,900, up by 5 percent since 2016.

Record Breaker: The world’s largest wind turbine just broke the record for most energy produced in a single day. A single turbine off the coast of China produced enough energy to power roughly 170,000 homes.

Health Services Achievement: The number of people covered by essential health services has increased substantially since 2000. At the turn of the century, 68 countries had low levels of coverage; by 2021, that was down to 14. The number of countries with very high coverage levels improved from 1 to 42 during the same period, reports the World Health Organisation.

Conservation Success: Wild Atlantic salmon in New England have had their most productive year in over a decade with more than 1,500 salmon counted in the Penobscot River in Maine, which is home to America’s largest run.

WFH Carbon Validation: In an extensive validation for all lovers of Working From Home, a new study says that the carbon footprint of remote workers is significantly less than that of onsite workers. Remote work employees have 54 percent less carbon footprint, whilst those who work from home two to four days per week reduce their carbon footprint by 11 percent to 29 percent.

EU Amazon Investment: The European Union has thrown its weight behind a plan to protect the Amazon rainforest, pledging to coordinate financial contributions from EU members and, crucially, ensure the money is spent as intended.

Heat Pumps: A new study from Oxford University has found that even in cold weather, heat pumps are twice as efficient as heating from fossil fuel sources.

Exponential Growth: As battery prices continue to fall, electric vehicles are expected to hit price parity with fossil-fuel models in Europe in 2024 and the U.S. market in 2026, and account for two thirds of global car sales by 2030, according to new research.

Nigerian Girls: In 2012, Nigeria partnered with UNICEF and aid agencies from the UK to improve access to learning for girls in six states in northern Nigeria. After ten years of implementation, UNICEF reports that girls’ enrolment has skyrocketed from 1.76 million to 2.87 million, a 64 percent increase; gender parity increased from 0.73 to 0.97; and the proportion of girls completing primary school increased from 57 percent to 87 percent.

NYU to Divest: New York University is to divest from fossil fuels, following years of pressure from student activists. The move from one of the US’s largest private universities, whose endowment totals over $5bn, represents a significant win for the climate movement, organizers said.

Landmark Bill: California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a landmark climate disclosure bill that will require public and private companies that make more than $1 billion annually and operate in California to publicly disclose their greenhouse gas emissions.

War on Pollution: CNN reports that China's aggressive 'war against pollution' over the past decade has led to a 42 percent drop in pollution levels since 2013. This remarkable progress has added 26 months to the average Chinese citizen's lifespan.

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