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What Went Right Last Week

Synopsis of last week's most important good news highlights.

Woman celebrating good news by jumping for joy

'Pretty Exciting': Since August 2022, $278 billion in clean energy project investments and 170,600 clean energy jobs have been created in the United States. 'We’ve been talking about bringing manufacturing jobs back to America for my entire life. We’re finally doing it, right? That’s pretty exciting,' Jesse Jenkins, a professor at Princeton, told the Washington Post.

Good News for Star Gazers: August is a brilliant month for enjoying the night sky. Here's what to look out for...

EU Fast Chargers Law: The EU has passed a new law to add more fast-charging stations and alternative fuel stations throughout the bloc. As part of the new regulations, the EU will require fast-charging stations, for both cars and heavy-duty vehicles, to be installed every 60 km (about 40 miles) along highways by the end of 2025.

Maputo Protocol: Latest news about the Maputo Protocol, humanity's most progressive legally-binding instrument on women’s and human rights: 44 African countries have signed and ratified it, 43 of them now have laws putting the minimum age of marriage at 18, and 22 out of 29 African countries practising female genital mutilation now have national laws banning the practice, reports the World Economic Forum.

Shipping Forecast: A new type of container ship has just set sail from South Korea to Denmark. It’s the first ever to run on green methanol - made from methane captured from food waste at landfills - and thereby able to cut emissions by two thirds compared to conventional fuels.

Critical Corridors: In Borneo, wildlife corridors are helping to save the critically endangered Bornean orangutan and pygmy elephants. Palm oil plantations have fragmented local rainforest, but conservationists are working to connect protected areas. 'The major threat for these species in this landscape is not deforestation or poaching, but fragmentation.'

New Heights: Norwegian climber Kristin Harila and Nepali climber Tenjen Sherpa, known as Lama, smashed the record for the fastest summit of all 14 of the world’s 8,000-metre (26,000-feet) mountains this week. The pair completed the feat in three months and one day after climbing Pakistan’s K2, the last peak on their quest and one considered to be more technically challenging than Mount Everest.

Aquaculture: Part of The Burgeoning Blue Economy. The World Bank describes the blue economy as the “sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs,” while preserving the health of our ocean ecosystems. Currently, the global aquaculture market is valued at around $290 billion, but is projected to reach $421 billion by 2030.

Winning Argument? An interesting new calculation from Sustainability by Numbers: 'The internal combustion engine is shockingly inefficient. For every dollar of petrol you put in, you get just 20 cents worth of driving motion. The other 80 cents is wasted along the way, most of it as heat from the engine. Electric cars are much better at converting energy into motion. For every dollar of electricity you put in, you get 89 cents out.'

US Progress: In the first half of this year, wind and solar generated more power than coal in the United States. Five years ago, coal’s share was quadruple that of wind and solar combined.

US Gender Pay Gap: The pay gap between what US women with a full-time job earn compared with their male peers is now the smallest on record. Federal data shows women now make 84 cents for every $1 men earn for similar work. It's predicted that the gap will continue to narrow as it is even smaller for women aged 16 to 24.

Euclid Opens Its Eyes: Europe's new space telescope, Euclid, has returned its first images. Once properly set up, Euclid will start building a 3D map of the cosmos in an effort to tie down the nature of so-called dark matter and dark energy. Together, these phenomena appear to control the shape and expansion of everything we see out there.

China Progress: In the last six months nearly every mainstream media outlet has pointed out that China is still building a lot of coal, implying the country is hedging its bets on renewables. It's not. In the first half of 2023, around $5 billion has been invested in coal and fossil gas and a similar amount in both hydro and nuclear; $10 billion has been invested in wind, $18 billion in solar, and an astonishing $28 billion in transmission.

Solar Telescope: The UK and Europe are joining forces to build the largest ever solar telescope in Europe. The telescope will be designed to provide unparalleled insight into the phenomena of space weather.

Aussie Coal Demise: Australia’s big banks have turned their backs on the country’s largest coal miner, refusing to refinance a billion-dollar debt in a major rebuff that will force Whitehaven Coal to source loans offshore, potentially speeding up the demise of the sector, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. Couldn't have happened to nicer people.

Inertia to Progress: A new analysis from Global Energy Monitor, a San Francisco-based think tank, found that 43 percent of planned steelmaking capacity globally is now slated to use electric-arc furnaces, which use electricity to generate heat, up from 33 percent last year. 'Steel has moved from inertia to progress.'

Restore your news-life balance: OGN's easily digestible format gives you the clarity and space to step away from the noise of the pessimistic mainstream news, and discover all the good stuff that's happening around the world. Why not spread the good news by telling friends and family about OGN Daily?

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