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Recap 2023: Positive Environmental News Inspiring Hope for a Better world

As green journalists, we often encounter terms such as eco-anxiety, climate doom, and environmental existential dread

By Akshita Kumari
New Update
Recap 2023: Positive Environmental Stories of 2023

As 2023 comes to a close, it’s easy to remember the year for its climate disasters. However, amidst the challenges, there were also stories of resilience, innovation, and progress. Ground Report has been there every step of the way, bringing you positive environmental news each month. Starting in 2023, we have been keeping track of all the good environmental stories each month.

The media has a big role in fighting climate doom. Our job is to be honest and accurate when we report news, without making things sound better than they are or pretending everything is okay. But it's also our job to show that there's hope.

In 2022, we worked to tackle the worry many people feel about the environment, both our readers and ourselves. We kept a record of all the good environmental news throughout the year and found more than 100 stories about new ideas, green successes, and victories in dealing with climate problems.

Let’s take a moment to reflect on these uplifting stories and the strides we’ve made in the face of adversity. Here’s a recap of some of the most inspiring environmental stories from 2023.

India’s Renewable Energy Park: India is building the Khavda renewable energy park, likely to be the world’s largest renewable energy project, as big as Singapore and visible from space. It will supply 30 gigawatts of renewable energy annually.

Rotterdam’s Flood Resilience: Despite being 7 metres below sea level, Rotterdam is a global leader in flood protection with innovative solutions like the Maeslantkering storm surge barrier and floating offices.

Historic COP28 Deal: COP28 strikes a historic deal signaling the “beginning of the end” for fossil fuels, marking the first UN climate summit to address the main cause of the climate crisis.

Record deaths due to forest fires: 2023 worst year of this century

Solar Power Truck: The world’s first solar power truck could be the answer to decarbonizing heavy-duty haulage in Europe.

Renewable Energy in Canary Island: El Hierro, the smallest of the Canary Islands, has run on wind and water power alone for 28 consecutive days, aiming for 100% energy self-sufficiency.

Paris’s Urban Forest: Paris begins transforming a busy roundabout into the city’s first urban forest, aiming to become one of Europe’s greenest cities.

Sweden’s Eco Innovators: As COP28 took place in Dubai, Sweden’s researchers, scientists, and innovators reminded us of their crucial role in combating climate change.

UK’s Green Finance: The UK introduced four green labels to help consumers choose sustainable funds and combat ‘greenwashing’ in the investment market.

Rediscovery of a Lost Species: A blind mole, considered lost to science for over 80 years, was rediscovered in South Africa by the Endangered Wildlife Trust and the University of Pretoria.

Birth of a Sumatran Rhino: A critically endangered Sumatran rhino was born in Indonesia, a significant event for a species with fewer than 50 animals left.

US’s First Solar Canal: Arizona is set to complete the first solar-covered canal in the US, supplying clean energy and reducing water evaporation.

Spain’s Investment in Wetlands: Spain announced a €1.4 billion investment to protect the Doñana national park from drying up and preserve one of Europe’s largest wetlands.

Britain’s Litter Picking Victory: Britain won the inaugural litter picking World Cup in Tokyo, with participants from 21 countries competing to pick up the most litter within 90 minutes.

Positive environmental stories from October 2023

England Issues Ban on Single-Use Plastic: Starting from October 1st, businesses in England are no longer allowed to supply their customers with any form of single-use plastic.

We Can Help Greenland’s Ice Sheet: Studies have shown that the world’s second-largest ice sheet might be more resilient than we originally thought.

White Rhino Population Increases: One of the more devastating effects of climate change is habitat loss. However, there’s good news for wildlife as the White Rhino population increases.

Outcome of the ambitious plan to save oceans at the IUCN conference

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) just launched an ambitious new initiative to protect the world’s oceans. Razan Al Mubarak, the IUCN President, announced the project that focuses on marine conservation, ocean renewable energy, shipping, aquatic food, and coastal tourism during the IUCN Leaders Forum.

Positive environmental stories from September 2023

  1. Mini Forests Help Combat Climate Change: In São Paulo, Brazil, communities are coming together with youth leaders to combat the Urban Heat Island Effect by planting mini forests. The NGO formigus-de-embaúba has organized the program to plant mini forests across the city.
  2. A Formerly Extinct Tree Has Been Rediscovered In Brazil: After nearly 200 years, a small holly tree has been rediscovered in Brazil after being presumed extinct. The conservation group Re:wild found the surviving tree.
  3. Research Finds Climate Change Strikes Are Working: Many researchers have found climate change protests to be important in raising awareness and educating the public about the dangers of climate change

Positive environmental stories from August 2023

Improving Green Space Access in Europe: A Key to Well-being

Green spaces, beyond cooling cities, boost happiness, mental health, and social interaction while lowering heart risks. A new Eurobarometer survey shows that over 80% of Europeans find green spaces easily accessible. Discover which European nations excel in green space access and their lessons for others.

See pufflings aid their species' Atlantic comeback

A unique seabird on remote islands in the North Atlantic held its own against climate change this year. According to scientists monitoring them, Atlantic puffins off the coast of Maine in the US experienced their second consecutive rebound year for fledging chicks, after suffering a catastrophic 2021.

COVID pandemic reduced melting rate of Himalayan glaciers: Study

Sneak Peek: 2023 Wildlife Photographer Highlights

A tiger cub evacuated from Ukraine, a healthy coral reef and a forest rodeo are just some of the images featured in this year's Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

There have been an incredible 49,957 entries from photographers of all ages across 95 different countries. They were judged by a panel of industry experts from around the world.

Positive environmental stories from July 2023

Germany's €49 'Deutschlandticket' Spurs 25% Surge in Train Passengers

A scheme to boost public transport in Germany sees a significant rise in railway passengers. According to DB Regio CEO Evelyn Palla, the regional services of national railway company Deutsche Bahn have experienced a 25 per cent increase in passengers due to the €49 a month 'Deutschlandticket'.

The 'D-Ticket', which was launched in May, allows individuals to utilize as many buses and local or regional trains throughout the country as required. It encompasses Berlin's renowned S-Bahn network.

Scotland Approves Hydro Storage Expansion for Net Zero Goals

Approval given to expand hydro storage plant in Scotland to aid net-zero targets. Plans to expand the Hollow Mountain underground power station in Argyll have received approval from the Scottish government.

Drax, a renewable power developer, intends to construct a new pumped hydro storage plant at its current Cruachan facility near Oban, with an estimated cost of £500 million.

Daffodil Extract Reduces Cows' Methane Emissions, Study Finds

Researchers at Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) have successfully isolated haemanthamine, a chemical found in daffodils. In laboratory experiments using an artificial cow's stomach, they demonstrated that this extract can potentially reduce methane emissions by an impressive 96%.

In practical on-farm applications, such as incorporating it into feed, scientists are hopeful that it could lead to a reduction of up to 30% in methane emissions from dairy cows.

Solar-Powered California High-Speed Train Aims for Sustainability

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) commits to building a high-speed rail system that minimizes impacts to both the natural and built environment, encourages compact land development around transit stations, and helps California manage its pressing issues with climate change, traffic and airport congestion, and energy dependency. The Authority adopted policies and published several documents confirming a commitment to sustainable development.

Huge Mineral Discovery in Norway Could Impact Green Tech Supply

The mining company that controls it states that the huge phosphate rock deposit discovered in Norway contains enough minerals to meet the global demand for batteries and solar panels for the next 100 years.

Norge Mining announced that they have uncovered up to 70 billion tonnes of the non-renewable resource in south-western Norway, alongside deposits of other strategic minerals like titanium and vanadium.

Brazil's Amazon Deforestation Drops 34% Under New Leadership

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has seen a significant drop of 40% compared to the same period last year, according to recent government data. The decline comes as a remarkable achievement for President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who has pledged to address forest loss.

Hitachi's 'Tri-Brid' Electric Trains Promise Transport Revolution in Europe

Hitachi Rail has introduced Europe's inaugural trains powered primarily by batteries, known as "Blues." This recent announcement revealed that 20 tribrid trains are now operational on Italian rail networks.


These trains possess a unique capability to seamlessly transition between battery power, electric supply, and diesel engines. Their battery systems enable them to cover approximately ten miles using solely battery power, with the batteries autonomously recharging as the train moves along the tracks.

Positive environmental stories from June 2023

Climate Victory: Swiss voters embrace a new law enabling the country to accomplish net zero emissions by 2050

According to Euronews, the Swiss people have approved an environmentally friendly law that will enable the nation to reduce total emissions of greenhouse gases to zero by 2050.

On June 18, the Climate Protection Targets, Innovation and Strengthening Energy Security Act was approved by a majority of 59% of voters in the canton of the city of Geneva.

Meet the old cattle farmers who are now safeguarding Colombia's Amazonian fauna.

40 hectares of the restored jungle can be discovered in San José de Guaviare, Colombia. The forest appears very different appearance from a decade ago when it was a cattle pasture.

The couple raised £113,000 (€132,000) through the scheme, which they are now using to set up solar panels on dozens of households in north London.

How Nairobi's special national park benefits lions, giraffes, and People: Green Oasis

The 117 square km park is a huge reserve that is home to a variety of animal species, lions, rhinos, giraffes, and other wildlife. However, according to experts, Nairobi National Park suffers a wide range of challenges, including hunting, infrastructure improvement, conflict between humans and wildlife, and pollution.

A foliage-filled tram and free plants

For a day, the car operating the first line had been turned into a beautiful movable garden, with plants stuffed into each and every inch. It was pleasant to take a ride, but it was also associated with an initiative to make people more aware of the environment and to motivate locals to get involved with urban gardening.

The leafy decor was created within the seats, in the panels between the windows, and even on the top.

Glastonbury’s ‘biggest fan’: UK festival gets an eye-catching 28-metre wind turbine

Toyota has announced a new electric vehicle battery that could decrease charge time to less than ten minutes. Its goal is to manufacture an all-solid-state battery in order of its big battery-electric car objectives as soon as 2027.

However, Lizzo, Lana Del Rey, and Sir Elton John will be joined at Worthy Farm by a special guest: a pink and purple 28-metre wind turbine.

Octopus Energy placed the huge turbine on June 13, saying that its installation can create Glastonbury 2023 the most environmentally friendly.

Beavers: Rewilding Estate's Magicians, Engineers, or Agents of Chaos?

Bowser (39) forced hard for the farm to become the first privately owned place in Scotland to accommodate the beavers. He belongs to the fifth generation son of the Argaty family near Stirling. Since the Scottish government enabled the creatures to be moved from regions of conflict on the River Tay, 14 beavers have been unleashed on the land.

Meet the ex-poachers restoring the Indonesian coral reefs they destroyed

Two decades before, the coral reefs that existed in the waters of Indonesia's Spermonde Islands were nothing else than rubbish. The corals were attacked by hunters in order to capture fish. The same hunters are now environmental activists, teaming up to rebuild the corals they damaged.

The government takes a decision to declare this as unlawful and punishable by a maximum of 6 years in prison.

Implications of 'Virgin' Crocodile pregnancy for dinosaur researchers are tantalising

A crocodile made herself pregnant in the first recorded occurrence of a 'virgin birth' among its kind.

In a Costa Rican zoo, the 18-year-old American crocodile was separated from other crocodiles. However, in 2018, she delivered a fully formed foetus within one of her eggs.

Five years later, researchers found that the foetus was 99.9% identical in genetics to the mother, confirming the absence of a father.

EU Energy transition hits hyperdrive: Wind and solar outpace fossil fuels

According to the energy research tank Ember, wind and solar generated more energy in the EU in May than all petroleum and coal combined.

This is the first complete month in history where renewables produced more power, with wind and solar generating about a third of the bloc's electricity. Fossil fuels produced a record low of 27%.

The built environment contributes over 40% of annual worldwide CO2 emissions. Construction supplies such as cement, concrete, steel, and glassware make up 11% of these, as per the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Widowed white-tailed Eagle finds new partner in Ireland: Eagles have landed

A male white-tailed eagle who has been surviving separately for almost four years after his spouse died of the bird flu. He has found a new partner, with whom he has two new offspring. He had earlier paired with another eagle and had chicks - the country's first hatching and fledgling in 110 years.

Ireland's National Parks and Wildlife Service released the male eagle in 2008 as part of an initiative to bring back the white-tailed eagle to the Emerald Isle.

The world’s most sustainable beer - and how to make it at home

The founder and owner of Neuzelle, Stefan Fritsche, consider the brewery as the world's first sustainable one. Their new brew, made entirely from beer powder and water, has a chance to change our conventional beer-drinking patterns. This simple homemade solution is a safer alternative to standard beers.

Manufacture and transportation contribute to 70% of the ecological impact of a litre (around two pints) of beer, according to the Impact CO2 carbon footprint calculator.

Positive environmental stories from May 2023

Iceland is our Green European Country of the Month for the following reasons

According to Eurostat, Iceland produces almost 86% of its electricity through renewable energy sources, and 66% of that originates from its geothermal energy sources.

This hot water not only serves households but also some of Iceland's most well-known vacation spots such as the Blue Lagoon.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), investments in solar energy are expected to exceed the price of oil for the first time ever this year.

Sea turtles have legal protection and privileges in Panama.

In an effort to save Panama's threatened sea turtles, a new law has been established. With their right to a clean environment free from hunting activity, it is expected that surrounding nations will also follow suit.

Due to the country's dependence on tourism as a major source of income, sea turtle hunting in Panama became a serious issue during the pandemic.

10,000 trees and plants will thrive in the new vertical forest in Utrecht

Stefano Boeri, an acclaimed architect, has recently given the city of Utrecht an environmental touch. In Milan ten years ago, the 66-year-old Italian architect pushed beyond the limits of creativity.

The initial phase of 300 trees and 10,000 plants that will convert this Dutch tower block into an ecological forest starts with a currant bush and a pear tree.

Ecosystems and communities that require assistance

According to a recent study, the greatest approach to stop biodiversity loss is to offer people who live in vulnerable forests €5 each day.

A conservation basic income (CBI) is an unconditional cash payment provided to people living in protected areas or close to species that are threatened. It is similar to the idea of a universal basic income.

Similar to consuming frog legs?

According to a research from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya published earlier this year, although persuading Europeans to consume insects is hard nearly 60% of those who participated feel that they could one day replace meat as a sustainable source of protein.

They maintain a variety of advantages, including decreased emissions, less land use, and an approach to advancing the circular economy.

Plastic pollution could be reduced by 80% by 2040, UN report says

According to a new assessment by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), nations and companies could decrease the pollution caused by plastic by 80% by 2040 if they implement major modifications to their rules and the manner in which they do commerce. The research, which explains the scope and kind of changes needed to stop plastic pollution and create a system of circular economy, is published ahead of a second round of discussions on a worldwide agreement to fight plastic pollution in Paris.

Positive environmental stories from April 2023

European nations setting up new records regarding wind and solar energy include Spain, Sweden, and Belgium

According to brand-new information from the environmentally friendly energy study tank Ember, solar and wind generated more than half of Portugal's electricity for the first time last month.

The quantity of electricity generated from renewable sources increased to 51% in April, surpassing the previous monthly high of 49% established in December 2021.

Despite a drop in hydropower caused by the drought, energy generated from fossil fuels was maintained at just 24% due to strong solar deployment, electricity imports from Spain, and lower demand.

First significant decrease under Lula, deforestation in Brazil's Amazon reduces almost 68% in April

According to preliminary official data released on Friday, deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest decreased 68% in April compared to the prior year. This is a positive development for President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as it marks the first significant decrease under his leadership.

Footage of the chubby Chicago snapping turtle, known as "Chonkosaurus," goes viral

A video of a huge snapping turtle resting in a Chicago waterway went global as the man who captured the footage marvelled at the enormous reptile's girth and decided to give it the name "Chonkosaurus."

The huge snapping turtle was noticed by Joey Santore and a friend last weekend when they were boating along the Chicago River. It was perched on a large chain that was hung over what looked to be decaying logs

EU showed that it is feasible to decrease carbon emissions while maintaining growth in economy

Despite an increase in its gross domestic product (GDP), the European Union (EU) stated that its carbon emissions dropped significantly in the final annual quarter of 2022. While GDP increased by 1.5% over the same period, emissions fell by 4%.

For the trading bloc, which has attempted to balance its growing economy with its ambitious target to switch to renewable energy sources, this is a significant turning point.

In Belgium, seals are regaining popularity. Volunteers are helping in their ability to live side by side with people

On Belgian beaches, seal sightings are becoming more frequent. On the nation's coast, there were essentially none of these marine creatures left by the turn of the century

However, the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences reports that during the past 20 years, their population has gone up. Although it is difficult to quantify seals, experts believe there are currently between 100 and 200 of each of the two species—harbour seals and grey seals—in existence today.

Darwin's flycatcher makes a little revival in the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands' national park announced that Darwin's flycatcher, a little bird with amazing vermilion colour, has begun to recover from being on the verge of extinction there.

They got the label "vulnerable" from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, authorities stated that this year saw the birth of 12 new chicks on the island of Santa Cruz.

In the US, floating solar systems are growing increasingly popular with years of success in Asia

Cohoes, New York's working-class town's city planner Joe Seaman-Graves have no idea what floating solar was until he Googled the topic.

He was conscious that his tiny village had no additional land and needed a cost-effective method to acquire electricity. A single feature did manage to jump out each time I gazed at a map.

Ecuador obtains the largest 'debt for environment' deal in history to protect the Galápagos Islands

In order to free up money for preservation in the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador shifted $1.6 billion (€1.5 billion) in debt into a loan.

The agreement, that was announced on Tuesday, May 9, is the biggest ever made. It's considered to as a "debt for nature" exchange.

According to Pablo Arosemena Marriott, Minister of Economy and Finance, "Ecuador is coming together to protect its unique natural resources in the world's largest ocean-friendly debt swap."

Considering how polluting it is, this millionaire is selling his private jet

Ask Stephen Prince; it's never too late to make a difference. After understanding how polluting his private plane is, the American multimillionaire has begun selling it.

Six years ago, the Georgia businessman started flying in small jets and likened the activity to cocaine addiction.The gift-card tycoon previously owned three planes. He's currently selling the last one.

Meet the bamboo scaffolders who help decrease Hong Kong's carbon footprint

In order to become a bamboo scaffolder in Hong Kong, Mo Jia Yu must master the ability to balance high above the ground and secure a joint.

The city is one of the fewfew in the world that continues to utilise bamboo scaffolding for new construction and building repair.

In recognition of their dexterity in navigating the web-like latticework, scaffolders perched on bamboo frames many stories above are a typical sight and go by the moniker "spiders" among Hong Kong residents.

Mo is one of the many students who register each year at the city's Construction Industry Council (CIC) to study the conventional approach. "You have to have a daring heart," she explains.

To reduce e-waste, Austria has contributed to pay for more than 500,000 repairs

An initiative to fix damaged electrical equipment has been used by Austrians.

The government plan pays for half of the repairs and was created to address technological waste. It is relevant to malfunctioning appliances like coffee machines, laptops, smartphones, and dishwashers.

The Environment Ministry states that since it was implemented a year ago, 560,000 vouchers redeemable for up to €200 have been distributed.

First wild river national park in Europe announced in Albania: "Historic moment" for the environment

The Albanian government has declared the Vjosa, one of the last surviving wild rivers in Europe and home to more than 1,000 animal and plant species, as a national park, making it the first of its kind on the continent.

The Vjosa River flows 168 miles (270 km) from the Pindus mountains in Greece to the Adriatic coast through Albania's forested lowlands, tiny gorges, and plains.

To fight against garbage, this Nigerian environmentalist is imitating Spider-Man

Environmental garbage is a serious problem in Nigeria, particularly in urban areas.

But in the streets of Osogbo, Osun State, Jonathan Olanlokun's superpower is his commitment to making better his neighbourhood.

He cleans up trash to enhance the surrounding area while dressed as Spider-Man. According to him, his outfit makes him stand out and brings attention to the issue of street garbage.

Positive environmental stories from March 2023

Robot Collects 21,000 Plastic Bottles Daily in Water

Richard Hardiman, the founder of Ran Marine, was motivated to create a water-cleaning robot after witnessing two individuals struggling to collect garbage from their boat in Cape Town, South Africa. He observed their efforts being hampered by wind and deemed it to be inefficient.

To address this issue, Hardiman took inspiration from the whale shark's wide mouth, which collects whatever is in its path.

His company developed the WasteShark, an autonomous device that functions as a "Roomba for water," gathering surface-level pollution, including plastic, debris, and algae.

World First: Solar Panels Between Railway Tracks Possible

Sun-Ways, a European startup, has developed a mechanical system to deploy detachable solar panels along railway tracks, potentially covering half of all railway lines globally.

The co-founder, Baptiste Danichert, claims that the area between railway lines is wide enough to fit standard-sized solar panels without obstructing train traffic.

The solar panels, pre-assembled in Switzerland, are one meter-wide and securely attached to the rails using a piston mechanism.

US to limit toxic 'forever chemicals' in drinking water

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the USA has suggested setting the initial federal restrictions on toxic "forever chemicals" in drinking water, which are hazardous even in minute, undetectable quantities.

This move is anticipated to protect countless lives and avert severe health issues such as cancer.

Australian Scientists Discover Potential Solution for Recycling Dead Solar Panels

The researchers at Deakin University in Australia have created a thermal and chemical process to extract silicon from outdated solar panels.

Lotus Energy's CEO, Anthony Vippond, believes that solar panels should be highly recoverable since they are a renewable and sustainable energy source.

"US Achieves Record-Breaking 40% of Carbon-Free Energy in 2022

According to the Sustainable Energy in America 2023 Factbook produced by the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, carbon-free sources contributed to over 40% of the US's energy output in 2022, an all-time high.

The majority of this increase comes from wind and solar energy, with nuclear and hydropower remaining stable. Additionally, nearly 982,000 electric vehicles were sold in 2022, marking a 50% increase from the previous year.

Big cat family living 'tiger-worthy life' after 15 years in train carriage

In Argentina, four Bengal tigers were rescued from a train carriage on a farm a year ago. The circus had abandoned the two older tigers, considering them no longer useful for performances.

For 15 years, they were confined in a cramped space of only 75 square meters, and the two male cubs, Gustavo and Messi, were born there. The tigers endured extreme temperatures of over 40°C without proper protection.

However, kind locals in San Luis, Argentina, provided them with food, helping them survive. When a local authority inspected their living conditions, they recognized the urgent need for a new home.

Fortunately, the LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctuary in South Africa offered a perfect solution. With the aid of a professional team of veterinarians and caretakers, the tigers could have a permanent and more suitable home.

Norwegian city plans car-free future with Europe's longest cycle tunnel

A new bike and pedestrian route in Norway, connecting Fyllingsdalen to Bergen city center, runs parallel to a light rail tunnel and is set to open soon.

This purpose-built tunnel is not just any tunnel, as it happens to be the longest vehicle-free tunnel in the world. It spans 2.9 kilometers and takes approximately 10 minutes to cycle through, according to Euronews.

Europe experiences its joint second-warmest winter

Europe has just experienced its second-warmest winter on record, amidst the worsening effects of the climate crisis.

According to the data released by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), the average temperature in Europe during the Boreal winter season from December to February was 1.4°C higher than the average from 1991 to 2020.

The C3S report states that eastern Europe and some Nordic countries experienced particularly high temperatures, while certain regions such as parts of Russia and Greenland were below average.

United States heatwave

Scientists in the United States have found that heat waves occurring on the ocean floor can be more severe and longer-lasting than those on the sea surface.

This assessment comes as the average temperature of the ocean has risen by roughly 1.5°C over the past century, and marine heatwaves have become around 50% more common in the last decade.

Deforestation in Amazon

Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest reached its highest level on record for the month of February, underscoring the challenges faced by the country’s new government in addressing the issue.

According to data from the Brazilian space research agency, Inpe, 322 square kilometers (124 square miles) of forest were cleared in the region last month, a 62% increase from February 2022 and well above the period’s average of 166 square kilometers.

Environmentally conscious funds

In a bid to attract investment from environmentally conscious funds, a group of the world’s leading copper producers has announced its intention to achieve zero direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

To achieve this goal, the companies plan to decarbonize their power supply, improve efficiency, and increase scrap collection.

US announced $6 billion funding to accelerate decarbonization

The US government has announced $6 billion in funding to accelerate decarbonization projects in industries like steel, aluminum, and cement, which are responsible for almost 25% of US greenhouse gas emissions. This program is part of President Joe Biden’s commitment to decarbonize the US economy by 2050.

climate crisis economic impact

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that the climate crisis is already having a significant economic and financial impact on the country and could lead to asset value losses that could ripple through the financial system in the coming years.

The past five years have seen a five-fold increase in the number of billion-dollar disasters compared to the 1980s.

During a meeting, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that as the climate crisis worsens, asset values could decline, potentially causing a ripple effect throughout the financial system. She stated that a slow and disorganized transition to a net-zero economy could lead to shocks to the financial system.

Climate change to cost Germany up to 900 billion euros

According to a recent study, the climate crisis could cost Germany up to €900 billion ($965 billion) in cumulative economic damage by mid-century.

A study titled “Costs of Climate Change Impacts in Germany” by the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW), the Society for Economic Structures Research (GWS), and Prognos AG explored different scenarios for the years 2022 to 2050, which varied in severity based on the degree of global warming.

The losses include decreased agricultural yields, flood damage or destruction of buildings and infrastructure, transport disruptions, and effects on the health system.

China record-breaking high temperatures

Northern China has experienced record-breaking high temperatures, with Shahe reaching 31.8°C. China’s official weather forecaster warned that the high temperatures are an indication of a rapidly warming earth.

Devastating loss in UK

A 20-year research project in the UK and Ireland has shown a “devastating loss” of native wild plants, with more than half of the country’s native flora in decline due to human impact, including the climate crisis.

Chile launched Huemul program

Chile has launched a program to protect the Huemul, an endangered deer species, by creating a “biological corridor” consisting of approximately 16 connected, state-protected areas and other private conservation initiatives.

Positive Environmental Stories from Feb 2023

After the feeding of cat milk by zookeepers, the first pangolin born in Europe is "doing well"

For the first time, a pangolin from China was born at a zoo in Europe. The infant pangolin has arrived in the Prague Zoo & is the first of its endangered species to be born in captivity in Europe.

After some initial difficulties, the little scaly-skinned creature, known as "Little Cone" because of the way she looks like a spruce cone, is currently doing well, the park

The female infant's weight loss during the first few days after her birth caused concern among the zookeepers. Run Hou Tang, her mother turned out to have insufficient milk.

How raising sheep with low emissions could reduce the methane burden of agriculture

British farmers are looking to breed sheep that produce little methane emissions in an attempt to fight global warming.

Methane gas is expelled by farting and belching sheep. This potent chemical is around 80 times more effective than carbon dioxide over 20 years at retaining heat in the atmosphere and causing global warming.

How does the first carbon removal project in the world that is powered by mushrooms work?

How can the offset programmes that rely on trees be tightened while yet maintaining their support?

According to studies, reintroducing the diversity of natural soil microbes can increase plant growth by an average of 64%.

The resourceful ecologists behind Funga, the first company in the world to use the fungal microbiome to create commercial carbon offsetting credits, believe that the solution lies in a "galaxy below our feet.’’

World's oldest European hedgehog might be a sign of things to come for the species

A Danish volunteer project discovered the oldest known European hedgehog.

The Danish Hedgehog Project, a citizen science programme that requested volunteers to collect deceased hedgehogs in the spirit of conservation studies, was the cause of the posthumous discovery.

They were startled to learn that one of the hogs was 16 years old, making it the oldest European hedgehog ever found that had been formally documented.

Heat pumps avoided 8m tonnes of CO2 emissions in Europe last year

Last year, heat pumps were purchased at a record price across Europe.

According to data from Europe, 3 million units displaced roughly 4 billion cubic metres of natural gas in 2022, saving 8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Therefore, heat pumps are currently benefiting Europe by reducing 54 megatonnes of CO2, or nearly equal to the annual emissions of Greece.

Live in an apartment? Is new solar technology cut would your bills in half

A "world-first" solar system that connects all the flats to the same rooftop panels has been installed at a housing complex in Wales.

The new technology, which can supply up to 75% of each flat's electricity needs, will allow the occupants of Cardiff's Odet Court to cut their energy costs by 50%.

The 'SolShare' approach from Australian company Allume Energy is said to be the only technology that allows numerous households in the same building to share solar energy from a single rooftop installation.

Baby kangaroo poo could be the secret to stopping cows’ methane farts, researchers  say

The environmental issue of cow-produced methane could be possibly helped by an unexpected solution: baby kangaroo excrement. A Washington State University study discovered that a microbial culture made from kangaroo excrement reduced the amount of methane produced in a cow stomach simulator.

Light pollution: City of London to ask high-rise buildings to switch off their lights at night

Future skyscrapers in the City of London might have had their lights dimmed or shut off at nighttime to conserve energy, according to plans set up by the local government.

To reduce light pollution, owners of new construction in the Square Mile would have to submit a thorough plan for how their structures are illuminated.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year: ‘Dream’ Shot of elusive snow leopard wins people’s choice award

The Natural History Museum in London announced that a picture of a snow leopard standing above freezing rocks in northern India had won the 58th annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year People's Choice Award.

Out of a group of 25 shortlisted photos, Sascha Fonseca's "World of the snow leopard" received the majority of the votes from 60,466 people to win first place.

In the Ladakh region of the Indian Himalayas, Fonseca, a German, installed a video trap without any bait three years ago.

Tipping point’: Renewable energy to become the world’s top source of electricity by 2025

According to recent research by the International Energy Agency (IEA), renewable and nuclear energy will replace fossil fuels and reduce the amount of climate pollution from power globally during the coming years.

Through 2025, it is anticipated that more than 90% of the world's new electricity demand will be satisfied by carbon-free energy sources. Solar, wind, and hydropower will account for the majority of that energy. The minor comeback of nuclear energy also supports the agency's optimism about carbon-free power.

Climate Win: Australia blocks new coal mine 10km from Great Barrier Reef

For a brand-new thermal coal project right off the coast of central Queensland, the Australian government decided not to give its approval. Less than 10 kilometres separate the mine, an open-cut coal mine, and the Great Barrier Reef, raising very real concerns about pollution and irreparable harm to the reef.

According to Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek in a video shared on social media, "I've decided that the adverse environmental impacts are simply too great."

The announcement follows a public outcry over possible threats to the reef that is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Beavers are returning to London - and they might protect a local train station from flooding

After winning money from the capital's mayor, Sadiq Khan, beavers will return to West London for the first time in 400 years.

This autumn, a breeding pair of Eurasian beavers might move into their new home in Paradise Fields, Ealing.

The first of its sort in an urban context in the UK, the publically accessible restoration site was established by conservation organisations with funding from the mayor of London totalling forty thousand pounds.

Switzerland's solar dam: Why are mountains and snow the perfect mix for solar energy?

As the landlocked nation attempts to enhance its green energy output during the winter, a curving wall of solar panels has been added to Switzerland's longest dam.

The team behind the AlpinSolar project says that the Lake Muttsee dam's location in the Glarus canton in central Switzerland, almost 2,400 metres above sea level and surrounded by snow-capped peaks, is an important advantage.

Installing solar panels on the family homes led to spare cash and more free time

Seven social housing tenants in the UK were shocked to get PV panels from their local authorities in 2014.

Despite their initial hesitation, the families seized the chance to become prosumers, both producing and using rooftop solar energy, obtaining cheaper access to electricity, and sharing it with their neighbours.

Watch the hunt for an elusive grey wolf once thought to be extinct in France

The European grey wolf has been tracked in Aubrac, in France's Massif Central, every year by employees from the Office for Biodiversity (OFB).

The species was previously common throughout the French countryside. Only half of its ancient region was still under its control by the 19th century. The European grey wolf was nearly eradicated due to habitat destruction and human hunting. In 1937, it finally vanished completely.

However, with its population approaching 1,000 individuals, wolves are now once more on the rise in France.

From a beef farm gone vegan to Scottish seaweed: All the winners of PETE’s new Farming Awards

A new award is being given to farms in the UK that are ecologically conscious. Emissions of greenhouse gases are mainly caused by agriculture.

 According to a 2020 University of Oxford study, current agriculture practices prevent global warming from being limited to 1.5°C. Even if all other sources of greenhouse gas emissions were stopped.

Problematic animals are those that are reared as livestock. The UN estimates that at least 14.5% of human-caused global greenhouse gas emissions and 32% of methane emissions, one of the main causes of global warming, are attributable to industrialised animal farming.

French village enjoys ‘no bills’ after building wind turbines and solar panels

On February 1st, and consistently during the previous 12 months, electricity prices increased throughout France. The price increase, however, was met with some complacency in Muttersholtz, a small French community of only 2,200 residents.

As a result of their innovative utilisation of solar and hydropower, their municipal expenses were already almost zero.

Positive Environmental Stories from Jan 2023

A major milestone for EU energy: Wind and solar produced more electricity than gas in 2022

For the first time last year, natural gas has been surpassed by wind and solar energy in terms of producing electricity in the EU.

According to a recent evaluation by the clean energy research group Ember, renewable energies generated a record fifth (22%) of the electricity used in the bloc.

Portugal is trading Cape Verde’s national debt for climate investments

Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced that Portugal intends to exchange investments in the archipelago's environmental and climate fund for the full 140 million euro ($152.91 million) debt it is due by Cape Verde.

In a joint speech in Lisbon with the prime minister of Cape Verde, Ulisses Correia e Silva, Costa said that such "debt-for-nature" exchanges are a way to solve the issue of how and who will pay the bill for actions to "counter the impact of climate change and to accelerate the transition energy of developing countries."

Bees could be ensured safe flight around Europe via ‘buzz lines’

One of the many initiatives in the European Commission's "New Deal for Pollinators" is the development of a network of ecological corridors.

It’s an urgent need to stop the decline of one in three bee, butterfly, and hoverfly species in the EU by 2030.

The agreement intends to achieve this by targeting its main foes—pesticides, pollution, invasive alien species, changing land use, and climate change.

Bill Gates is taking on cow burps by taking an Australian climate tech start-up

Billionaire Bill Gates has invested in a climate technology start-up in Australia that intends to lower the methane emissions from cow burps.

The most prevalent greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide (CO2) is methane. Methane is produced by livestock such as cows, goats, and deer as their stomachs break down tough materials like grass for digestion.

The co-founder of Microsoft has been vocal about how raising meat hurts the environment.

More than a fifth of the energy used in the European Union in 2021 came from renewables

According to recent Eurostat data, 21.8% of the EU's total energy consumption came from 'green' sources like solar, wind, and other renewable energy.

The International Energy Agency announced last month that the amount of renewable energy added globally over the next five years will equal that added globally over the previous 20 years.

Despite a 0.3% decline from 2020, the research demonstrates that recent global occurrences have kept moving Europe's energy infrastructure in the right direction.

Scientists name three easy and cheap solutions that could drastically cut emissions

Usually, there is unfavourable news at tipping moments. It's a matter of time before the effects of climate change become uncontrollable for people, a runaway train to tragedy.

However, recent research has turned this on its head by identifying three simple actions that might start a chain reaction of decarbonization and may be the most effective approach to mobilise the international community.

Paris make headway on net zero as commuter cycle to work

Commuters in Paris used the capital's recently expanded network of bicycle lanes to avoid public transportation difficulties caused by a nationwide strike.

During recent strikes, bike lane traffic has frequently increased. The last Paris metro strike, on November 10, increased bike lane utilisation by 80% over the average daily use that month.

In recent years, Socialist Mayor Anne Hidalgo has invested more than 150 million euros in new bike infrastructure to make Paris a "cycling city" and move towards carbon neutrality.

France votes to ban deep-sea mining in its waters

France continues to pioneer large-scale legislative measures to protect the environment, having banned domestic short-haul flights and plastic packaging in the last two months. The French Parliament voted last week to prohibit deep-sea mining in national waters.

The resolution was approved by an overwhelming majority of legislators, 215 to 56.

Edinburgh has endorsed the Plant Based Treaty to combat climate change

The City of Edinburgh Council has accepted the Plant Based Treaty, making it the first Scottish city and capital in Europe to get involved in the movement to combat food-related emissions from animal agriculture and linked deforestation, a fundamental cause of the climate emergency. The proposed agreement has the support of 20 municipal governments globally, including Los Angeles and Haywards Heath.

Regular trips to the park could reduce people's reliance on antidepressants

According to the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, visiting natural spaces in cities such as parks and community gardens minimises people's risks of need to use mental health medications for depressive and anxiety disorders. Not only that, but the favourable benefit also extends to physical wellness. "Visiting green spaces reduces a city people's chances of needing asthma or high blood pressure medication by a third and a quarter, respectively." Unquestionably, green spaces in cities are beneficial to our health.

Companies will soon have to prove that they are taking climate action, under the draft EU law

A proposed European Union rule would compel corporations to provide evidence to back up their environmentally friendly claims.

Companies that promote their products as "climate-friendly'' or "having recycled ingredients" will face penalties if such claims are not supported by evidence.

The piece of paper, seen by Reuters, is intended to combat false advertising for the environment.

German solar power firm sees soaring demand as homeowners seek to cut energy bills

Rising demand for home solar power systems in Germany could boost Solarwatt's revenue by more than 50% this year to €500 million.

Homeowners have been trying to reduce their energy bills by installing solar panels, batteries, and heat pumps, following massive price increases last year when Russia curtailed fossil fuel shipments to the West. "We are a life-long supplier to people who want to become self-reliant on renewable energy," says Solarwatt CEO Detlef Neuhaus. This year, the company should be profitable.

Finland: Wind power increased by 75% last year, boosting energy security and climate goals

According to the Finnish Wind Energy Association (FWPA), wind power capacity in Finland expanded by 75% last year.

With nearly half of Finland's wind power held domestically, renewable energy is providing a critical lifeline during the present energy crisis.

"Wind power is now increasing our country's energy self-sufficiency at a really good pace - just when new and affordable electricity production is most needed," says Anni Mikkonen, FWPA CEO.

'Love Island: Hit UK TV show to promote sustainable fashion in latest series

The latest season of a popular UK television show will promote sustainable fashion. The hit UK reality TV show 'Love Island returns on January 16 - and secondhand fashion is likely to steal the show once more.

After formerly being connected with e-commerce apparel companies Missguided and I Saw it First, the series renounced its fast fashion image by collaborating with eBay in 2022.

The eighth season of 'Love Island' included the first ever pre-loved fashion cooperation on television. Contestants wore clothing from eBay's online secondhand marketplace as they arrived at an exotic destination to find love.

New solar-powered technology can transform plastic waste into sustainable fuels and cosmetics

The University of Cambridge has created a device that uses renewable energy to turn garbage into chemical items.

The device can simultaneously convert two kinds of waste - greenhouse gases and plastic - into two sustainable fuels - syngas and glycolic acid.

This is the first time the process has been carried out with the help of a solar-powered reactor.

Ozone layer on track to recover within decades, UN reports

According to a team of worldwide specialists supported by the United Nations, The Earth's ozone layer is on the heal because of years of work to eliminate ozone-damaging substances,

The ozone layer is vital to all organisms that exist on Earth. This stratospheric shield protects humans as well as the environment from hazardous quantities of UV light from the sun.

Antalya goes solar: How this Turkish city is transforming its energy supply

In Dabeli, on the outskirts of Antalya, Turkey, a big solar power facility has been developed to supply free energy to local farmers.

The local farmers in the fruit and vegetable growing region said they used to avoid properly irrigating their fields due to high electricity rates. Approximately 60,000 people currently benefit from the assistance programme, which provides producers with the support scheme to run irrigation systems and enhance the production of crops.

Tobacco companies must pay for clean up of discarded cigarettes in Spain

According to new environmental laws, tobacco companies will now be fined for cleaning up cigarette butts from Spain's streets and beaches.

Millions of butts are discarded each year, unleashing dangerous plastic trash that can take decades to degrade. According to 2020 data, over one-fifth of adult Spaniards smoke every day.

The laws went into effect on Friday, but it is unclear how they will be implemented or whether the costs would be passed on to consumers.

England bans some single-use plastics

On 14 January 2023, the UK Government stated that it will implement a ban on the supply of a variety of single-use plastics in England. This ban will go into effect in October 2023. Plastic cutlery (forks, knives, spoons, and chopsticks) is suggested to be banned, as are plastic plates, plastic trays, plastic bowls, expanded and extruded polystyrene food containers, and expanded and extruded polystyrene drinking containers, including cups.

Circular economy: Human hair recycled to clean waterways in Belgium

Coiffeurs around Belgium are sweeping and bagging hair chopped from their customers and handing it to an NGO that recycles it to safeguard the environment.

The Hair Recycle initiative feeds locks and tresses through a machine, which transforms them into matted squares that can be utilised to absorb oil and other hydrocarbons contaminating the environment, or converted into bio-composite bags.

Lula plans to end deforestation and make Brazil a green superpower

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was inaugurated in as Brazil's president, bringing in a new era for the country's environmental policy.

Lula's goals for government stand in direct opposition to those of far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro, whose four years in office were marked by a retreat on environmental protections in the Amazon rainforest and lesser rights for Indigenous peoples and minorities.

This article was updated regularly with the latest good news. If you find a great positive story that we haven’t covered here, please reach out to us on social media, be it Instagram or Twitter to share your thoughts.

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