Welcome to the last Monthly Good News of 2023!
December’s MGN works a little differently, as instead of looking at just December’s excellent news from around the world, we’re also taking a look back across the entire year. We’ll see some good news that I didn’t manage to find at the time, as well as a few repeats of my absolute favourite articles from the last twelve months – which I will re-fact check to ensure that they’re still truthful.
Before we begin, let’s remind ourselves of the MGN mantras:
- PEOPLE ARE INHERENTLY GOOD AND WANT TO DO GOOD
- PEOPLE DO NOT SUCK
- PEOPLE ARE ALL WE HAVE
- LOVE IS STORED IN THE PEOPLE
In case you don’t believe the words, I’d like to set you the homework of reading them six times through, writing them on a Post-It you stick to your bathroom mirror and repeating them aloud twice every time you see them.
Now! With that out of the way, here’s my round-up of the best news that came out of 2023.
- Green energy has overtaken gas as the UK’s leading source of electricity this winter, sparing the country from an even worse energy crisis
- There are already 8 net-zero countries in the world – 3 of which are confirmed carbon negative
- Spain passed a law entitling all workers to paid menstrual leave (the first country in Europe to do so) – with an updated June article here
- Lead shots banned for hunting in all 27 EU nations, as well as Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein, due to wildlife pollution.
- Red squirrel populations increase in Scotland
- A historic pledge to safeguard the world’s oceans has been agreed by nearly 200 UN member states that will make 30% of the oceans outside national boundaries into protected waters – and was signed into effect in September
- Ecoasia has planted 170 million trees to date
- The Brecon Beacons has changed its name to restore its Welsh heritage – Bannau Brycheiniog – as the first step in a five-year plan to ‘halt and reverse’ the ravages of climate change across the mountains
- The BBC has launched a new show to teach Afghani children barred from schools – girls, especially – from home. As of October, the UN is calling the show a “learning lifeline”
- Germany introduced new laws for 100% renewable energy by 2030
- Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions have fallen to a new record low
- Parksville, Canada, paid residents to plant more trees
- The Ozone Layer is healing and on track to meet targets
- Six Indigenous reserves have been created so far in Brazil, out of a pledged fourteen
- Bournemouth University installed 114 artificial rock pools in 2020 and has confirmed that all became inhabited with a total 65 different species, including a protected native oyster
- California planning to sell no more gas cars by 2035
- First Tasmanian Devil to be rewilded gave birth to three babies
- Monarch butterfly count is up 35%
- Minke whales return to Cardigan Bay in west Wales for the first time in over a decade
- A subterranean carbon sink made entirely of fungi has been discovered to pull down more than a third of global CO2 emissions each year
- Global renewable energy could have its largest-ever annual increase this year
- London-based Gipsy Hill brewery created the world’s first offset-free, carbon negative pint
- Scientists find vital missing ingredient for healthy vegan diet – algae
- The Ocean Cleanup organisation prevented around 850,000kg of trash from entering the Caribbean Sea
- India became the fourth nation to touch down on the moon! And the first nation to touch down on the South Pole!
- The US President has officially safeguarded tribal territories surrounding the Grand Canyon by adding them to a list of more than 130 protected sites
- New glass type, LionGlass, is set to slash carbon emissions during the manufacturing process by almost 50%
- 200 white rhinos put up for auction will be released as part of the world’s biggest rewilding project – it was actually 2000 white rhinos, and here is the December update
- A UK carbon offsetting scheme is tackling the greenwashing problem by having you plant the trees yourself
- Chicken feathers can replace ‘forever chemicals’ in renewable hydrogen fuel cells
- Hull is set to allow a ‘right to grow’ scheme on unused council land to let people grow their own produce
- Libraries in the UK to become ‘warm hubs’ again this winter
- 10,000 mature, native oysters were released into a newly created reef in the UK
- The UK backed the suspension of deep-sea mining
- Youtuber MrBeast built 100 wells in Africa – an estimated 500,000 people will directly benefit from this clean water
- Cryo-preserved corals have been able to grow and have babies
- The first ever transatlantic flight with renewables happened
- In Wales, an adventure-leisure company has partnered with the NHS to provide canine-led therapy to offenders on a mental health unit
- Nearly 200 nations have agreed to “transition away from fossil fuels” at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, in what is being hailed as a “landmark” agreement
- The scimitar-horned oryx has come back from extinction after conservationists’ hard work
- Kiwi chicks have hatched in Wellington, New Zealand, for the first time in over 150 years
- Ecuador returned over 40,000 hectares of jungle to the Indigenous tribe of the Siekopai people, who were expelled from the land in 1941
- Nepal registered its first same-sex marriage
- A mole that hasn’t been seen since 1937 has been rediscovered
- Dominica has increased protections for sperm whales by introducing the first ever whale reserve, spanning just under 800 square kilometres
- Around 30,000 hectares of the Caribbean ‘Moonscape’ Island and its surrounding areas, have been named a protected area, now to be known as the ‘Redonda Ecosystem Reserve’
That’s it. That’s the good news. Go do your homework and store up all the good feelings to carry you through the rest of the holiday period.
Happy New Year, I’ll see you in 2024 ✌