Our top 5 good news stories of 2020

Because we could all use a little more cheer.

We can all agree that 2020 was a challenging year.


Good news feels hard to come by lately. And when you work in environmental news, it can seem even more rare.

Yet, the year was not without progress (yes, seriously!). Check out five good news stories from our newsroom that you may have missed below.

1. A Northeast US climate initiative has had a major side benefit—healthier children

Researchers estimate a climate effort in the Northeast U.S. helped the region reduce toxic air pollution and avoid hundreds of asthma and autism cases, preterm births, and low birth weights.

2. Roadmap points Europe toward safer, sustainable chemicals

EU Commission releases ambitious strategy for getting hormone-disrupting chemicals out of food, products, and packaging.

3. Solar power on the rise at US schools

Report finds an 81% increase in K-12 schools using solar power over the last 5 years.

4. Pittsburgh’s Black farmers work to grow a new future

A small group of new farmers have seeded a movement to change the local food industry.

5. Derrick Z. Jackson: A Rhode Island city gets serious about climate justice

In its climate action plan, Providence, Rhode Island, is giving frontline residents' health equal billing with carbon reduction. Other cities should pay attention.


Banner photo: Ebony Lunsford-Evans, owner of FarmerGirlEB in Pittsburgh, helps a customer. (Credit: Brian Cook)

Climate politics, Pogo edition

Will an old comic strip expression define upcoming global climate talks?

Is anyone really, truly surprised that President Biden's relatively ambitious plan to address climate change is being axed so quickly from his infrastructure package?

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www.opendemocracy.net

Glasgow’s COP26 is crunch time to save the world from disaster

Looking back on 30 years of climate conferences, Geoffrey Lean recalls the many missed opportunities for change that led us to this boiling point
www.theguardian.com

Concrete: the most destructive material on Earth

After water, concrete is the most widely used substance on the planet. But its benefits mask enormous dangers to the planet, to human health – and to culture itself

Violence, strikes, and India’s farmers want you to see it

A year on, protesters against the country’s agricultural laws are taking an increasingly confrontational approach with the country’s leaders.