Good News

Our top 5 good news stories of 2020

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)

Because we could all use a little more cheer.

After Hurricane Ian, a low-lying Florida city starts to rebuild. Should it?

After Hurricane Ian barreled into southwest Florida with a biblical surge of ocean surf,57-year-old Ignacio Soto was confronting the downside of living just 7 feet above sea level.

Sunrise in the woods

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More water restrictions likely as California pledges to cut use of Colorado River supply

With the Colorado River in crisis and reservoir levels continuing to decline, California water agencies that depend on the river are planning to significantly reduce their use of water from the river starting next year.

Locals in the dark about oil auctions in DRC: report

Researchers visited fourteen villages in four of the proposed oil blocks, finding that most residents didn’t know about the government’s plans.

Indonesia pays fishers to collect plastic trash
Kevin Krejc/Flickr

Indonesian program pays fishers to collect plastic trash at sea

The Indonesian fisheries ministry has launched a four-week program to pay fishers to collect plastic trash from the sea.

gender-based travel choices relate to emissions
lee bristol/Flickr

Men and their cars: Cities aim to break up the love affair

Men and women make different travel choices — understanding those is key to achieving pollution and climate targets.

Public briefed on fracking health studies, despite no-show from Pitt, DOH

Around 100 local residents came to a public forum in Washington County on two state-funded studies into fracking’s impact on public health Wednesday night. The forum was held despite the fact that none of the researchers working on the studies were present.

Pennsylvania climate forum brings informed public into problem-solving effort

Climate Solutions’ deliberative forum revealed some key insights that can inform policymakers, people in positions of influence and other central Pennsylvanians as they work to solve problems related to climate change.

From our Newsroom
EPA Michael Regan

EPA's chemical safety rule tests the Biden administration’s commitment to environmental justice

"Cure never happens, prevention never happens in a community where people are sacrificed for others’ gain."

Chemical recycling grows  along with concerns of its impacts

Chemical recycling grows — along with concerns about its environmental impacts

Industry says chemical recycling could solve the plastic waste crisis, but environmental advocates and some lawmakers are skeptical.

Failure of the universities: The culture gap is now near lethal

Universities are failing us

Our educational systems are failing to prepare people for existential environmental threats

Shell's new petrochemical complex in southwestern Pennsylvania

The Titans of Plastic

Pennsylvania becomes the newest sacrifice zone for America’s plastic addiction.

Ruth Greenspan Bell: Wealth and the climate dilemma

Ruth Greenspan Bell: Wealth and the climate dilemma

Developing countries that increase their fossil fuel production are at a crossroads: securing their own long-term well-being or earning revenue to finance programs to support immediate economic growth.

Solving the climate crisis will help both ‘sacrifice zones’ and ‘cute’ puffins

Solving the climate crisis will help both ‘sacrifice zones’ and ‘cute’ puffins

Curbing pollution for families in Chicago calms the climatic conditions that drive fish away from puffins half a continent away.

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