Good News

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)

Bangladesh approves $1.3bn wind farm amid dangerous pollution levels

The government of Bangladesh has given the green light to a Denmark-Bangladeshi consortium to build the country’s first 500MW offshore wind farm.

Senator Whitehouse & climate change

Senator Whitehouse puts climate change on budget committee’s agenda

For more than a decade, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse gave daily warnings about the mounting threat of climate change. Now he has a powerful new perch.
forest wildfire
Big Stock Photo

Community of Paradise comes together 5 years after Camp Fire

This week marks five years since the Camp Fire ripped through Butte County, destroying the town of Paradise in the process – and several events are being held to commemorate the community’s progress with rebuilding.

fashion clothing hangers
Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Why high-quality clothes can break the psychology of fast fashion

As you look to update your winter wardrobe, here’s how to tell if that item you’re eyeing will have staying power, or end up in the landfill.
tesla charging
Photo by Waldemar on Unsplash

An EV slowdown? Battery makers are cool with that

The news that big auto companies like General Motors and Ford Motor are slowing their electric vehicle rollouts has one group a bit relieved: battery-makers.

jacaranda trees
Image by mnuschke from Pixabay

Kenya declares surprise public holiday to plant trees

The Kenyan government has announced a surprise public holiday for a nationwide tree-planting day, as part of its ambitious plan to plant 15 billion trees by 2032.

cane toad
Image by sandid from Pixabay

Extreme weather helping invasive species replace native species, study finds

A new analysis published this weeksuggests that extreme weather linked to climate change might be much harder on native species than on nonnative ones.

lansing michigan statehouse
Image by Jason Gillman from Pixabay

Michigan House passes climate change reform, mandating clean energy by 2040

A divided Michigan House passed legislation requiring utilities to draw 100 percent of their energy from clean sources by 2040. That's a later timeline than environmentalists had sought — and foes say it will raise rates — but many say the reform is overdue.

From our Newsroom
environmental justice

LISTEN: Carlos Gould on wildfire smoke and our health

“Information matters a lot — trying to explain not just that there’s a problem, but how to do something about it.”

fracking PFAS

“Forever chemicals” in Pennsylvania fracking wells could impact health of surrounding communities: Report

More than 5,000 wells in the state were injected with 160 million pounds of undisclosed, “trade-secret” chemicals, which potentially include PFAS.

800,000 tons of radioactive waste from Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry has gone “missing”

800,000 tons of radioactive waste from Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry has gone “missing”

Poor recordkeeping on hazardous waste disposal points to potential for bigger problems, according to a new study.

drought climate farming

Opinion: Climate change and soil loss — the new Dust Bowl?

How we can save our soil, stabilize the climate, and prevent a new Dust Bowl.

climate change health care

Severe flooding increasingly cutting people off from health care

Many more Americans will find themselves regularly cut off from essential services, rescue workers and health care long before water actually reaches their homes, a recent study predicts.

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