99 good news stories in 2019
From an article in Future Crunch
If you read or watched the news this year, it didn’t look very good out there. That wasn’t the whole story though. There was other news this year, stories of conservation, health, rising living standards, tolerance, peace, cleaner energy and environmental stewardship. This didn’t make it into our news feeds and that means that what we saw on our screens in 2019 was not the world, just a negative image. We need to change the stories we tell ourselves.
99 of these were published in an article by Future Crunch. Here's a sample:
1. The population of humpback whales in the South Atlantic region now number 24,900 — almost 93% of their population size before they were hunted to the brink of extinction.
6. Ethiopia smashed the world record for tree planting. Led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, millions of Ethiopians planted 353 million trees in 12 hours.
9. Belize doubled the size of ocean reserves around the world’s second largest barrier reef, South Africa increased its proportion of protected waters from 0.4% to 5.4%, Argentina created two new marine parks in the South Atlantic, bringing total protected areas to 8%.
16. China's tree stock rose by 4.56 billion m³ between 2005 and 2018, deserts are shrinking by 2,400 km² a year, and forests now account for 22% of land area.
18. Algeria and Argentina officially eliminated malaria this year, and the WHO said that in the last eight years, malaria infections in Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam dropped by 76%, and deaths fell by 95%. India also reported a huge reduction in malaria, with 2.6 million fewer cases in 2018 than in 2017.
21. According to the United Nations, global HIV-related deaths have fallen to 770,000, a third lower than in 2010 when 1.2 million deaths were recorded.
24. The UN released its latest figures on pneumonia, showing that the number of children dying from "the ultimate disease of poverty," has decreased from 6,410 per day in 1990 to 2,216 per day in 2017.
29. Between 1990 and 2019, cancer mortality rates fell by 18% in Argentina, 26% in Chile, 14% in Colombia, 17% in Mexico and 13% in Venezuela, corresponding to almost half a million avoided deaths.
33. In Rwanda, 95% of babies currently receive vaccinations for rubella, measles and polio, and it's also on track to be the first country to eliminate cervical cancer.
39. The proportion of people in extreme poverty around the world fell from 36% in 1990 to 8.6% in 2018. Absolute numbers were down from 1.9 billion in 1990 to 610 million in 2018.
40. The successful conclusion of India's extraordinary sanitation drive. In the last five years, 90 million toilets have been built, 93% of households now have access, and 500 million people have stopped defecating in the open.
41. Save the Children’s 2019 Global Childhood Report showed that in the last 20 years, children's lives have improved in 173 out of 176 countries. Compared to 2000, today there are; 4.4 million fewer child deaths per year, 49 million fewer stunted children, 130 million more children in school, 94 million fewer child labourers, 11 million fewer girls forced into marriage or married early, 3 million fewer teen births per year, 12,000 fewer child homicides per year.
50. UNESCO said that 19 African countries reached gender parity (equal numbers of boys and girls) in primary education in the past decade.
Peace, Safety and Human Rights:
52. Since 2000, the number of democracies has risen from 90 to 97, including 11 countries that became democratic for the first time ever, and in 2019, 2 billion people in 50 countries voted, the largest number in history.
54. The number of people killed in wars around the world reached its lowest level in seven years, and battle fatalities have fallen by 43% since 2014.
60. A study covering 90% of the world's population showed that the international homicide rate has dropped by 20% since 1990.
67. Global executions fell by almost a third last year, reaching their lowest figure in at least a decade.
Energy and Sustainability:
76. The world’s largest multilateral financial institution, The European Investment Bank, agreed to stop all financing for fossil fuels, and committed to investing half of its entire annual outlay — not just its energy budget — on climate action and sustainability by 2025.
84. The world's largest car supplier, Bosch, said it will be fully carbon neutral by 2020, making it the first major industrial company to take that step.
87. Lazard, the industry’s benchmark, says that the cost of new wind and solar in 2019 dropped below the cost of keeping many of the world’s existing coal and nuclear power plants running.
93. The world’s second largest economy, the United States, generated more electricity from wind, sun and water in April than from coal for the first time ever.
97 and 98. In March, the European Union announced that plastic cutlery, plates, straws, cotton buds, balloons, food containers and polystyrene cups would no longer be allowed by 2021, and the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, home to 80 million people, imposed a full ban on all single use plastic. In June, Canada followed in the EU’s footsteps, announcing a similar phase out of plastic by 2021, Tanzania implemented a plastic ban, Costa Rica signed a new law bringing an end to all styrofoam containers and packaging, Bali’s plastic ban went into effect and Panama became the first Central American nation to ban plastic bags.
Read the full list here.
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