Good news for humankind!
The world's latest milestones for climate, justice, peace, health, and more
January 29 - February 4 2024 C.E.
Electric vehicles sales in China, the world's largest automotive market, are surging. All plugin models accounted for 37% of the market in 2023, up from just 6% at the end of 2021. Full electrics (BEVs) alone accounted for 25%. Plugins are expected to cross the 50% mark for plugins and electric by 2026, with BEVs likely to account for over a third of sales, if current trends persist.
Women in Turkey can use their own surnames after they marry, now that a rule forcing them to take their husband’s surname has been overturned. Article 187 of the Turkish civil code previously stated that a woman had to take her husband’s surname upon marriage, however she could use her own surname first “with a written application to the marriage officer or later to the civil registry office.” The new decision by the Turkish Constitutional Court came into effect on January 28, following a ruling in April 2023.
The European Union pumped out 8% less carbon dioxide from the fossil fuels it burned in 2023 than it did in 2022, pushing these emissions down to their lowest level in 60 years. The fall is the steepest yearly drop on record behind 2020, when governments shuttered factories and grounded flights to stop the spread of Covid-19, according to analysis from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air.
Miami-Dade county is set to receive nearly $20 million from the Environmental Protection Agency to help cover the costs of 50 new electric school buses and 16 DC fast chargers, bringing the public school district’s total to 100 electric buses. Miami-Dade county is one of four school districts selected to receive a total of $33,175,000 through the EPA’s first Clean School Bus Program’s Grants Competition.
The Wildlife Conservation Society launched the new funding mechanism, in collaboration with Bolivia’s Foundation for the Development of the National System of Protected Areas. The new mechanism will channel conservation funds to Indigenous organizations in the Madidi Landscape, one of the most biodiverse terrestrial protected areas in the world. The new fund has so far attracted $650,000 in initial support from the Bezos Earth Fund.
Palau has become the first nation to ratify the high seas treaty, a legally binding international agreement that seeks to protect and manage ocean areas beyond national jurisdiction. Other countries, including Chile and the Maldives, are engaged in their ratification processes, pushing the treaty closer to becoming international law. The establishment of the high seas treaty has been under debate for nearly two decades, but U.N. member states finally reached a consensus to approve the treaty in March 2023.
The Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation, Resighini Rancheria, and Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community designated the first ever Indigenous Marine Stewardship Area (IMSA) in the U.S. along the northern California coast. The tribes plan to steward nearly 700 square miles of their ancestral ocean and coastal territories from the California-Oregon border to Little River near the town of Trinidad, California using traditional ecological knowledge and management practices.
A new law in Maryland requires Medicaid to cover “medically necessary” gender-affirming care for residents — including care well beyond hormones or surgery. The law went into effect on January 1. It requires coverage for “gender-affirming treatment in a nondiscriminatory manner.” Gender-affirming care is considered safe and essential to the well-being of trans people by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and other major U.S. and world health organizations.
Many available pain medications aren’t effective in reducing this often-debilitating type of chronic pain. However, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), in collaboration with UT Dallas and the University of Miami, may have advanced the treatment of neuropathic pain by discovering a molecule that reduces mechanical hypersensitivity in mice.
In February, 45 companies and organizations in Europe's largest economy will introduce a 4-day workweek for half a year. Employees will continue to receive their full salary. Advocates argue that a 4-day workweek would increase worker productivity and, by consequence, help alleviate the country's skilled labor shortage.
Following the Second World War, public pressure for independence increased in the British-ruled Colony of Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka. Independence was formally granted under the Ceylon Independence Act 1947 and full independence was finally achieved independence on 4 February 1948, with an amended constitution taking effect on the same date.
For decades, the East Asian giant had been both the world's largest automotive market and the world's fastest adopter of EVs. In a stunning milestone for climate action and public health, China all but eliminates new sales of gas-powered cars.
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