Starting off the year with good news

Nature and Environment

Renewables taking over

Last year marked the first in which renewables surpassed coal as Germany's main energy source. They accounted for more than 40 percent of the country's 2018 electricity production. The nation plans to increase that share to 65 percent in 2030.

Nature and Environment

A check on single-use plastics

South Korea is the most recent nation to join a growing list of countries (including China, France, Kenya and Australia) ruling out single-use plastic bags. Supermarkets there are now banned from using them, and violation of the new regulations will result in fines.

Nature and Environment

More (electric) cars on the road

Norway, which is home to Europe's 2019 eco capital, Oslo, has recorded an increase in e-car sales. A third of new cars registered in the country last year were electric. Tax exemptions and free parking are believed to be fueling the growing popularity of such vehicles.

Nature and Environment

The right to repair

European environment ministers have proposed a series of rules to force manufacturers to make goods that are easier to fix and that last longer. In the US, 18 states are considering similar laws to tackle the planned obsolescence that many companies build into their products.

Nature and Environment

Making things right for whales

News that no North Atlantic right whales were killed in Canadian waters in 2018 was welcomed by those working to protect the endangered species. The previous year, in which 12 of the marine animals were slaughtered, was the deadliest ever recorded for the species. Today, their population hovers around 400.

Nature and Environment

No more (Styro)foam with your cappuccino

As of the first of the year, plastic-foam products such as cups, packing peanuts, and food containers are banned in New York City. From July 1, anyone flouting the new regulations, which were originally proposed in 2013, will face a fine.

We're less than two weeks into 2019, but these positive environment stories are making us feel hopeful for the year ahead.