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POSITIVE NEWS - What went right this week: signs of climate progress, plus more positive news

Posted 1st July 2022 • Written by •

Landmark climate legislation moved a step closer in the EU, Africa’s post-plastic innovators got a boost, and Australia’s census was a win for diversity, plus more

This week’s Positive News roundup

EU ministers approved landmark climate measures

Fraught negotiations in Luxembourg on Wednesday brought the EU a step closer to implementing landmark climate legislation intended to reduce the bloc’s emissions by 55 per cent this decade. 

Member states agreed to end the sale of combustion-engine cars in 2035, impose costs on polluting transport and buildings, boost natural carbon sinks, and create a €59bn (£50.6bn) fund to help ease the cost burden on low-income households. 

“In the middle of Europe’s biggest energy crisis, we have launched one of the most comprehensive climate packages in EU history,” cooed German climate minister Robert Habeck. Some member states had pushed for more ambitious targets.

Ministers will negotiate the measures with the European parliament after the summer break. Parliament is expected to push for stronger targets.

It was a welcome sign of progress in a week that also saw the US supreme court limit the government’s power to regulate emissions from power plants.

Sticking with the climate…

Climate lawsuits are surging globally, with governments, oil firms and other polluters increasingly finding themselves in court for failing to act on the climate crisis.

Data published by the London School of Economics on Thursday revealed that climate-related lawsuits have doubled since 2016. 

Litigation has become an important tool for campaigners, with some high-profile successes. In a landmark case last year, a Dutch court ordered Shell to slash its emissions by 45 per cent by 2030. 

“Climate litigation cases have played an important role in the movement towards the phaseout of fossil fuels,” the report noted. 

More Australians identified as Aboriginal

The results of the latest Australian census are in. One headline finding is that the number of people identifying as Aboriginal has jumped by a quarter since 2016.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said births contributed to the growth, but that people were also becoming more comfortable with identifying as Aboriginal. It follows moves to repair relations between the state and Australia’s indigenous communities. 

According to the latest census, indigenous Australians now number 812,728 – about 3 per cent of the population. 

TikTok users offered ‘safe spaces’ for US women

People living in US states where abortion rights are protected are offering their homes to women in states where bans are imminent. 

It follows last week’s decision by the supreme court to overturn Roe v Wade. The 1973 ruling set a precedent for protecting women’s constitutional right to a termination. More than half of US states are now expected to outlaw abortion. 

In response, people have taken to TikTok to offer their homes as safe spaces for women looking to travel across state lines for the procedure.

The United Nations Human Rights Council denounced the overturning of Roe v Wade as “a monumental setback for the rule of law and for gender equality”. 

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