2024 C.E.

A Polar bear surrounded by arctic wilderness

Biden limits oil drilling across 13 million acres of Alaskan Arctic

Future oil and gas drilling will be limited across more than 13 million acres of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, the nation’s largest expanse of public land, under a sweeping Biden administration plan aimed at protecting sensitive ecosystems and wildlife. In a separate move, Interior announced Friday that it will block a controversial road crucial to operating a planned copper and zinc mine in northern Alaska, saying it would threaten Indigenous communities and fragment wildlife habitat.

Biden limits oil drilling across 13 million acres of Alaskan Arctic More

Aerial view of river and mangroves

Brazil boosts protection of Amazon mangroves with new reserves in Pará state

Brazil’s Pará state has now protected almost all of its Amazonian coastline after establishing two new conservation units that make up the world’s largest and most conserved belt of mangroves. The environmental victory came after President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed the decree for the two reserves on March 21, placing an additional 184,600 acres of mangrove ecosystems under federal protection.

Brazil boosts protection of Amazon mangroves with new reserves in Pará state More

School of fish

Greece becomes first E.U. country to ban bottom fishing in marine protected areas

Greece will start with national marine parks, where bottom fishing will be banned “by 2026.” Then, it will be prohibited “in all marine protected areas by 2030.” This method of fishing, decried by environmental associations, involves dragging heavy nets along the seabed, damaging ecosystems and releasing carbon trapped in the seabed.

Greece becomes first E.U. country to ban bottom fishing in marine protected areas More

Solar panels reflect sparkling light from the Sun

Japan “fossil fuel dinosaur” launches massive 20GW global renewables platform

Jera, Japan’s largest power company and one of the largest thermal power producers in the world, has announced the launch of a major new global renewables business, becoming the latest fossil giant to act on the existential threat of net zero to its business model. Based out of the U.K., the new company – called Jera Nex – will be tasked with delivering on Jera’s stated ambition to develop a massive 20GW of renewable capacity by 2035, enough to power millions of homes.

Japan “fossil fuel dinosaur” launches massive 20GW global renewables platform More

Whale jumping

E.U. pledges €3.5 billion to protect world’s oceans

At the Our Ocean Conference in Greece, the European Union demonstrated its strong engagement for international ocean governance by announcing 40 commitments for action for 2024. These actions will be funded by €3.5 billion from various E.U. funds, including €1.9 billion for sustainable fisheries in Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Poland, and Portugal.

E.U. pledges €3.5 billion to protect world’s oceans More

Inside Passage Landscape, Canada

British Columbia agrees to hand title of a million acres of land back to the Haida Nation

For centuries, the Haida people have known that the impenetrable forests and bountiful waters of Haida Gwaii – “the islands at the boundary of the world” – were both a life-giving force and their rightful home. Now, after decades of negotiation, the province of British Columbia has come to the same conclusion: the title over more than 200 islands off Canada’s west coast should rightfully be held by the Haida Nation.

British Columbia agrees to hand title of a million acres of land back to the Haida Nation More

Person filling syringe with vaccine

Nigeria becomes world’s first country to introduce ‘revolutionary’ meningitis vaccine

Nigeria has become the first country to roll out a “revolutionary” five-in-one vaccine against meningitis, the World Health Organization has announced. The Men5CV vaccine offers a powerful shield against the five major strains of the meningococcal bacteria that cause the disease. Known by the brand name MenFive, it provides broader protection than the vaccine currently used in much of Africa.

Nigeria becomes world’s first country to introduce ‘revolutionary’ meningitis vaccine More

Indigenous person from Kogui people of Colombia

New online tool is first to track funding to Indigenous, local, and Afro-descendant communities

The Path to Scale dashboard, developed in a partnership between the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) and the Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN), provides information on funding from 133 donors since 2011 based on publicly available information. According to the developers, this publicly accessible dashboard will help donors, NGOs and rights holders identify critical funding gaps and opportunities in global efforts to secure communities’ rights.

New online tool is first to track funding to Indigenous, local, and Afro-descendant communities More

Satellite view of hurricane

Global death tolls from natural disasters have plummeted over the last century

According to a recent study from Our World In Data, in the early-to-mid 20th century, the average annual death toll from disasters was very high, often climbing to over a million. In recent decades, such deaths are typically fewer than 20,000 people, even as natural disasters become more frequent and more extreme.

Global death tolls from natural disasters have plummeted over the last century More

Indian flag

India approves massive $9 billion rooftop solar plan

A massive subsidy program to help Indian households install rooftop solar panels in their homes and apartments aims to provide 30 gigawatt hours of solar power to the nation’s inventory. The scheme, called PM-Surya Ghar, will provide free electricity to 10 million homes according to estimates, and the designing of a national portal will streamline the process of installation and payment.

India approves massive $9 billion rooftop solar plan More