In the year of the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis in Europe and the return of double-digit inflation, good news has inevitably taken a back seat. But they were there. The pandemic worldwide is now far less deadly than a year ago. At the beginning of 2021, daily new deaths due to Covid amounted to 15.000. In the past three months, to less than 2.000.
Positive news can also be found in the European response to the unprecedented exodus of 5 million Ukrainians. Even the Visegrád group's countries played their part. Above all, Poland has taken in more refugees from Ukraine than any other European country.
For a war that begins (in Ukraine), one (in Ethiopia) sees a possible resolution. In November, the government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People's Liberation Front signed a peace agreement. Fingers crossed: the truce established in March was short-lived, with a rekindling of the fighting during summer. Moreover, not all the actors on the ground (aka Eritrea) were involved in the negotiations. Nonetheless, this interruption of the conflict has to be welcomed. In the past two years, the Ethiopian war has caused an estimated half a million military and civilian deaths, millions of internally displaced persons, and a severe food crisis.
Despite the Ukraine war and repeated lockdowns in China, global logistics seems to be past its most challenging period. The end of draconian measures under China's '0 Covid' strategy should prevent a recurrence of bottlenecks like the one we observed in late April at the port of Shanghai. Staff shortages caused by forced quarantines created a traffic jam of almost 500 container ships (5% of the world fleet) waiting to enter the port. On that occasion, the Global Supply Chain Pressure Index reached its second all-time high.
Finally, there’s some much needed good news from the energy sector. A few weeks ago, a group of American scientists succeeded in achieving energy for the first time from nuclear fusion, generating more energy than they put into the system. Between high energy prices and the challenge of moving away from fossil fuels as soon as possible, nuclear fusion seems like the breath of fresh air the world needs. It is an almost unlimited, safe (it does not generate radioactive waste), and above all, clean (as it does not produce greenhouse gases) source of energy that investors are increasingly hinging on.