From 3,000,000 Covid deaths to the Leaders Summit on Climate

The global COVID-19 pandemic death toll has surpassed three million, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Related: How did we reach 3 million COVID-19 deaths?


The COVAX Initiative has delivered about one-fifth of the doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID vaccine it estimated would arrive in countries by May.

Related: Campaign to waive Covid jab patent highlights $26bn shareholder payouts


Climate activist Greta Thunberg has urged governments, vaccine developers and the world to ‘step up their game’ to fight vaccine inequity as several high income countries begin vaccinating young and healthy people as low- and middle-income countries struggle for supplies.

Related: How ‘vaccine passports’ could exacerbate global inequities


US President Joe Biden says the US will aim to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by between 50% and 52% by 2030, based on 2005 levels.

Related: Climate change: EU to cut CO2 emissions by 55% by 2030


The British government is to toughen its targets on greenhouse gas emissions for the next 15 years, with plans to set a goal of a cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 78% by 2035 compared with 1990 levels.

Related: Which country has made the biggest climate commitment?


United Nations climate chief Patricia Espinosa says higher-income countries need to step up and meet their promises toward lower-income countries and deliver on the USD $100 billion climate finance goal set out under the Paris Agreement.

Related: Leading finance firms sign up to Mark Carney forum on low-carbon investment


US President Joe Biden has announced the US will double its public climate finance to lower-income countries by 2024, a move that would bring the US’s annual spend on climate finance to roughly USD $5.7 billion based on current figures.

Related: DFC charts new course on climate


Climate experts say U.S. President Joe Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate is a ‘crunch moment’ for Biden’s plans to reassert the US’s position as a leader in the climate crisis, with advocates hoping the summit will see countries make significant increases to their climate finance commitments.

Related: US and China commit to cooperating on climate crisis


The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says 2020 saw a ‘relentless’ intensification of the climate crisis, with ‘an increasing occurrence and intensification of extreme events, and severe losses and damage, affecting people, societies and economies’.

Related: Carbon emissions to soar in 2021 by second highest rate in history


Mark Lowcock, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, says the world’s humanitarian system is struggling because ‘unaccountable aid agencies are not listening to what people say they need and instead are deciding for them’.

Related: Opinion: What’s wrong with the humanitarian aid system — and how to fix it


Development experts have described the UK’s announcement on how it will spend its much-reduced foreign aid budget as ‘evasive’ and providing NGOs with ‘little information about the fate of their individual projects’.

Related: UK aid cuts: ‘tragic blow’ as opaque numbers signal big reductions


NGOs have described U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab’s claim ‘no one is going hungry because we haven’t signed checks’ in defence of the UK’s aid cuts as ‘shocking’ and ‘simply not true’.

Related: No impact assessment made of Yemen aid cuts, official admits


British prime minister Boris Johnson is reportedly having ‘queasy second thoughts’ about planned cuts to the UK aid programme which some MPs have called an unforced error in what Johnson has billed as ‘a year of British leadership’.

Related: Cop26 preparations to intensify after compromise on virtual talks


Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s Health Emergencies Programme, humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray region ‘could not be more dire’ with 1 million people now displaced within the region.


The European Investment Bank (EIB) has told its board of directors it wants to create a new ‘dedicated operational setup’ for its work beyond the European Union.

Related: Surprising resilience: DFIs take stock of their COVID-19 response