From 4 million Covid deaths to a call for the world to ‘step up’ preparations for extreme heat

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the global COVID-19 death toll has passed 4 million, a figure which WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says ‘likely underestimates the overall toll’.

Related: Africa suffers ‘worst pandemic week ever’ as cases surge, vaccinations lag


World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has urged G20 leaders to donate 2 to 3 billion more doses of Covid vaccines to COVAX and provide an ‘equitable allocation of these vaccines to the most vulnerable places where they are needed’.

Related: How countries are adapting to AstraZeneca vaccine shortages


Scientists from World Weather Attribution say last week’s heat dome above British Columbia, Washington state and Portland, Oregon, shows the world needs to step up preparations for extreme heat, which may be hitting faster and harder than previously forecast.

Related: ‘Heat dome’ probably killed 1bn marine animals on Canada coast, experts say


A new 20-year study published in the journal Lancet Planetary Health says more than 5 million people die each year globally because of excessively hot or cold conditions, with heat-related deaths on the rise.

Related: Climate crisis ‘may put 8bn at risk of malaria and dengue’


A new analysis of the latest climate research conducted by Politico warns the climate crisis could ‘drive a a wedge into one of the European Union’s biggest political fault lines,’ with Southern Europe facing a future of devastating drought, urban heat and agricultural decline that will create a massive economic gap between it and Northern countries.

Related: EU starts work on rival to China’s Belt and Road Initiative


Leaders from the Vulnerable Twenty Group (V20), a group representing the economies from the larger 48 member Climate Vulnerable Forum, have blamed rich countries for failing to deliver long-overdue climate funding, calling on the world’s wealthiest to urgently meet their promise of mobilising USD $100 billion in climate finance per year to help lower-income countries deal with the effects of climate change, and for additional money for climate adaptation, more private sector investment, and more grants as opposed to loans.

Related: Toilets, taps, and the trillions they could generate


UN Officials have told the UN Security Council more than 400,000 people in Ethiopia’s Tigray are now in famine and that there was a risk of more clashes in the region.

Related: Gaza could need $485M to recover from May conflict, World Bank says


Devex provides a rundown of how much COVID-19 funding went to USAID’s top 10 grantees in 2020.

Related: So, MacKenzie Scott gave you a grant. Now what?


2020 saw the world’s wind and solar energy capacity grow at a record rate as the oil industry recorded its steepest slump in demand since the second world war, according to BP’s annual report.

Related: BlackRock raises $250 mln for emerging markets-focused climate fund