From China’s carbon neutrality pledge to the latest on the global COVID-19 vaccination race

Chinese President Xi Jinping has told the UN General Assembly China will reach carbon neutrality before 2060 and ensure its greenhouse gas emissions peak in the next decade, a move climate advocates are calling a ‘gamechanger’, though some observers say more details of China’s pledge are needed before an assessment of China’s commitment can be made.

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released more details about how the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility (Covax) will work to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine around the world once one has been developed.

Related: Reaching the world’s most vulnerable poses biggest challenge for COVID-19 vaccine, experts say


The UK has joined the international COVAX facility for researching, manufacturing and equitably distributing vaccines against COVID-19.

Related: Opinion: The short-sightedness of the COVID-19 vaccine race


The UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) has warned world leaders the global economy faces a lost decade after the Covid-19 pandemic unless policymakers pursue a comprehensive recovery plan built on investment in sustainable growth.

Related: ODA influx needed to prevent ‘terrifying’ SDG backslide in fragile states


The International Labour Organisation (ILO) says the COVID-19 pandemic has wiped out USD $3.5 trillion worth of earnings for millions of people around the world as income from work declined by an estimated 10.7% in the first three-quarters of 2020 compared with the same period last year.

Related: We must increase lending to the world’s poorest countries now – or pay the price later


Washington Post global opinions editor Karen Attiah highlights Africa’s success in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in contrast to Western countries.

Related: COVID-19 response a tale of two UNs, UNDP chief says


Aid agencies say there has been a worrying increase in COVID-19 infections among refugees and internally displaced people, leaving refugees facing a ‘health catastrophe’ as the northern hemisphere enters winter.

Related: How can we better protect migrant workers in the next global crisis?


Several organisations, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), UN, UNICEF, UNDP, have issued a joint statement urging countries urged to take stronger action to stop spread of harmful information about COVID-19.

Related: How globaldev communications survived lockdown


New research published Vivid Economics as part of the Finance for Biodiversity initiative says few countries are living up to their promises of a ‘green recovery’ from the coronavirus crisis, with only the UK, Germany and France as individual countries, and the EU as a whole, pursuing plans in which the benefits to the climate and nature outweigh the negative impacts.

Related: Democratic Donors Push Biden for a Cabinet Free of Fossil Fuel Connections


A new analysis published by Greenpeace says EU livestock is responsible for more greenhouse gases each year than all of the bloc’s cars and vans put together once the impact of their feed is taken into account.

Related: IMF endorses EU plan to put a carbon price on imports


The International Energy Agency (IEA) says governments and the private sector must prioritise carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) technologies and projects if the world is to meet its climate targets.

Related: Five Organisations to Create Single Set of Standards for Corporate Sustainability


UNDP, the United Nations Global Compact (UN Global Compact) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) have announced the establishment of the COVID-19 Private Sector Global Facility, ‘a global initiative and collaboration bringing together public and private sector partners to help local communities recover better from the pandemic.’

Related: To reduce climate change learning curve, philanthropists lean on collaboratives


The British government has angered climate activists over plans to field an all-male team to host next year’s COP26 climate talks.

Related: Observers are wondering during UNGA week: Where are all the women?


As the UN marks its 75th anniversary, Devex talks to various members of the global development community about UN Secretary-General António Guterres’s leadership of the organisation in the face of what is arguably the biggest global crisis since World War II.

Related: ‘It’s a power struggle’: UNICEF, WFP clash over wasting treatment reform


US Development experts say a new US law designed to keep Chinese telecommunications companies out of American networks threatens to ‘delay, disrupt, or kill vital U.S. military, diplomatic, and aid programs, particularly in Africa and Asia where Chinese telecoms are the only game in town.’

Related: USAID dissent memo details frustrations with Trump appointee


UNICEF UK executive director Sacha Deshmukh has resigned from his position less than six months after he started the role over the ‘lack of action’ in the organisation in response to allegations of bullying, including ‘repeatedly displayed aggressive language and behaviour, including shouting at staff’, made against UNICEF UK chair, Douglas Alexander.

Related: NGOs accused of hiding misconduct behind gag orders


Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA), discusses the GCA’s priorities for Africa following the inauguration of the organisation’s Africa office.

Related: A third of my country was just underwater. The world must act on climate


Four billion people around the world still lack access to clean, efficient, convenient, safe, reliable, and affordable cooking energy according to the World Bank’s State of Access to Modern Energy Cooking Services report.

Related: Global trade in food and agricultural products more than doubles in last two decades