From the European Green Deal to the UK’s aid cut

The EU executive has unveiled a huge swath of proposals aimed at tackling the climate crisis, including tighter curbs on industrial pollution, higher renewable energy targets, boosts to energy efficiency, and more as part of the European Green Deal.

Related: What is the EU’s plan to tackle global heating – and will it work?


Governments from more than 100 developing countries have called on rich countries to move faster to cut greenhouse gas emissions and provide financial assistance to their less wealthy counterparts to cope with the climate crisis ahead of November’s COP26 summit.

Related: BlackRock’s Fink Urges World Bank, IMF Overhaul for Green Era


Trillions of dollars spent on Covid recovery in ways that harm environment

A new analysis published by Vivid Economics says trillions of dollars poured into rescuing economies around the world from the Covid-19 crisis have been spent in ways that worsen the climate crisis and harm nature.

Related: European investment banks criticised on climate commitments


The International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s executive board has approved a plan to issue USD $650 billion worth of ‘Special Drawing Rights’, the largest such expansion of currency reserves in the IMF’s history.

Related: World Bank attaches too many strings to COVID-19 aid, report says


The British Parliament has approved a measure specifying an end to the UK’s commitment to spending 0.7% of gross national income on aid until certain fiscal conditions are met, conditions that economists say are so tough they effectively rule out returning to 0.7% until 2024-25 by which time an election will be due.

Related: Outrage aimed at No 10 as MPs back £4bn cut to foreign aid budget


A group of philanthropists, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), the ELMA Foundation and the Open Society Foundations, have pledged £93.5m to help cover the some of shortfall left by the UK government’s cuts to foreign aid.

Related: UK development sector reels but says fight for aid isn’t over


The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD) has released a new draft of the proposed text of a Paris-style UN agreement on biodiversity loss that is set to be finalised at the UN Summit on Biodiversity in Kunming, China later this year.

Related: Amazon rainforest now emitting more CO2 than it absorbs


The UN’s 2021 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report says the number of people around the world who did not have enough food to eat grew by 320 million last year to nearly 2.37 billion people, a figure equal to almost a third of the world’s population.

Related: The UN Food Systems Summit’s biggest challenge? Accountability.


The World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF say 23 million children missed some of their vaccinations in 2020 while an estimated 17 million were not vaccinated at all as a result of disruptions to vaccination programs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Related: Germany to donate 30M doses but won’t budge on COVID-19 vaccine IP


Devex provides a breakdown of the UN’s ‘Annual Statistical Report’ which details procurements from 39 organisations within the UN system in 2020.

Related: Interactive: Trends in Norwegian aid


Fifa A Rahman, principal consultant at Matahari Global Solutions, and Rachael Crockett, an independent health consultant, have withdrawn from working with UNICEF UK and accused the organisation of ‘institutional racism’ after Rahman claimed she experienced discrimination ‘on multiple levels’ because of her Malaysian birth name.

Related: Oxfam’s reckoning


USAID administrator Samantha Power has told Congress the agency will look to work with more local partners and better support them as part of an effort to make the agency more effective.

Related: Gates CEO promises geographic, gender diversity among new trustees