GEF in 2020: Year in review

December 21, 2020

Aurora Australis and LED illuminated igloo
Photo: Ross Burgener/Flickr/NOAA/CC BY 2.0

The past year has been marked by bleak news for the global environment, intensifying public interest in climate change, ocean health, plastic waste, deforestation, and biodiversity loss. Important and alarming scientific research has underlined the scale of the future threat.

At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed jobs, health, and short-term economic remedies to the top of government agendas, often ahead of environmental commitments.

The pandemic has been a stark reminder that the world was on the wrong track, with nature and economic systems in conflict. In fact, 2020 may well turn out to be a turning point. A moment when governments finally recognize the need to set meaningful zero carbon targets, the value of protecting our oceans, and what we stand to lose if we continue to treat nature as an infinite resource.

At the GEF, we are assisting countries in reducing their vulnerability to future pandemics and other disasters by prioritizing and continuing to advance action on the environment in this challenging time.

As we all look forward to 2021, click through the interactive timeline below for some of the highlights of the past 12 months.