2021: The year in pictures

A wildfire engulfs a house in Euboea, Greece. Photograph: CC BY 2.0 Felton Davis / Flickr


Taking office on 20 January, US president Joe Biden almost immediately signs a decision to rejoin the Paris climate agreement, alongside a series of orders bolstering American climate policy.

Joe Biden signs the US back into the Paris Agreement. Photograph: Jim Watson / Getty Images


Protestors against the HS2 railway dug a tunnel to disrupt building work near Euston Station in London

HS2 Construction at Euston Station. Photograph: Chris Gorman / Getty Images


Winchester University erected a statue of climate campaigner Greta Thunberg, the £23,760 cost of which students said would have been better spent on improving services.

Statue of Greta Thunberg. Photograph: Finnbarr Webster / Getty Images


Tonnes of dead fish washed up on the shore of a Lebanese reservoir. The cause of the unprecedented incident was not immediately clear. Dead carp washed up on the shore of a reservoir. Photograph: Joseph Eid / AFP / Getty Images


Having caught fire, a container ship was towed away from the coast of Sri Lanka into deeper waters, in an effort to minimise damage from the pollution leaking from the wreck.  The sunken MV X-Press Pearl container ship. Photograph: Ishara S. Kodikara / AFP / Getty Images


Just after recording a Canadian temperature record of 49.6°C,  a devestating wildfire hit the village of Lytton, sparking an evauation order and killing two residents.

Burned cars in Lytton. Photograph: Cole Burston / AFP / Getty Images


Enormous floods struck Germany and other parts of Europe, leaving behind a huge clean-up operation.
The clean-up after huge floods in Germany. Photograph: Thomas Lohnes / Getty Images


A wildfire tore through the Greek island of Euboea, causing residents to flee.

A wildfire engulfs a house in Euboea. Photograph: Felton Davis


Germany’s social democrats win federal elections, installing Olaf Scholz as the successor of longstanding chancellor Angela Merkel, heading a coalition with the Green and centrist FDP. The party stood on a platform of strengthening climate policies.

Fans of SPD leader Olaf Scholz. Photograph: Sean Gallup / Getty Images


Disruptive Insulate Britain protests continued.

Insulate Britain protestors in London. Photograph: Vuk Valcic / SOPA Images / LightRocket / Getty Images


Thousands of protestors descended on the Glasgow during the COP26 climate talks...

Massive climate protest in Glasgow. Photograph: Daniel Leal / AFP / Getty Images

... only days before the Lords gave up efforts to reinforce the Environment Bill, which received royal assent on 9 November.

Lord Goldsmith speaks in parliament. Photograph: Parliament


Tourists help collect debris, much of it plastics, on a beach in Bali after it washed up following an offshore storm.

Plastic rubbish strewn over an Indonesian beach after storm. Photograph: Sonny Tumelaka / AFP/ Getty Images