A lot changed quickly and unexpectedly in 2022.
- These ten images depict the most important news stories from the previous 12 months, from the devastating flooding in Pakistan to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.
- The year 2022 has been unlike any other. The last 12 months have been marked by economic, environmental, and geopolitical unrest; it was a year that also saw the passing of the UK’s Queen Elizabeth II and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,.
- Ten images illustrate how major news events developed worldwide during this erratic year.
1. Global inflation is on the rise
In 2022, inflation rates were unusually high in many nations. Prices in the US and the UK both reached peaks in October and June of over 9.1% and 11.1%, respectively.
This has led to a crisis in the cost of living, with many families being forced to choose between feeding and heating this winter, even in some of the richest countries in the world.
2. The spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant
This year, the highly contagious COVID-19 Omicron strain spread around the globe. The UK Health Security Agency has just named two additional Omicron “cousins” as the virus evolves.
3. Russian forces invaded Ukraine
On February 24, Russia invaded Ukraine, causing a global food and energy crisis and displacing millions of people.
4. The US Supreme Court invalidates the right to an abortion
The US Supreme Court controversially overturned women’s constitutional right to an abortion on June 24, reinstating the power of individual states to decide a woman’s reproductive options.
5. Heat waves that set new records
Around the world, record-breaking temperatures have been caused by climate change. No country was safe from the high heat this year, resulting in everything from melting runways to disastrous wildfires.
6. Dry spells worldwide
The worst drought in Europe in 500 years occurred this summer, and two-thirds of the continent was under excessive heat alert.
Due to low water levels in the Yangtze river basin in August, enterprises in China were forced to close because hydropower plant electricity production was constrained.
7. Floods in Pakistan
From June through August, flooding in Pakistan claimed the lives of more than 1,391 people and destroyed important infrastructure, crops, and homes, costing an estimated $30 billion in damage.
8. Death of Queen Elizabeth II
On September 8, Queen Elizabeth II passed away at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Her eldest son, King Charles III, succeeded her. She was the second-longest-reigning monarch in history when she passed away at 96, having spent 70 years on the throne.
9. More than 8 billion people live on Earth
In 1803, the world’s population surpassed the first milestone of 1 billion. On November 15, 2022—more than 200 years from then—more than 8 billion people inhabited the planet.
10. The COP27’s “loss and damage” fund for weaker nations
Despite their historically low emissions, impoverished nations severely harmed by climate change will get assistance from the fund established at the COP27 session. It will pay for any climate-related harm these nations cannot prevent or mitigate.
This year’s events will influence our annual meeting, which will be held in Davos from January 16–20, 2023.