News Timeline: November 2021

November 1 – World

Environment: Deforestation

During the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, to address global warming, leaders of more than 100 countries with around 85 percent of the world’s forests, including Canada, Russia, Brazil, China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the United States, agree to end deforestation by 2030.[1]

More on the effects of deforestation

November 4 – World / International Organizations:

United Nations Climate Summit

Environment: Coal power

More than 40 countries pledge, during the UN Climate Summit, to phase out coal power, the dirtiest of fossil fuels. These include Italy, Canada and Denmark, as well as five of the world’s top 20 power-generating countries: Poland, Indonesia, South Korea, Vietnam and Ukraine.  However, some of the biggest coal consumers did not join the pact, including China and India, which together burn about two-thirds of the world’s coal, Australia, the world’s 11th-biggest consumer of coal and a major exporter, and the United States, which generates about one-fifth of its electricity from coal.

Coal is the single biggest source of planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions worldwide.[2]

More about the coal pledge and why the United States did not sign it

November 15 – North America: United States

$1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill

U.S. President Joe Biden signs into law a landmark bipartisan legislation of $1 trillion in infrastructure spending, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), that was passed by the House on November 5.  The bill provides $550bn in new federal expenditure over the next eight years to upgrade highways, roads and bridges, as well as city transit systems and passenger rail networks. It also provides funding for clean drinking water, high speed internet, and a nationwide network of electric vehicle charging stations.  It is the largest federal investment in the country’s infrastructure for decades and it is expected to create new jobs and boost US competitiveness.[3]

What does the $1 trillion infrastructure bill fund?

November 22 – East Asia: South Korea

Former military dictator

South Korean former military dictator, Chun Doo-hwan dies at the age of 90.  He took power through a military coup in the aftermath of the assassination of President Park Chung-hee in December 1979 and stayed in power until 1988.[4] 

More on Korea’s former Military Dictator

November 24 – Europe: France / UK

Migrant crisis

At least 27 migrants drown when their flimsy inflatable boat capsized in the English Channel off the coast of France.  Since a crackdown on the smuggling of asylum-seekers in trucks crossing the Channel Tunnel, migrants who pay smugglers thousands of dollars try to reach Great Britain by boat.  This year alone, there have been 47,000 attempts to cross the Channel and 7,800 migrants had been saved from shipwrecks.  Most of these migrants come from Africa and the Middle East.  They pick Britain as an ideal destination because of the English language and loosely regulated job market.[5]

More on people crossing the Channel

November 24 – Europe: Germany

New government

After 16 years of Angela Merkel’s reign as a chancellor, Germany has a new leader, Olaf Scholz from a center-left Social Democratic Party.  As a result of a month and a half of negotiations, Scholz unveils his new governing coalition that includes progressive Greens and pro-business Free Democrats.  Despite their differences, they agreed on issues such as the pandemic, the minimum wage hike, and a plan for Germany to quit coal and expand renewable energy to 80 percent by 2030.  It is also expected that policies concerning Europe, trade and foreign policy will be a continuation of the previous government.[6]

November 30 – Latin America / International Organizations:

Barbados / Commonwealth

Becoming a Republic

After 396 years, a small Caribbean Island of Barbados votes to stop pledging allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II becoming a republic with its newly elected President Sandra Mason as the country’s head of state.  However, Barbados will remain in the Commonwealth.  Announcing this decision, Barbados prime minister Mia Mottley said the time had come for Barbados to “fully leave our colonial past behind”.[7]

About the Commonwealth


[1] Catrin Einhorn and Chris Buckley. “Global Leaders Pledge to End Deforestation by 2030.” The New York Times. November 1, 2021.Updated Nov. 10, 2021. Accessed March 8, 22.

[2] Brad Plumer and Lisa Friedman. “Over 40 Countries Pledge at U.N. Climate Summit to End Use of Coal Power.” The New York Times. November 4, 2021. Updated Nov. 6, 2021. Accessed March 8, 22.

[3] “US lawmakers approve $1tn in infrastructure spending.” BBC News. November 6, 2021. Accessed February 25, 2022.

[4] Choe Sang-Hun. „Chun Doo-hwan, Ex-Military Dictator in South Korea, Dies at 90.“ The New York Times. November 22, 2021. Accessed March 7, 2022.

[5] Aurelien Breeden, Constant Méheut and Norimitsu Onishi. “At Least 27 Dead After Migrant Boat Capsizes in English Channel.” The New York Times. November 24, 2021. Accessed February 11, 22.

[6] Katrin Bennhold. “A new era: Germany meets its post-Merkel government.” The New York Times.  November 24, 2021. Accessed March 4, 22.

[7] Michael Safi. “Barbados parts way with Queen and becomes world’s newest republic.” The Guardian. November 30, 2021. Accessed February 10, 2022.