|2020 by topic:
|Animation (Anime) – Architecture – Comics – Film (Horror, Science fiction) – Home video – Literature (Poetry) – Music (Classical, Country, Hip hop, Jazz, Latin, Metal, Rock, UK, US) – Radio – Photo – Television (Italy, UK, Scotland, US) – Video games
|Politics and government
|Elections – International leaders – Sovereign states|
Sovereign state leaders – Territorial governors
|Science and technology
|Archaeology – Biotechnology – Computing – Palaeontology – Quantum computing and communication – Senescence research – Space/Astronomy – Spaceflight – Sustainable energy research
|Environment and environmental sciences
|Aviation – Rail transport
|American football – Association football – Athletics (sport) – Badminton – Baseball – Basketball – Chess – Combat sports – Cricket – Cycling – Golf – Ice hockey – Rugby union – Swimming – Tennis – Volleyball
|Afghanistan – Albania – Algeria – Andorra – Angola – Antarctica – Argentina – Armenia – Australia – Austria – Azerbaijan – Bangladesh – The Bahamas – Bahrain – Barbados – Belarus – Belgium – Benin – Bhutan – Bolivia – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Botswana – Brazil – Bulgaria – Burkina Faso – Burundi – Cambodia – Cameroon – Canada – Cape Verde – Central African Republic – Chad – Chile – China – Colombia – Costa Rica – Comoros – Croatia – Cuba – Cyprus – Czech Republic – Denmark – Ecuador – Egypt – El Salvador – Eritrea – Estonia – Ethiopia – European Union – Eswatini – Fiji – Finland – France – Gabon – Georgia – Germany – Ghana – Greece – Guatemala – Guinea – Guinea-Bissau – Guyana – Haiti – Honduras – Hong Kong – Hungary – Iceland – India – Indonesia – Iran – Iraq – Ireland – Israel – Italy – Ivory Coast – Japan – Jordan – Kazakhstan – Kenya – Kiribati – Kosovo – Kuwait – Kyrgyzstan – Laos – Latvia – Lebanon – Lesotho – Liberia – Libya – Lithuania – Luxembourg – Macau – Madagascar – Marshall Islands – Malawi – Malaysia – Mali – Malta – Mauritania – Mexico – Micronesia – Moldova – Mongolia – Montenegro – Morocco – Mozambique – Myanmar – Nauru – Namibia – Nepal – Netherlands – New Zealand – Nicaragua – Niger – Nigeria – North Korea – North Macedonia – Norway – Oman – Pakistan – Palau – Palestine – Panama – Papua New Guinea – Paraguay – Peru – Philippines – Poland – Portugal – Qatar – Romania – Russia – Rwanda – Samoa – Saudi Arabia – Senegal – Serbia – Seychelles – Singapore – Slovakia – Slovenia – Somalia – South Africa – Solomon Islands – South Korea – South Sudan – Spain – Sri Lanka – Sudan – Sweden – Switzerland – Syria – Taiwan – Tajikistan – Tanzania – Thailand – Togo – Tonga – Tunisia – Turkey – Turkmenistan – Tuvalu – Uganda – Ukraine – United Arab Emirates – United Kingdom – United States – Uruguay – Uzbekistan – Vanuatu – Venezuela – Vietnam – Yemen – Zambia – Zimbabwe
|Birth and death categories
|Births – Deaths
|Establishments and disestablishments categories
|Establishments – Disestablishments
|Works and introductions categories
|Works – Introductions|
Works entering the public domain
||Wikimedia Commons has media related to 2020.|
2020 (MMXX) was a leap year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar, the 2020th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 20th year of the 3rd millennium and the 21st century, and the 1st year of the 2020s decade.
2020 was heavily defined by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to global social and economic disruption, mass cancellations and postponements of events, worldwide lockdowns and the largest economic recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Geospatial World also called it "the worst year in terms of climate change" in part due to major climate disasters worldwide, including major bushfires in Australia and the western United States, as well as extreme tropical cyclone activity affecting large parts of North America. A United Nations progress report published in December 2020 indicated that none of the international Sustainable Development Goals for 2020 were achieved. The year was also nominated by Time magazine to be one of "the worst years to be alive" in modern history.
2020 was declared the "International Year of Plant Health" by the United Nations and "Year of the Nurse and Midwife" by the World Health Organization.
Mourners at the funeral of Qasem Soleimani
who was killed by a U.S. drone strike
- March 5 – The International Criminal Court authorizes the Afghanistan War Crimes inquiry to proceed, reportedly allowing for the first time for U.S. citizens to be investigated.
- March 9
- March 11 – COVID-19 pandemic: The World Health Organization declares the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
- March 12 – Global stock markets crash due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the United States travel ban on the Schengen Area. The DJIA goes into free fall, closing at over −2,300 points, the worst losses for the index since 1987.
- March 13 – COVID-19 pandemic: The government of Nepal announces that Mount Everest will be closed to climbers and the public for the rest of the season due to concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic in Asia.
- March 16 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average falls by 2,997.10, the single largest point drop in history and the second-largest percentage drop ever at 12.93%, an even greater crash than Black Monday (1929). This follows the U.S. Federal Reserve announcing that it will cut its target interest rate to 0–0.25%.
- March 17
- March 18
- March 20
- COVID-19 pandemic: The worldwide death toll from COVID-19 surpasses 10,000 as the total number of cases reaches a quarter of a million.
- The Bhadla Solar Park is commissioned and becomes the world's largest solar park.
- March 24
- March 26
- COVID-19 pandemic:
- Global COVID-19 cases reach 500,000, with nearly 23,000 deaths confirmed. The U.S. surpasses China and Italy in total number of known COVID-19 cases, with at least 81,321 cases and more than 1,000 deaths.
- Militants in the Philippines, Syria, Yemen, and Libya agree to U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres' call for a ceasefire; some accept medical aid for themselves and civilians in their communities. Colombia and Venezuela discuss a common response to the global pandemic, and the UAE airlifts aid to Iran.
- March 27 – North Macedonia becomes the 30th country to join NATO.
- March 30 – 2020 Russia–Saudi Arabia oil price war: The price of Brent Crude falls 9% to $23 per barrel, the lowest level since November 2002.
Worldwide governments implement lockdowns and social distancing measures to battle the COVID-19 pandemic
- April 1
- April 2 – COVID-19 pandemic: The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 passes 1 million worldwide.
- April 5
- April 6 – The United States designates the Russian Imperial Movement as a terrorist organization and imposes sanctions on its leaders; it is the first white supremacist group the U.S. has designated as a terrorist organization.
- April 7 – COVID-19 pandemic: Japan declares a state of emergency in response to COVID-19 and finalises a stimulus package worth 108 trillion yen (US$990 billion), equal to 20% of the country's GDP.
- April 8 – COVID-19 pandemic: The Saudi-led coalition declares a unilateral ceasefire in its operations against Houthi forces in Yemen in accordance with United Nations-led efforts.
- April 10
- April 12
- April 14
- April 15
- COVID-19 pandemic:
- The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 passes 2 million worldwide.
- The 2020 Tour de France is delayed until August 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- April 17
- The China Securities Regulatory Commission approves a transaction in which Switzerland's Credit Suisse will take a majority interest in a China securities firm, making Credit Suisse the first foreign bank to own a majority of such a company since the easing of foreign ownership rules in 2018.
- COVID-19 pandemic:
- China revises the COVID-19 death toll in Wuhan upward, adding 1,290 more fatalities to bring the country's reported COVID-19 deaths to 4,632.
- Europe surpasses 100,000 COVID-19-related deaths.
- The U.N. Human Rights Office accuses Myanmar of carrying out daily airstrikes in the Rakhine and Chin states and that at least 32 civilians have been killed since March 23. The separatist Arakan Army unilaterally declared a month-long ceasefire to fight the pandemic, but the military rejected the ceasefire claiming a previous ceasefire had been reneged by the insurgents.
- April 18 – 44 suspected Boko Haram members are found dead, apparently due to poisoning, inside a prison in N'Djamena, Chad.
- April 19
- April 20
- April 21 – Mozambique police say 52 male villagers were killed by Islamist militants earlier this month in Muidumbe District, Cabo Delgado Province, after they refused to join their ranks.
- April 22 – Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps deploys the country's first military satellite, using a new satellite carrier called "Ghased" ("Messenger").
- April 23
- April 25
- April 26 – King Salman issues a royal decree, declaring that people will no longer be executed in Saudi Arabia for crimes they were convicted of when they were minors.
- April 27 – COVID-19 pandemic: The number of confirmed cases passes 3 million worldwide, while the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. passes 1 million.
- April 28
- April 29 – (52768) 1998 OR2, a near-Earth asteroid that is 2 kilometers (1.2 mi) wide, makes a close approach of 0.042 AU (6.3 million km; 16 LD) to Earth. It will not approach closer than this until 2079.
- April 30
launches the first crewed flight of the Crew Dragon
, the first spaceflight launched from the United States since the final Space Shuttle mission
- May 1
- May 2 – The United Nations publishes a report stating that Russia's indiscriminate bombing of civilians in Syria constitutes a war crime.
- May 3–4 – Venezuelan dissidents and a North American-based private military company, Silvercorp USA, unsuccessfully attempt to infiltrate Venezuela and forcibly remove President Nicolás Maduro from office.
- May 4 – A team of British and Kenyan scientists announce the discovery of Microsporidia MB, a parasitic microbe in the Microsporidia fungi group that blocks mosquitos from carrying malaria, potentially paving the way for the control of malaria.
- May 5
- May 6
- May 9 – Several Chinese and Indian soldiers are injured in a cross-border clash at the Nathu La crossing. About 150 troops participated in the face-off, which involved fistfights and stone-throwing.
- May 10
- May 11 – The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology publishes the result of radiocarbon and DNA analysis from the fossils that has been found in the Bacho Kiro cave, Bulgaria. The result, showing that the fossils belong to Homo sapiens instead of Neanderthal, indicates that modern humans may have arrived in Europe thousands of years earlier than previously thought.
- May 12 – Gunmen storm a maternity hospital and kill 24 people, including two newborn babies, in Dashte Barchi, a majority-Shia neighborhood of Kabul, Afghanistan. In a separate incident in Kuz Kunar, 32 people are killed at a funeral by a suicide bomber.
- May 14
- May 15 – Researchers announce a 2.5 cm millipede fossil belonging to the Kampecaris genus, discovered on the island of Kerrera in the Scottish Inner Hebrides, is the world's oldest-known land animal, which lived 425 million years ago in the Silurian period.
- May 16
- May 18
- May 19 – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announces the termination of all agreements, including security ones, with Israel and the United States in response to Israel's plans to annex the Jordan Valley.
- May 21
- Cyclone Amphan makes landfall in eastern India and Bangladesh, killing over 100 people and forcing the evacuation of more than 4 million others. It causes over US$13 billion in damage, making it the costliest cyclone ever recorded in the North Indian Ocean, shattering the record previously held by Nargis.
- The U.S. announces it will withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty within six months, alleging continuous violations by Russia.
- COVID-19 pandemic: The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 passes 5 million worldwide, with 106,000 new cases recorded over the past 24 hours, the highest single-day figure so far.
- May 22
- May 23 – COVID-19 pandemic: China reports no new cases for the first time since the pandemic began, according to the National Health Commission.
- May 24
- May 26
- May 27
- May 30 – The first crewed flight of the SpaceX Dragon 2 (initially scheduled for May 27 but delayed due to weather) is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, the first manned spacecraft to take off from U.S. soil since the retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2011.
- June 1 – Kivu Ebola epidemic: The World Health Organization reports six new cases of Ebola, and UNICEF reports five deaths, in a renewed outbreak of the disease in Mbandaka, Équateur Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- June 2 – A US$5 billion class action lawsuit is filed against Alphabet Inc. and Google, alleging the company violates users' right to privacy by tracking them in Chrome's incognito mode.
- June 3
- June 4
- June 7 – COVID-19 pandemic: The global death toll from COVID-19 exceeds 400,000.
- June 8 – COVID-19 pandemic: The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 passes 7 million worldwide.
- June 9 – COVID-19 pandemic: A Harvard University study suggests that COVID-19 may have been spreading in China as early as August 2019, based on hospital car park usage and web search trends.
- June 15
- June 16
- June 21 – An annular solar eclipse occurs.
- June 22 – COVID-19 pandemic: The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 passes 9 million worldwide.
- June 23 – A 7.5-magnitude earthquake strikes the coast of Oaxaca, Mexico and kills at least four people. It is felt more than 640 kilometres (400 mi) away in Mexico City.
- June 27 – Micheál Martin succeeds Leo Varadkar as Taoiseach of Ireland, with Varadkar becoming Tánaiste in a historic three-party coalition government.
- June 28
- COVID-19 pandemic:
- The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 passes 10 million worldwide. The U.S. continues to report the highest number of any country as it reaches 2.5 million, a quarter of all cases globally.
- The global death toll from COVID-19 exceeds 500,000.
- June 30 – China passes the controversial Hong Kong national security law, allowing China to crack down on opposition to Beijing at home or abroad.
- July 1 – Russian voters back a constitutional amendment that, among other things, enables Vladimir Putin to seek two further six-year terms when his current term ends in 2024, potentially allowing him to remain in power until 2036.
- July 7
- July 8 – At least 180 bodies are found in mass graves in Djibo, Burkina Faso, where soldiers are fighting jihadists. It is suspected that government forces were involved in mass extrajudicial executions.
- July 10
- July 12 – China reports 141 dead or missing in floods since June; 28,000 homes have been damaged.
- July 15 – The Twitter accounts of prominent political figures, CEOs, and celebrities are hacked to promote a bitcoin scam.
- July 19 – Flooding of the Brahmaputra River kills 189 and leaves 4 million homeless in India and Nepal.
- July 21 – COVID-19 pandemic: European leaders agree to create a €750 billion (US$858 billion) recovery fund to rebuild EU economies impacted by the pandemic.
- July 22 – COVID-19 pandemic: The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 passes 15 million worldwide.
- July 25 – COVID-19 pandemic: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un convenes an emergency meeting, declares a state of emergency, and orders the lockdown of Kaesong after a person suspected of having COVID-19 returned from South Korea. If confirmed, it would be the first case to be officially acknowledged by North Korea.
- 28 July – Former Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak is found guilty of all seven charges in the first of five trials on the 1MDB scandal, being jailed 12 years and fined RM210 million as a result.
- July 30 – NASA successfully launches its Mars 2020 rover mission to search for signs of ancient life and collect samples for return to Earth. The mission includes technology demonstrations to prepare for future human missions.
- August 1 – The Barakah nuclear power plant in the UAE becomes operational following delays since 2017. It is the first commercial nuclear power station in the Arab world.
- August 2 – COVID-19 pandemic: In rare talks, Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hold a video call to discuss various regional issues, including combating COVID-19 in their respective countries.
- August 4 – An explosion caused by unsafely stored ammonium nitrate kills over 220 people, injures thousands, and severely damages the port in Beirut, Lebanon. Damage is estimated at $10–15 billion, and an estimated 300,000 people are left homeless. The following day, the Lebanese government declares a two-week state of emergency.
- August 5 – U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar travels to Taiwan, the highest U.S. official visit to the country in 40 years. The PRC condemns the visit.
- August 7 – Air India Express Flight 1344 crashes after overrunning the runway at Calicut International Airport in Kerala, India, killing 19 of the 191 people on board.
- August 9 – A presidential election in Belarus which led to incumbent Alexander Lukashenko's reelection sparks protests throughout the country after major opposition candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya rejected the results. Seven days later, the largest political march in Belarusian history takes place, with an estimated 300,000 people in Minsk and 200,000 in other Belarusian cities and towns.
- August 10
- Midwest Derecho: Costliest and one of the strongest thunderstorms in U.S. history.
- COVID-19 pandemic: The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 passes 20 million worldwide.
- August 11 – COVID-19 pandemic: Russian President Vladimir Putin announces that Russia has approved the world's first COVID-19 vaccine.
- August 13 – Israel and the UAE agree to normalise relations, marking the third Israel–Arab peace deal.
- August 15 – The Japanese bulk carrier Wakashio, which stranded on a reef in Mauritius last month, breaks in half. Approximately 1,000 tonnes of oil are spilled into the ocean, becoming the largest environmental disaster in the history of Mauritius.
- August 18 – A mutiny in a military base by soldiers of the Malian Armed Forces develops into a coup d'état. President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and Prime Minister Boubou Cissé, among other senior governmental and military officers, are arrested. The next day, Keïta announces his resignation on state television.
- August 19 – The Special Tribunal for Lebanon convicts in absentia Salim Ayyash, a senior member of Hezbollah, for the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri.
- August 22 – COVID-19 pandemic: The worldwide death toll from COVID-19 exceeds 800,000.
- August 23 – Bayern Munich wins the 2019–20 UEFA Champions League by beating Paris Saint-Germain in the final 1–0.
- August 25 – Africa is declared free of wild polio, the second virus to be eradicated from the continent since smallpox 40 years previously.
- August 26 – Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos becomes the first person in history to have a net worth exceeding US$200 billion, according to Forbes.
- August 27 – Hurricane Laura makes landfall in Lake Charles, Louisiana with winds of 150 mph, making it the strongest hurricane to ever strike the state in terms of windspeed, tied with the 1856 Last Island Hurricane.
- August 28 – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the longest-serving prime minister in the history of Japan, announces his resignation from office, citing ill health.
- August 30 – COVID-19 pandemic: The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 passes 25 million worldwide. India continues to record the highest daily increase of cases.
- September 3
- September 4
- September 6 – Typhoon Haishen makes landfall on Japan and then South Korea as a strong category 2-equivalent typhoon. It later makes landfall on North Korea where widespread flooding occurs.
- September 14
- September 16
- September 17
- September 19 – A 1634 edition of The Two Noble Kinsmen, the last play by English playwright William Shakespeare, is discovered at the Royal Scots College's library in Salamanca, Spain. It is believed to be the oldest copy of any of his works in the country.
- September 20 – BuzzFeed News and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) release the FinCEN Files, a collection of 2,657 documents relating to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network describing over 200,000 suspicious transactions valued at over US$2 trillion that occurred from 1999 to 2017 across multiple global financial institutions.
- September 21 – Microsoft agrees to buy video game holding company ZeniMax Media, including Bethesda Softworks and their following subsidiaries for US$7.5 billion, in what is the biggest and most expensive takeover in the history of the video game industry.
- September 27 – Deadly clashes erupt in Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces. Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the Republic of Artsakh introduce martial law and mobilize forces.
- September 29
COVID-19 victims graves in Manaus
- October 1 – The EU began legal proceedings against the UK after it ignored their deadline to drop controversial sections from its internal market Bill.
- October 5 – COVID-19 pandemic: The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 passes 35 million worldwide. The news coincides with the World Health Organization estimating that total worldwide cases may be around 760 million; roughly a tenth of the global population.
- October 10 – Armenia and Azerbaijan agree on a ceasefire in the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
- October 15:
- October 17 – 2020 New Zealand general election: Jacinda Ardern's Labour Party wins a landslide second term in office, defeating the National Party led by Judith Collins and gaining the country's first parliamentary majority since the introduction of the MMP voting system.
- October 19 – COVID-19 pandemic: The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 passes 40 million worldwide.
- October 20 – NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft briefly touches down on Bennu, becoming the agency's first probe to retrieve samples from an asteroid, with its cargo due for return to Earth in 2023.
- October 21 – Heavy rains brought by tropical storm Linfa caused landslides at the Rao Trang 3 hydroelectric plant in Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam, killing 17 construction workers and 13 soldiers who were on a rescue mission.
- October 22 – The Geneva Consensus Declaration on Promoting Women's Health and Strengthening the Family is signed by government representatives from 34 countries.
- October 23
- October 26 – NASA confirms the existence of molecular water on the sunlit side of the Moon, near Clavius crater, at concentrations of up to 412 parts per million.
- October 29 – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) confirms the death of least 140 migrants who drowned off the coast of Senegal on a vessel bound for the Spanish Canary Islands. It is the deadliest shipwreck of 2020 so far.
- October 30
- 2020 Aegean Sea earthquake: A magnitude 7.0 earthquake hits Turkey and Greece, killing 119 people and injuring over 1,000.
- COVID-19 pandemic: The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 passes 45 million worldwide.
- October 31 – Typhoon Goni makes landfall in the Philippines, becoming the strongest landfalling tropical cyclone in history, displacing hundreds of thousands of people and killing dozens of people in the region.
- November 1
- November 3 – November 7
- November 4
- November 8 – COVID-19 pandemic: The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 passes 50 million worldwide.
- November 9 – COVID-19 pandemic: The first successful phase III trial of a COVID-19 vaccine is announced by drug companies Pfizer and BioNTech, which is 90% effective according to interim results.
- November 10 – Apple releases the first Mac computers (a new MacBook Air, Mac mini and MacBook Pro) powered by Apple silicon chips.
- November 11 – COVID-19 pandemic: The Sputnik V vaccine is proven to be 92% effective against COVID-19 according to interim results.
- November 12 – Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers resign en masse, in response to four lawmakers' disqualification made by the government.
- November 15
- November 16
- COVID-19 pandemic: The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is proven to be 94.5% effective against COVID-19 based on interim results, including severe illnesses. The vaccine has been cited as being among those that are easier to distribute as no ultra-cold storage is required.
- Hurricane Iota makes landfall in Nicaragua as a Category 4 hurricane just two weeks after Hurricane Eta made landfall, devastating the same areas.
- November 17 – COVID-19 pandemic: The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 passes 55 million worldwide, with around a million cases recorded every two days on average.
- November 18 – COVID-19 pandemic: Pfizer and BioNTech complete trials on their COVID-19 vaccine, with an overall effectiveness rate of 95% without adverse events.
- November 19
- November 22 – The United States withdraws from the Treaty on Open Skies.
- November 23 – COVID-19 pandemic: AstraZeneca's AZD1222 vaccine, developed in collaboration with Oxford University, is shown to be 70% effective in protecting against COVID-19. The efficacy can be raised to 90% if an initial half dose is followed by a full dose a month later, based on interim data.
- November 25 – COVID-19 pandemic: The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 passes 60 million worldwide.
- November 27 – Iran's top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, is assassinated near Tehran.
- November 28 – Koshobe massacre: Boko Haram jihadists attack a farm in Jere, Nigeria, killing at least 43 people.
- November 30
A socially-distanced food distribution site in San Antonio, Texas
- December 1
- December 2
- December 4
- COVID-19 pandemic: The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 passes 65 million worldwide, with the global death toll exceeding 1.5 million. Figures reflect that, in the last week, over 10,000 people worldwide have died on average every day, with one death every nine seconds. According to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 had caused more deaths in 2020 than tuberculosis in 2019, as well as four times the number of deaths than malaria.
- Somali Civil War: The United States announces its withdrawal from the conflict over the next month.
- December 5 – COVID-19 pandemic: Russia begins mass vaccination against COVID-19 with the Sputnik V candidate.
- December 6 – The 2020 Venezuelan parliamentary election takes place.
- December 8
- COVID-19 pandemic: The United Kingdom becomes the first nation to begin a mass inoculation campaign using a clinically authorised, fully tested vaccine, Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Margaret Keenan, 90, becomes the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer vaccine after trials.
- Nepal and China officially agree on Mount Everest's actual height, which is 8,848.86m.
- December 10
- December 11 – The European Union agrees to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% over the next decade.
- December 12
- COVID-19 pandemic: The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 passes 70 million worldwide.
- Bhutan and Israel normalise diplomatic relations.
- December 14
- December 15 – The International Criminal Court accuses the Philippines of crimes against humanity in its war on drugs.
- December 18
- Media outlets report that astronomers have detected a radio signal, BLC1, apparently from the direction of Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun. Astronomers have stated that this and other, yet unpublished, signals, are thought to likely be "interference that we cannot fully explain" and that it appears to be among the two strongest candidates for a radio signal humanity received from extraterrestrial intelligence so far.
- COVID-19 pandemic: The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 passes 75 million worldwide.
- COVID-19 pandemic: The United States approves Moderna's vaccine for emergency use, the second brand available there.
- December 20 – COVID-19 pandemic: A highly infectious new strain of SARS-CoV-2 spreading in Europe and Australia provokes international border closures.
- December 21
- December 23 – COVID-19 pandemic: Canada approves Moderna's vaccine, the second country to do so.
- December 24
- December 27 – COVID-19 pandemic: The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 passes 80 million worldwide.
- December 29 – The 2020 Petrinja earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 strikes Croatia, killing seven and injuring more than 20.
- December 30 – COVID-19 pandemic: The United Kingdom approves AstraZeneca-Oxford's vaccine, the second one available. The vaccine is easier to store as it only requires normal fridge temperatures, making distribution easier.
- December 31 – The transition period following the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union on 31 January 2020 expires.
During the summer of 2020, the worst drought in almost a decade hits the Western, Midwestern and Northeastern United States.