World photos of the year 2021: Covid crisis, climate change, migration and sport

A selection of some of the most striking images of the year reflecting the major news stories across Covid, immigration, environment, climate change, and sport
World photos of the year 2021: Covid crisis, climate change, migration and sport

Michael McAleer

It was hard to escape the all-encompassing nature of the Covid-19 pandemic in every facet of life and every corner of the planet in 2021. Yet there were other momentous news events during the year, starting from the first week of 2021 on Capitol Hill in the US.

While we hoped by now to that the Covid story would be coming to the end of the vaccination chapter and a return to normal life, the arrival of new variants stymied attempts to put Covid behind us and proved there is more to this dark tale.

Meanwhile, migration and climate change continue to challenge global policy leaders, against a backdrop of ongoing conflicts. In many regions the three issues are intertwined, resulting in great human tragedy.

Overshadowed by Covid, the sporting world managed to throw up plenty of excitement despite the pandemic, with both the Olympics and Euro Championships finally taking place after 12 month delays.

From all this we have chosen a small selection of images from our colleagues at Getty and AFP to reflect some of the most striking international photos of the year. Some newsworthy, some captivating, some quirky. No doubt we've omitted many photos that were your personal favourites, but we hope these capture a little of the year.

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