Events pertaining to world affairs in 2020, national politics, public policy, government, world economics, and international business, that took place in various nations, regions, organizations, around the world in 2020.
- January 1
- All works published in 1924, except for some sound recordings, are now in the public domain in the United States. This is the first release of material to the public domain since 1978.
- Crowds of protesters breach the US embassy compound in Baghdad, Iraq, and then withdrew after US Marines fired tear gas. The unrest occurred in response to US airstrikes on pro-Iranian militias in Iraq.  
- Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Illinois, United States.
- State laws on bail, the gig economy, minimum wages, data privacy, and red flag gun control take effect in several U.S. states, including California, New York, Colorado, Nevada, and Hawaii.
- Several new federal regulations take effect in the USA as of this date, including new regulations on retirement funds, minimum wage rules, and overtime rules.
- January 2
- The government of New South Wales, Australia, declares a State of emergency to take effect January 3 as bushfires rage, threatening human lives and property as well as wiping out as many as 500 million animals.
- 750 US troops prepare to be deployed to Iraq to defend US Embassy in Baghdad.
- Turkey reports a new refugee influx and possible crisis, as 250,000 Syrians flee Syria for Turkey, due to Syrian government attacks on rebel groups around Idlib.
- Zoran Zaev, the prime minister of North Macedonia, resigns. Oliver Spasovski is interim prime minister until a new government can be organized after the April 12 election.
- A female-majority Cabinet is sworn in for the first time in Austria. It is also the first time The Greens – The Green Alternative forms part of the ruling coalition, in alliance with the conservative Austrian People's Party.
- January 3
- 2019–20 Persian Gulf crisis: President Donald Trump approves the targeted killing of notorious Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi paramilitary leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in Baghdad, Iraq. Fears of a conflict between Iran and the U.S. results in World War III trending on Twitter.
- Spain’s electoral commission prohibits Catalan president Quim Torra from serving in the regional parliament.
- January 4 – An airstrike against the military academy south of Tripoli, Libya, kills 16 and wounds 37.
- January 5 – Former Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic defeats President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović with 53% of the vote in the 2020 Croatian Presidential Election.
- January 6
- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison acknowledges that climate change plays a role in Australia's bushfires, in a reversal of his previous stance.
- US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces she will introduce a resolution to limit President Trump's ability to take actions against Iran.
- At a meeting of the Lima Group, Argentina and Mexico abstain from supporting Juan Guaidó as president of the General Assembly of Venezuela.
- January 7 – Pedro Sánchez takes office as President of the Government of Spain on a vote of 167 in favor, 165 against, and 18 abstentions.
- January 8
- Two U.S. military bases in Iraq are hit with a dozen missiles fired by Iran; no casualties or serious damage reported. U.S. President Donald Trump says Iran "appears to be standing down" after the killing of Qasem Soleimani but announces new sanctions against Iran.
- As many as 25 Crore (250 million) people join a general strike in India in response to Bharat Bandh labor reforms.
- January 9 – The International Olympic Committee bans political gestures by athletes at the 2020 Summer Olympics.
- January 10
- On January 11, 2020, Russia announced that a ceasefire had been agreed to in the area of Idlib and Northwest Syria, between Russia, Syria, Syrian rebels and Turkey. This was due to requests by Turkey for a ceasefire, in order to stop the flood of Syrian refugees into Turkey. However, some regional news outlets reported that Syria launched further attacks near Idlib, in Maarat al-Numan district and the villages of Maar Shoreen, Talmenes, and Maar Shamshah, even after the ceasefire had officially begun.
- January 11
- Taiwanese general election: Progressive Tsai Ing-Wen is reelected with 7.8 million votes (90% of the votes counted).
- Legislators in Northern Ireland form a government for the first time since the Executive of the 5th Northern Ireland Assembly collapsed in January 2017.
- Iran takes responsibility for "unintentionally" shooting down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 that killed 176 people on January 8. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau demands "transparency and justice for the families and loved ones of the victims."
- British police say it was an "error of judgment" to label 'Extinction Rebellion' a terrorist group.
- January 12
- 13,000 participate in a "Run Against Dictatorship" in Bangkok, demanding that Thai prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha step down.
- A nuclear alert about Pickering Nuclear Generating Station was erroneously sent to millions in Ontario, Canada.
- Same-sex couples can legally register for marriage in Northern Ireland.
- January 14
- Alejandro Giammattei is inaugurated as President of Guatemala.
- Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso is under fire for describing Japan as a single race and single language country, ignoring 200,000 indigenous Ainu people and 760,000 ethnic Koreans.
- New Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei takes office after a five-hour delay due to protests. Outgoing president Morales is pelted with eggs.
- January 15
- The Prime Minister of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev announces that the entire Russian government will resign. This occurred due to a proposal from Putin for new laws and reforms that would vastly increase his power. 
- U.S. Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi names the seven managers of the impeachment team and the House votes to send its impeachment resolutions to the Senate for a trial of President Donald Trump.
- Filipe Nyusi is sworn in for another term as president of Mozambique while the opposition boycotts the ceremony amidst charges of electoral fraud.
- January 16
- Pope Francis names Italian lawyer Francesca Di Giovanni as the under-secretary in the Section for Relations with States, the arm of the Catholic church that handles the foreign relations of the Holy See. She is the first woman appointed to a post at that level.
- The impeachment of Donald John Trump formally moves into its trial phase in the United States Senate.
- Guatemala breaks off diplomatic relations with Venezuela
- January 18
- French police called for backup as protesters tried to storm a theater where President Emmanuel Macron and his wife were watching The Fly.
- Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan urges leaders of the European Union to support the government of Libya in peace talks in Berlin. Libyan opposition leader General Khalifa Haftar seeks support in Greece.
- Violence escalates in Beruit, Lebanon, with 377 protesters and 142 members of security forces injured during nine hours of clashes; 43 people were arrested and later released.
January 20 – Norway ruling coalition falls apart after repatriation of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) bride.
2. Scheduled Events
- January 26 – 2020 Peruvian parliamentary election.
- February 9 – 2020 Azerbaijani parliamentary election.
- February 16 – 2020 Guinean legislative election.
- February 21 – 2020 Iranian legislative election.
- April 12 – 2020 North Macedonian parliamentary election.
- April 26 – Referendum on new constitution in Chile.
- April (date undefined) – 2020 Serbian parliamentary election.
- May 7 – United Kingdom local elections.
- May 17 – Dominican Republic presidential election.
- May (date undetermined)
- 2020 Ethiopian general election.
- 2020 Polish presidential election.
- July 13 –July 16 – 2020 Democratic National Convention (USA).
- July 24 – August 9 – The 2020 Summer Olympics will be held in Tokyo, Japan.
- August 30 – 2020 Belarusian presidential election.
- September (date undetermined)
- 2020 Jordanian parliamentary election.
- 2020 Sri Lankan general election.
- 2020 Trinidad and Tobago general election.
- October 4 – 2020 Kyrgyz parliamentary election.
- October 11 – 2020 Lithuanian parliamentary election.
- October 20 – The 2020 World Expo will open in Dubai.
- October 31 – 2020 Ivorian general election.
- November 3 – United States presidential election.
- The 2020 G20 Riyadh summit will be the fifteenth meeting of Group of Twenty (G20). It will be held on 21–22 November 2020 in the city of Riyadh, the new future city of Saudi Arabia.
- November 9 – November 19 – The 2020 United Nations Climate Change Conference will be held in Glasgow, UK.
- November (date undetermined)
- 2020 New Zealand general election. (on or before November 21)
- December 31 – If implemented, the Brexit transition period will expire.
3. History by World Issue
3.1. Climate Change
In December 2019, the World Meteorological Organization released its annual climate report revealing that climate impacts are worsening.  They found the global sea temperatures are rising as well as land temperatures worldwide. 2019 is the last year in a decade that is the warmest on record. 
Global carbon emissions hit a record high in 2019, even though the rate of increase slowed somewhat, according to a report from Global Carbon Project. 
BlackRock global money management firm Chief Executive Larry Fink said in January 2020 that climate change "has become a defining factor in companies' long-term prospects... and I believe we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance."