Dec 15, 2018

Dire projections overshadow climate deal

Patricia Espinosa, Antonio Guterres and Luis Alfonso de Alba during the COP24 UN Climate Change Conference 2018. Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

KATOWICE, Poland — World leaders wrapped up prolonged and difficult talks here late Saturday with agreement on guidelines aimed at implementing the 2015 Paris climate pact.

Why it matters: Failure to reach a deal on the so-called rulebook at these annual United Nations talks would have been a major setback for the 2015 pact that's already under strain by the planned U.S. withdrawal and other forces.

Where it stands: The negotiators agreed to a set of rules governing reporting their emissions and detailing climate policies, while delaying a decision affecting carbon markets.

The big picture: Multiple reports about the dire projected impacts of climate change shaped this conference’s narrative over the past two weeks, which the UN hosts in different cities each year.

But these particular negotiations were always about working out wonky details of the 2015 deal. Countries largely accomplished this, without big interference by the Trump administration or other nations resistant to aggressive action cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Flashback: In the biggest snafu of the negotiations held in this old coal mining city, the U.S. joined Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait last weekend in refusing to "welcome" a recent landmark UN report on climate change, prompting outrage among other nations.

  • The final text of the negotiations "welcomes" the completion of the report, but not the report itself, per Climate Home News. It's a subtle distinction that matters a lot in diplomacy like this.

What’s next: The next big political moment will be in September, when the UN holds a summit in New York where nations will be expected to say what they have done or plan to do to ramp up their commitments to the 2015 deal, according to Alden Meyer, an expert on these issues with the nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists.

  • Chile will host the 2019 UN global climate conference.

Go deeper, highlights from the our coverage:

Go deeper, with other news coverage: Washington Post and Climate Home News.

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Boris Johnson in intensive care as coronavirus symptoms worsen

Photo: Peter Summers/Getty Images

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is being treated in the intensive care unit of St. Thomas' Hospital in London due to increasingly severe coronavirus symptoms.

What they're saying: Cabinet minister Michael Gove told LBC radio on Tuesday morning Johnson was not on a ventilator. "The prime minister has received some oxygen support and he is kept under, of course, close supervision," he said.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 32 mins ago - World

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,348,184— Total deaths: 74,834 — Total recoveries: 284,802Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 368,376 — Total deaths: 10,989 — Total recoveries: 19,828Map.
  3. Trump administration latest: President Trump's economic adviser Peter Navarro warned White House colleagues in late January the coronavirus could take over half a million American lives and cost close to $6 trillion, memos obtained by Axios show.
  4. 2020 update: Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks governor's attempt to delay in-person primary voting delayed until June.
  5. States latest: West Coast states send ventilators to New York and other states with more immediate need — Data suggest coronavirus curve may be flattening in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
  6. World update: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to intensive care as coronavirus symptoms worsen.
  7. Stocks latest: The S&P 500 closed up 7% on Monday, while the Dow rose more than 1,500 points.
  8. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll nears 11,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 10,900 in the U.S. early Tuesday, per Johns Hopkins data. More than 1,000 people in the U.S. have died of coronavirus-related conditions each day since April 1.

Why it matters: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Sunday this week will be "the hardest and saddest week of most Americans' lives" — calling it our "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health