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U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

GLASGOW, Scotland —  As world leaders departed Glasgow on Tuesday, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson contended that the crucial COP26 climate summit was producing real progress, but there was “a very long way to go” to make it a success.

Why it matters: Johnson is hosting the most significant climate gathering since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015, but the early gains have been at the margins and not on the scale envisioned by many participants in a conference Johnson has called the “last, best hope” to save the planet. Now, the negotiating phase really begins.

What to watch: Johnson dropped a big hint in a press conference on Tuesday evening that the U.K. was hoping China, the world’s top emitter, would move up its timetable of hitting peak carbon emissions “before 2030.”

  • “The question is how much before. That’s the issue, that’s what we’re discussing with China. Because there’s still a world of difference between peaking in 2030 in your emissions from peaking in 2025,” Johnson said.

The state of play: Johnson also heralded several key commitments from the first two full days.

  • He said the world was “ending the great chainsaw massacre,” with countries that account for 85% of the world’s forests pledging on Monday to reverse deforestation by 2030.
  • Yes, but: He had to fend off a skeptical question about whether Brazil, perhaps the most crucial signatory, was actually committed to action under President Jair Bolsonaro.

Johnson also touted the fact that “90% of the world’s economy is working toward net zero” after a string of new pledges, most notably from India.

  • Yes, but: He dodged a question on whether India’s 2070 target date to neutralize its emissions was soon enough, instead emphasizing India’s pledge to accelerate its transition to renewable sources of power.

Johnson raised a new pledge from Japan on Tuesday to contribute $2 billion per year to help developing countries adapt to global warming.

  • Yes, but: Johnson emphasized that “the developed world will still be late” in meeting its commitment to provide at least $100 billion per year in climate finance, and said he was focused on working with leaders to “accelerate that timetable.”
  • Be smart: Watch for more announcements in this space, and perhaps a commitment to exceed $100 billion in 2022, rather than 2023.

Johnson noted that over 100 countries had committed Tuesday to reduce methane emissions by 2030.

  • He also said the summit was producing more concrete proposals to help countries like South Africa transition away from fossil fuels.

His bottom line: Johnson compared climate action to a soccer match, and said the world had been trailing by a score of 5-1 entering COP26 but had now “pulled back a goal or perhaps even two.”

  • But even the always-optimistic Johnson said no one should be under the impression that the steps so far were sufficient for victory.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Biden: Fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Monday said that the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, is "a cause for concern, not a cause for panic."

Driving the news: Biden said later this week the administration will be releasing a strategy on how "we're going to fight COVID this winter. Not with shutdowns or lockdowns, but with more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing and more."

Updated 13 mins ago - Health

Massage, facial, pedicure... intravenous drip?

A salon on the Upper East Side of New York that offers IV drip therapies. Photo: Jennifer A. Kingson/Axios

IV drips — the kind you might get if you're rushed to the hospital — are trending as a spa treatment, thanks in part to endorsements by celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Madonna.

Why it matters: Like other "wellness" trends with a whiff of medical imprimatur, IV nutrient drips can be harmless or mildly restorative — or go awry, particularly in the wrong hands.

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.