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Climate activist Vanessa Nakate at COP26 Glasgow on Nov. 11. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate in a speech Thursday challenged policymakers at COP26 to prove the skeptical youth climate movement wrong by following through with the pledges made so far at the meeting.

Why it matters: Climate activists have been largely doubtful toward the climate promises from this year's assembly because they are not mandatory, meaning no one will be punished for failing to live up to them.

What they're saying: “I’m actually here to beg you to prove us wrong. God help us all if you fail to prove us wrong," Nakate said.

  • "Of course, the idea that countries, companies and investors committing to drastic and immediate action to reduce emissions would be most welcome. But let us be honest. We have been here before," she added.
  • "There has been 25 COPs before this one. And every year, leaders come to these climate negations with an array of new pledges, commitments and promises, and as each COP comes and goes, emissions continue to rise. This year will be no different."
  • "We are drowning in promises."

The big picture: This year's assembly is viewed as crucial since climate scientists warn that time is running out to secure necessary greenhouse gas emission cuts to avoid potentially devastating impacts during the next several decades.

  • Greta Thunberg and other youth climate activists Wednesday petitioned United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to declare a "systemwide, Level 3 climate emergency."

Go deeper: Climate activist Greta Thunberg calls COP26 a "failure"

Go deeper

What's next for the Fed on climate change

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Getty Images photos: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP and Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket

The Federal Reserve is poised to increase its climate focus even as President Biden's nomination of Chairman Jerome Powell to a second term disappointed advocates of policies to tilt the economy away from fossil fuels.

Catch up fast: Biden on Monday announced Powell's nod and said he's tapping Lael Brainard — a Fed board member who's outspoken on climate — as vice chair.

Storms pummel flood-hit Pacific Northwest as border river overflows

An image of the water-logged Sumas Prairie area taken last Friday. Photo: B.C. Ministry of Transportation/Twitter.

The latest ferocious storm system to hit the Pacific Northwest triggered fresh evacuation orders and at least one mudslide in flood-ravaged British Columbia, Canada, late Sunday.

Threat level: Flood sirens sounded in Washington state as the Nooksack River overflowed. Henry Braun, mayor of Abbotsford, B.C., told reporters the water flow was headed toward the Canadian border city later Sunday. "There's nothing to stop it," he said.

Updated 5 hours ago - Health

First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada

COVID-19 testing personnel at Toronto Pearson International Airport in September. Photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The first two cases of the new Omicron variant have been detected in North America, the Canadian government announced Sunday evening.

Driving the news: The World Health Organization has named Omicron a "variant of concern," but cautioned earlier on Sunday that it is not yet clear whether it's more transmissible than other strains of COVID-19.

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