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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Nations' formal emissions-cutting pledges are collectively way too weak to put the world on track to meet the Paris climate deal's temperature-limiting target, a United Nations tally shows.

Driving the news: This morning the UN released an analysis of the most recent nationally determined contributions (NDCs) — that is, countries' medium-term emissions targets submitted under the 2015 pact.

By the numbers: The UN said the combined effect of the targets, if achieved, would lead to a 1% drop in global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 2010 levels.

  • Yet a pathway to limiting long-term temperature rise to 1.5°C — the most ambitious goal of the deal — would require a roughly 45% cut by then.

Why it matters: It's no secret that combined efforts are falling short.

  • But the analysis both tallies the gap and highlights the importance of the big UN climate summit in Scotland late this year and nations' actions in the runup.
  • "Today’s interim report ... is a red alert for our planet," UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement.

Yes, but: It's not as grim as the headline numbers suggest. Patricia Espinosa, the UN's top climate official, emphasized in a statement that the analysis is a "snapshot, not a full picture."

  • The report tallies new or revised NDCs from 75 parties that account for about 30% of global emissions.
  • Many large nations, including China, the biggest emitter, have not yet submitted their revised targets.
  • The U.S. plans to unveil a 2030 target ahead of a summit Biden is convening on April 22.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Feb 25, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Natural gas exporters race to have the least polluting fossil fuels

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A big U.S. liquefied natural gas exporter will start giving customers detailed info about the greenhouse gas footprint of its cargoes — a move that provides a glimpse into fossil fuel producers' strategies for competing in a climate-constrained world.

Driving the news: Cheniere Energy, which sends lots of LNG abroad from the Gulf Coast, said Wednesday that starting in 2022 each shipment will have "Cargo Emissions Tags."

Updated 29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Transplants rebound from COVID lull
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America
  3. Politics: Government website for free COVID tests launches early
  4. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older
  5. Variant tracker
30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Schumer pushes for doomed filibuster changes

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer addressed reporters on Tuesday. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told the Democratic caucus Tuesday night he plans to propose instituting a one-time "talking" filibuster requirement, and bypassing the 60-vote threshold for major legislation, to pass the party's election reforms package via simple majority.

Why it matters: While Schumer acknowledged both votes are expected to fail — and some vulnerable Democrats up for reelection feel it will put them in a tough spot — he argued it's worth putting members on the record for historic legislation.