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UN Secretary-General António Guterres at a news conference. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

A United Nations report released Friday warned that the planet will likely warm by more than 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century unless governments take extra steps to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Why it matters: The report, released just months ahead of November's UN Climate Summit, highlights the growing pressure on global leaders to crack down on emissions to avert the worst effects of climate change.

Driving the news: For the report, 113 countries, including the United States, submitted new pledges that would add up to a 12% decline in emissions by 2030 compared with 2020 levels.

  • But dozens of countries, including China, India and Saudi Arabia, didn't make any new formal commitments.

The big picture: Taken together, the current climate pledges made by all 191 signatories of the Paris climate accord would result in a 16% increase in emissions over 2010 levels.

  • The report indicates that the world must sharply increase efforts to curb emissions to meet the chief goal of the Paris accord, which calls for warming to be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels.

What they're saying: "Today’s report ... shows that the world is on a catastrophic pathway to 2.7-degrees of heating," UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement.

  • "This is breaking the promise made six years ago to pursue the 1.5-degree Celsius goal of the Paris Agreement. Failure to meet this goal will be measured in the massive loss of lives and livelihoods."
  • The UN chief added that the world has "the tools to achieve this target. But we are rapidly running out of time."

The bottom line: "It is time for leaders to stand and deliver, or people in all countries will pay a tragic price," he said.

Go deeper: UN climate summit warning signs are adding up

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Nov 19, 2021 - Energy & Environment

What moves the climate communications needle

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A new paper finds that words used in news stories to label climate change are less consequential than whether stories emphasize harm or solutions.

Driving the news: Researchers tested engagement with "climate crisis" and "climate emergency" — phrasing that has gained media traction — and "climate change."

21 mins ago - World

Scoop: Iran preparing to enrich weapons-grade uranium, Israel warns U.S.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi holds a press conference. Photo: Presidency of Iran handout via Getty

Israel has shared intelligence over the past two weeks with the U.S. and several European allies suggesting that Iran is taking technical steps to prepare to enrich uranium to 90% purity — the level needed to produce a nuclear weapon, two U.S. sources briefed on the issue tell me.

Why it matters: Enriching to 90% would bring Iran closer than ever to the nuclear threshold. The Israeli warnings come as nuclear talks resume in Vienna, with Iran returning to the negotiating table on Monday after a five-month hiatus.

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."