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Protesters in Katowice, Poland, the host city of the UN climate conference. Photo: Sadak Souici/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

A UN climate summit in Poland was thrown into disarray this weekend after the U.S. joined Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in refusing to "welcome" a recent landmark UN report on climate change, reports AP.

Why it matters, per Axios science editor Andrew Freedman: In the climate talks, individual words can take on outsized importance. The United States' alignment with the countries is striking as it illustrates the extent to which the country has moved away from its leadership position on this issue, and is actually helping to slow progress in the talks.

Details: Nearly all of the 200 countries at the summit had wanted to "welcome" the UN report and make it a blueprint for future action.

  • None of the four countries, which are major oil producers, explicitly said what in the report they were opposed to. But AP reports that it could be over the call to phase out fossil-fuel use by 2050.
  • The impasse now threatens whether countries will be able to reach a global consensus by the summit's end on Friday, including the need to increase targets to curb carbon emissions.

Background: President Trump has disputed many mainstream climate science findings, including the UN report and one issued last month by his own administration.

  • The scientists in the UN report concluded that global warming will have far more severe consequences if temperatures are allowed to creep past 1.5°C, or 2.7°F, of warming. But they also pointed out current deadly impacts from the 1°C, or 1.8°F, of warming so far — including more severe and longer lasting heat waves.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

5 mins ago - World

Scoop: Jake Sullivan discussed Saudi-Israel normalization with MBS

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg and Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan raised normalization with Israel during his recent meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, three U.S. and Arab sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Saudi Arabia would be the biggest regional player to sign onto the "Abraham Accords" peace agreement with Israel, and such a major breakthrough would likely convince other Arab and Muslim countries to follow suit.

Tech's leaky world

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Tech companies are learning what everyone in Washington already knows: Leaks of confidential info are inevitable, and "plumbing" operations to close them rarely work.

Why it matters: Most tech firms talk up the power of transparency but prefer to keep details of their operations secret from competitors and the public. Researchers, regulators and the media are increasingly relying on information provided by dissident employees and whistleblowers to see inside companies' workings.

Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

First look: Harris wants more union membership in fed workforce

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at a virtual town hall with Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) on Oct. 14. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh will today announce new guidelines to encourage federal workers to join unions, according to a White House official.

Why it matters: The Biden administration wants to bolster the collective bargaining power of workers across the country – and they are starting at home, with changes in the federal workforce.