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Chancellor Angela Merkel and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Photo: Kay Nietfeld/Getty Images

Today's UN summit and the past 2 days are bringing fresh pledges by countries and corporations as the UN warns that the world faces warming levels that vastly exceeds the Paris agreement targets.

Why it matters: Secretary-General António Guterres warned Monday, "Science tells us that on our current path, we face at least 3-degrees Celsius of global heating by the end of the century."

Where it stands: The 2015 Paris deal calls for holding eventual warming below 2°C and includes a more ambitious target of 1.5°C.

What they're saying: “The climate emergency is a race we are losing, but it is a race we can win,” he said in a statement.

What's new: Here's a sampling of steps announced Monday and over the weekend:

  • The UN said "many" countries are using the summit to preview plans to update their Paris agreement pledges "with the aim to collectively reduce emissions by at least 45 percent by 2030."
  • Expansion of the 2-year-old "Powering Past Coal Alliance" of nations pledging to phase out coal and stop building new plants.
  • A bunch of huge multinationals — including L'Oréal, Nestle, Salesforce and Swiss Re — has signed onto a coalition of companies pledging to set targets "aligned" with 1.5°C and net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, a coalition of oil giants, rolled out plans Monday to bolster deployment of carbon capture systems.
  • "Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government on Friday agreed to support a $60 billion package of climate policies aimed at getting Germany back on track to meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030," NYT reports.

But, but, but: It'll be impossible to gauge the summit's efficacy for a long time. That's because the big question is how much the pledges translate into real policy implementation, financial flows and changes in corporate behavior.

Go deeper: UN press release on shifting the global response on the climate crisis.

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.