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The UN asked more than 60 heads of state and government to present concrete, new plans to reduce CO2 emissions in short speeches lasting a maximum of three minutes on Sept. 23. Kay Nietfeld / picture alliance via Getty Images

The promises made by major economies at the UN Climate Action Summit fell "woefully short" of what is needed to address the climate crisis, The New York Times reported Monday.

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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks at a news conference at UN headquarters on Sept. 18. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Today is the United Nations Climate Action Summit, a gathering called by UN Secretary General António Guterres to encourage climate action ahead of 2020, the year when countries are due to up their pledges under the Paris agreement.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Luis Alfonso de Alba Gongora, the UN secretary-general's special envoy for the climate summit speaks at The World Economic Forum holds the Sustainable Development Impact Summit 2018 in New York on Sept. 24, 2018. Ben Hider / World Economic Forum

By Howard LaFranchi

When United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres decided to hold a high-level climate summit in conjunction with this year's General Assembly kicking off next week, he was well aware of the paradox of his initiative.

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Sailor Boris Herrmann (L) with Svante Thunberg and Greta Thunberg (R). Photo: Birte Lorenzen

By Andrea Germanos

Sixteen-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg will head to the Americas next month, and, keeping in line with her climate commitment not to fly, she announced Monday that she will make the voyage by fossil fuel emissions-free boat.

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Group photo of all mayors and leading members of the C40 World Mayors Summit during the summits opening press conference at Copenhagen City Hall seen on Oct. 9. Ole Jensen / Getty Images

Disappointed by the lack of concrete action at September's UN Climate Action Summit, the mayors of some of the world's biggest cities are taking matters into their own hands.

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Skyline of Madrid with Metropolis Building. Sylvain Sonnet / The Image Bank / Getty Images

Despite Chile's last-minute announcement that it could no longer host the COP25 UN Climate Change Conference, the talks will continue as scheduled in Madrid, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa confirmed Friday.

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Donald Trump attends the opening of Red Tiger Golf Course at Trump National Doral on Jan. 12, 2015 in Doral, Florida. Johnny Louis / FilmMagic

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney made two controversial announcements about the 2020 Group of Seven (G7) summit: it will be hosted at one of President Donald Trump's golf resorts in Miami and it won't feature any discussion of the climate crisis.

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Greta Thunberg attends a press conference on the climate crisis with the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child at the UNICEF Building on Sept. 23 in New York. KENA BETANCUR / AFP / Getty Images

Swedish 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, who was instrumental in launching the Fridays for Future school strike movement, refused to let world leaders off the hook in an emotional speech at the start of the UN Climate Action Summit Monday.

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UN Sec-Gen António Guterres arrives for a press briefing to mark the opening of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN Sept. 18 in New York. TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP / Getty Images

By António Guterres

On the eve of the September UN Climate Action Summit, young women and men around the world mobilized by the millions and told global leaders: "You are failing us."

They are right.

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The Global Climate 2015-2019

A dire new report issued by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) found that the climate crisis is on a worrying trajectory as the crisis's hallmarks — sea level rise, ice loss and extreme weather — all increased over the last five years, which will end as the warmest five-year period on record.

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Covering Climate Now / YouTube screenshot

By Mark Hertsgaard

The United Nations Secretary General says that he is counting on public pressure to compel governments to take much stronger action against what he calls the climate change "emergency."

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Google employees arrive after bicycling to work at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California on May 14, 2015. Brooks Kraft LLC / Corbis via Getty Images

Google employees fed up with the company's financial support for conservative groups that deny the climate crisis wrote an open letter that demands the tech giant address specific concerns about carbon emissions and political lobbying, as CNET reported.

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Damage in Ichihara, Chiba prefecture, Japan following Typhoon Hagibis. STR / JIJI PRESS / AFP via Getty Images

At least 42 people have died and 15 are missing after Typhoon Hagibis swamped Japan Saturday, bringing record rainfall that flooded more than 1,000 homes, The Washington Post reported.

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People wade through flood waters in a rural neighborhood affected by Cyclone Idai on March 24. Andrew Renneisen / Getty Images

In another sign of the climate crisis, a record seven million people were displaced from their homes by extreme weather events during the first half of 2019, The New York Times reported Thursday.

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Climate Week NYC

On Monday, Sept. 23, the Climate Group will kick off its 11th annual Climate Week NYC, a chance for governments, non-profits, businesses, communities and individuals to share possible solutions to the climate crisis while world leaders gather in the city for the UN Climate Action Summit.

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picture-alliance / Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP photo

Greta Thunberg is set to head into a stormy Atlantic Wednesday on board the "Malizia II," a no-comfort, high-tech ocean racer skippered by a champion yachtsman and a member of Monaco's royal family.

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Matt Cardy / Stringer / Getty Images

The Guardian is changing the way it writes about environmental issues.

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Demonstrators display flags and banners during a protest against President Sebastian Piñera on Oct. 21, in Santiago, Chile. Marcelo Hernandez / Getty Images

Chile will no longer host the COP25 UN Climate Change Conference, where countries were scheduled to gather in December to discuss the implementation of the Paris agreement, BBC News reported.

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Greta Thunberg stands aboard the catamaran La Vagabonde as she sets sail to Europe in Hampton, Virginia, on Nov. 13. NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP via Getty Images

Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate activist whose weekly school strikes have spurred global demonstrations, has cut short her tour of the Americas and set sail for Europe to attend COP25 in Madrid next month, as The New York Times reported.

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