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On Wednesday, April 28, Axios energy reporter Ben Geman and business reporter Hope King unpacked global sustainability initiatives across the private sector and key learnings from the White House climate summit, featuring Global Optimism founding partner Christiana Figueres and White House climate adviser Melanie Nakagawa.

Christiana Figueres discussed global collaboration and the 2020s as the "decisive decade" in determining the planet's future climate.

  • On the capacity of the U.S. to be a role model in its investment in addressing climate change: "The United States is definitely taking a leadership role here and showing other countries how that is done and most importantly, what the benefits are of that all-government approach."
  • On getting the U.S. to zero carbon by 2035 and its economic impact: "It will create millions of jobs, and it will make the U.S. economy much more competitive in a decarbonized global economy."

Melanie Nakagawa unpacked President Biden's climate agenda and the economic impact of ambitious, policy-driven climate goals.

  • On the U.S. International Climate Finance Plan: "Many of these investments we're looking to make are about creating jobs at home. Many of these opportunities are ways that we increase our ability to export more...We really see that that kind of investment is not only good at home, but also help others overseas become more resilient to the impacts of climate change."
  • On accountability in government and the private sector and setting far-reaching climate goals: "What are countries, what are private sector institutions, what are cities and towns and others doing in this decade to get us on that path to 2050? It's great to have a net-zero 2050 timeline out there. What's even better is to show us how you're getting there by 2030."

Axios Chief Revenue Officer Fabricio Drumond hosted a View from the Top Segment with Gerry Keefe, Head of Global Banking, Americas at HSBC who discussed how large companies can support the world's transition to net-zero, and what it will take to get there.

  • "I think the greatest need that we have in addressing these challenges is innovation. I think if you understand the math of carbon, and where we stand globally, you realize very quickly...that we only get to net zero through innovation, whether that's power generation, [or] storage usage."

Thank you HSBC for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Apr 29, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Report: Net-zero emissions targets will have real effects

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A Moody's Investors Service report says midcentury "net-zero" emissions targets now common among countries and financial firms will have tangible effects on polluting industries.

Why it matters: Yes, that seems obvious! But these efforts are heavy on aspiration and often lack teeth, though some countries are putting targets into law.

"The spate of targets and the push on climate risk disclosure is "expected to raise credit risk and reduce the availability, and increase the cost, of capital for carbon-intensive activities," Moody's says.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Apr 30, 2021 - Economy & Business

SEC joins growing push for climate risk disclosure

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The Securities and Exchange Commission held meetings this month with powerful K Street and Wall Street players as regulators mull new rules on corporate disclosure of climate-related risks.

Why it matters: Disclosure could soon move beyond voluntary and private-sector-led efforts to become more deeply embedded in federal regulation.

Misinformation is just one part of a vaccine trust problem

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

COVID-19 is the first major pandemic in the social media era — offering experts a rare opening to study the relationship between online misinformation and human behavior on a large scale.

Why it matters: As misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines runs rampant, researchers are trying to measure how much memes and messages with false information can alter someone's decision to get vaccinated.