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An Extinction Rebellion activist stands on top of the Wall Street Bull during an Oct. 7 protest. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Big Oil often takes center stage, but big finance is having its climate moment this year, between the 2020 presidential elections and events at Davos.

Why it matters: It's the latest sign of how Wall Street is increasingly at the center for climate advocacy in at least two ways — and how White House hopefuls are part of those efforts.

  • Beyond pressing banks to assess climate risks, which large swaths of the sector are doing on a voluntary basis, a more confrontational set of campaigns is pushing banks to abandon fossil fuel finance.

Driving the news: Sen. Elizabeth Warren is pressing eight banking giants on what they're doing to assess climate risks to their investments and the financial system.

  • Her new letters to the banks, which Reuters covered here, point to how a Warren presidency would push the financial sector.
  • Her Senate office rollout of the letters touts proposals to force public companies to make detailed disclosures about climate risks to their businesses.
  • Warren also backs legislation to require the Federal Reserve to add climate to "stress tests" for the financial sector.

Threat level: Climate activists could have White House allies, depending on how the election shakes out.

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders' climate platform backs the divestment movement, promising rules to push it forward and overall vowing, "we will support these movements in the White House."
  • Warren's plan also vows to "hold the financial industry accountable for its role in the climate crisis."

But, but, but: Reporting from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, highlights banks' pushback against wholesale divestment and work with fossil fuel industries, even as some banks are abandoning finance for projects like coal mines and Arctic oil. Here's the Financial Times...

"The leaders of some big banks and other financial companies have rejected suggestions that they are not doing enough to combat climate change and resisted calls that they should refuse to work with clients that are major polluters."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Scoop: Border officials project 13,000 child migrants in May

The "El Chaparral" border crossing at Tijuana. Photo: Stringer/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

A Customs and Border Protection staffer told top administration officials Thursday the agency is projecting a peak of 13,000 unaccompanied children crossing the border in May, sources directly familiar with the discussion told Axios.

Why it matters: That projection would exceed the height of the 2019 crisis, which led to the infamous "kids-in-cages" disaster. It also underscores a rapidly escalating crisis for the Biden administration.

4 hours ago - World

U.S. strikes Iran-backed militia facilities in Syria

President Biden at the Pentagon on Feb. 10. Photo: Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images

The United States on Thursday carried out an airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to an Iran-backed militia group, the Pentagon announced.

The state of play: The strike, approved by President Biden, comes "in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.

Senate parliamentarian rules $15 minimum wage cannot be included in relief package

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that the provision to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour cannot be included in the broader $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

Why it matters: It's now very likely that any increase in the minimum wage will need bipartisan support, as the provision cannot be passed with the simple Senate majority that Democrats are aiming to use for President Biden's rescue bill.

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