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Expand chart
Reproduced from IEA; Chart: Axios Visuals

The chart above shows one reason cutting global emissions is so hard: the persistence of coal, especially in China, where demand for the most carbon-intensive fuel grew even during the pandemic.

The big picture: The International Energy Agency, in a report this week, said it sees global coal demand increasing by 4.5% in 2021 after last year's decline.

What they're saying: "The power sector accounted for just over 40% of the drop in coal use in 2020, but the rapid increase in coal-fired generation in Asia sees it account for three-quarters of the rebound in 2021," IEA said.

  • "[Natural] gas prices are also expected to rise in 2021, leading to some switching back to coal, notably in the United States and the European Union."

Catch up fast: Those findings are part of a wider IEA report we covered here that projects global energy-related CO2 emissions will rise almost 5% this year.

Go deeper: U.S. and China agree to take joint climate action

Go deeper

Study: Cost of carbon emissions measured in lives lost is high

Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Axios Visuals

Adding projected heat-related deaths into cost-benefit analysis of federal rules would tilt policymaking in favor of more aggressive carbon emissions cuts, a new study finds.

Why it matters: The social cost of carbon helps determine the outcome of cost-benefit analyses that underpin federal regulations. Adding in global warming's potential to cause more heat-related fatalities would tilt the policy calculus from supporting a gradual phaseout of emissions starting in 2050, to fully decarbonizing by the same year.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jul 28, 2021 - Energy & Environment

The private climate finance surge

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There's so much private equity and infrastructure fund action in the climate tech space these days that it's hard to keep up.

Driving the news: Brookfield Asset Management on Tuesday closed $7 billion for its Global Transition Fund that aims to scale clean energy and help carbon-intensive industries cut emissions.

Updated 4 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.