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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new insta-analysis of China's vow to achieve "carbon neutrality" before 2060 helps to underscore why Tuesday's announcement sent shockwaves through the climate and energy world.

Why it matters: Per the Climate Action Tracker, a research group, following through would lower projected global warming 0.2 to 0.3°C. That's a lot!

  • If all countries' existing pledges under the Paris climate deal were implemented, they estimate a rise of 2.7°C above preindustrial levels by 2100.
  • But if China followed through, it would bring that to 2.4 to 2.5°C, they project.
  • The goal of the Paris deal is to hold warming "well below" 2°C and ideally limit it to 1.5°C, but analysts say the lower level is slipping out of reach very fast.

Yes, but: There's no reason to take China's pledge at face value right now, especially before any information on the planned implementation surfaces.

  • And there's quite the disconnect between the long-term goal and China's existing situation.
  • A new analysis posted over at Carbon Brief finds that China is "focusing its post-Covid recovery on high-carbon energy and infrastructure."

Go deeper

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

Microsoft backs direct air capture player Climeworks

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Microsoft this morning disclosed investments in more climate-related companies as part of efforts to make good on its year-old pledge to become "carbon negative" by 2030.

Driving the news: One company the tech behemoth is staking is Climeworks, a firm looking to scale up deployment of direct air capture technology that removes CO2 already in the atmosphere.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden to sign major climate orders, setting up clash with oil industry

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden will sign new executive actions today that provide the clearest signs yet of his climate plans — elevating the issue to a national security priority and kicking off an intense battle with the oil industry.

Driving the news: One move will freeze issuance of new oil-and-gas leases on public lands and waters "to the extent possible," per a White House summary.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
1 hour ago - Health

New clues emerge on long COVID

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

The presence of certain autoantibodies or high amounts of coronavirus RNA in the blood could be indicators a patient has a higher chance of developing long COVID, according to a new study in the journal Cell.

  • Other factors include a person having Type 2 diabetes or the reactivation of the Epstein-Barr virus.

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