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Christiana Figueres at the 2019 Web Summit. Photo: NurPhoto / Contributor

Two architects of the Paris Climate Agreement present a pair of possible scenarios for the global climate in 2050 — one in which we've met the carbon reduction targets laid out in the agreement, and one in which we've failed.

Why it matters: The authors argue that we have a decade left to pick which path the planet will take: catastrophe or hope.

Former United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change head Christiana Figueres and climate diplomat Tom Rivett-Carnac were instrumental in guiding the Paris Agreement, which committed countries to reducing carbon emissions sufficiently to keeping global temperature rise below at least 2° C by 2100.

  • In their new book The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis, the pair sketch out what the climate could look like by mid-century, depending on whether we meet the Paris goals.
  • If we succeed, they foresee a world where forests cover half the land surface, air pollution has disappeared and fossil fuels have been eliminated.
  • If we fail, warming will be on a pace for a 3°C increase by 2050, the air will become unbreathable and the very future of human civilization will be in doubt.

What they're saying: "If we continue where we are now, we are going to be irreparably going down a course of constant destruction," Figueres told the Guardian.

  • Altering that path will require sharp technological and political change, especially in the U.S. The choices made in 2020 will help decide the climate in 2050.

Go deeper

Trump bump: NYT and WaPo digital subscriptions tripled since 2016

Data: Axios reporting and public filings; Chart: Axios Visuals

The New York Times and The Washington Post have very different strategies for building the subscription news company of the future.

The big picture: Sources tell Axios that the Post is nearing 3 million digital subscribers, a 50% year-over-year growth in subscriptions and more than 3x the number of digital-only subscribers it had in 2016. The New York Times now has more than 6 million digital-only subscribers, nearly 3x its number from 2016.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
32 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Biden's emerging climate orbit

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

As of Tuesday morning, we know a lot more about President-elect Joe Biden climate personnel orbit, even as picks for agencies like EPA and DOE are outstanding, so here are a few early conclusions.

Why it matters: They're the highest-level names yet announced who will have a role in what Biden is promising will be a far-reaching climate and energy agenda.

Janet Yellen is back

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images

A face familiar to Wall Street is back as a central player that this time will need to steer the country out of a deep economic crisis.

Driving the news: President-elect Joe Biden is preparing to nominate former Fed chair Janet Yellen to be Treasury secretary.

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