Aug 29, 2018

How cities and companies can help keep Earth from frying

Emissions from a coal-fired power plant in Baltimore. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

A new analysis concludes that local and regional governments, as well as corporations, can play a major role in cutting carbon emissions enough to prevent runaway global warming — but working together is crucial to making that happen.

Why it matters: The report is the most comprehensive global analysis yet of climate plans by cities, state and regional governments, and companies.

A Yale University interdisciplinary project called Data-Driven Yale released the report along with the NewClimate Institute and a Dutch national institute called the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.

Where it stands: The existing pledges would lead to emissions in 2030 that are about three to four percent below where they would be under current national policies alone.

But far steeper reductions are possible if they work in concert via the many "international cooperative initiatives" (ICIs) that bring together some combination of countries, cities, state and regional governments, and businesses and civil society groups, according to the report. These groups typically come together around more ambitious and long-term goals than individual members.

  • Examples of those ICIs include America's Pledge (which is led by California Gov. Jerry Brown and Mike Bloomberg), several different groups of mayors worldwide, the Under2 Coalition, and many others.

Working through those ICIs could lead to emissions in 2030 that are one third lower than what's on tap under current national policies alone, bringing global emissions to around 36-43 gigatons of CO2-equivalent per year, which is much closer to a trajectory compatible with limiting the rise to two degrees Celsius.

The impact would be even greater if countries actually meet their Paris pledges (called "nationally determined contributions") as well.

"Combined, ICIs and fully-implemented NDCs would bring global emissions in 2030 into a range that is consistent with the long-term temperature goal of the Paris Agreement," the report states.

Go deeper

Intelligence community watchdog suggests Trump fired him for doing his job

Michael Atkinson, Inspector General of the Intelligence Community,at the Capitol in October. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson suggested in a statement Sunday President Trump fired him for acting impartially in carrying out his duties following a whistleblower complaint.

Why it matters: Atkinson alerted Congress last September to the complaint on Trump's correspondence with Ukraine's president, triggering an inquiry that resulted in the president's impeachment.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll passes 9,500

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 9,500 in the U.S. Sunday evening, per Johns Hopkins data. The death toll in the U.S. has risen over 1,000 every day since April 1.

Why it matters: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Sunday this upcoming week will be "the hardest and saddest week of most Americans' lives" — calling it our "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,273,794 — Total deaths: 69,419 — Total recoveries: 260,193Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 337,274 — Total deaths: 9,633 — Total recoveries: 17,449Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Surgeon general says this week will be "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment." The USDA confirms that a Bronx zoo tiger tested positive for coronavirus.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. Biden says DNC may have to hold virtual convention.
  5. States updates: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state is "literally going day-to-day" with supplies.
  6. World update: Queen Elizabeth II urges the British people to confront pandemic with "self-discipline" and "resolve" in rare televised address.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.