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Google campus in Mountain View, Calif. Photo: Amy Osborne/AFP/Getty Images

Amazon unveiled sweeping new energy and climate plans yesterday, and hours later, Google announced its biggest renewable power buys ever.

Why it matters: While the announcements by 2 of the world's biggest companies are stark signs that corporate giants are getting more aggressive about climate change, corporate commitments won't change the underlying trend of global carbon emissions on track to bring warming that blows past the Paris Agreement's temperature goals.

  • And get ready for more pledges around the UN climate conference Monday and the annual Climate Week NYC that begins the same day.

The big picture: The White House pullback combined with growing public and investor pressures have triggered new climate pledges and policies by "subnational" players — cities, states and companies.

  • But a newly updated analysis of thousands of these efforts shows that while they're consequential when carried out, they don't replace — at all — the need for stronger national-level emissions policies.
  • Still, these efforts could provide a significant boost to country-level plans and policies.

What they found: The report, which is from multiple organizations including the NewClimate Institute and Data-Driven EnviroLab, says global emissions in 2030 would be 1.2-2 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent lower than national policies alone if plans by "subnational" players in the world's 10 largest economies are fully implemented.

  • That's roughly equivalent to Canada and Japan’s combined emissions in 2016, the study notes.

Catch up fast: Despite the pessimism, here's a look at what Amazon and Google actually rolled out ...

  • Amazon: The company vowed to have net-zero carbon emissions by 2040; power its facilities and operations with 100% renewable energy by 2030; and buy 100,000 electric delivery vans.
  • Google: The company announced a 1.6-gigawatt package of renewable power deals in the U.S., South America and Europe that the tech behemoth is calling the "biggest corporate purchase of renewable energy in history."
  • By the way, Google says it already procures enough renewable power to match its annual electricity consumption. But that doesn't mean Google operations are using carbon-free power all the time, something the company hopes to achieve eventually.

Go deeper:

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Justice Department drops insider trading inquiry against Sen. Richard Burr

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) walking through the Senate Subway in the U.S. Capitol in December 2020. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Department of Justice told Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Tuesday that it will not move forward with insider trading charges against him.

Why it matters: The decision, first reported by the New York Times, effectively ends the DOJ's investigation into the senator's stock sell-off that occurred after multiple lawmakers were briefed about the coronavirus' potential economic toll. Burr subsequently stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Netflix tops 200 million global subscribers

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix said that it added another 8.5 million global subscribers last quarter, bringing its total number of paid subscribers globally to more than 200 million.

The big picture: Positive fourth-quarter results show Netflix's resiliency, despite increased competition and pandemic-related production headwinds.

Janet Yellen plays down debt, tax hike concerns in confirmation hearing

Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen at an event in December. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Janet Yellen, Biden's pick to lead the Treasury Department, pushed back against two key concerns from Republican senators at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday: the country's debt and the incoming administration's plans to eventually raise taxes.

Driving the news: Yellen — who's expected to win confirmation — said spending big now will prevent the U.S. from having to dig out of a deeper hole later. She also said the Biden administration's priority right now is coronavirus relief, not raising taxes.