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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:

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Satellite imagery of the Northeastern U.S. taken by NOAA on Jan. 17. Photo: NOAA

A major winter storm lashed much of the East Coast Sunday and Monday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The latest: Authorities in North Carolina confirmed that two people died in a car crash and that they responded 600 vehicle accidents during the storm on Sunday, per the Washington Post.

5 hours ago - Health

CDC director says COVID-19 messaging should have been clearer

Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that the messaging around the COVID-19 pandemic and changing guidance should have been clearer.

State of play: Walensky is being coached by media experts and is planning to have more press briefings by herself in order to ensure that CDC is seen as an independent, scientific entity, rather than as a political one, the Journal reports.

5 hours ago - World

UAE asks U.S. to reinstate Houthi terrorist designation after attack

Secretary of State Tony Blinken (left) listens to United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan during a joint news conference at the State Department iin October. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah Bin Zayed asked Secretary of State Tony Blinken in a phone call Monday to re-designate the Houthi rebels in Yemen as a terrorist organization, a senior Emirati official told Axios.

Why it matters: Less than a month after he assumed office, President Biden rolled back the Trump administration’s decision to make the designation. He said it hampered humanitarian assistance to the Yemeni people. Since then, the Houthis have escalated their attacks against Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region — including an attack Monday in Abu Dhabi.