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California Governor Jerry Brown signing SB 350, the climate and clean energy legislation bill. Photo: Ted Soqui/Corbis via Getty Images

A major climate storyline in the Trump era has been the way that cities, regional governments and companies worldwide have been pressing ahead with low-carbon efforts.

Driving the news: Two U.S. developments this week illustrate the trend: California is on the cusp of enacting legislation to ensure all of the state's electricity comes from carbon-free sources by 2045, while Facebook announced a carbon emissions-cutting target and new renewable energy goals.

Yes, but: A new report provides a glass half-full (or maybe empty) global perspective on that trend.

  • It 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: It's the most comprehensive global analysis yet of these efforts. 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.

What they found: The existing individual pledges would lead to emissions in 2030 that are about 3%–4% 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. These groups typically come together around more ambitious and long-term goals than individual members.
  • 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.
  • The impact would be even greater if countries actually meet their Paris agreement pledges (called "nationally determined contributions").
  • "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.

The big picture: The effect of sub-national and corporate efforts is important at a time when...

  • The White House is scuttling Obama-era national policies and moving to abandon the Paris agreement.
  • Combined national pledges under Paris won't come close to stopping long-term temperatures from rising far above 1.5–2 degrees Celsius, the goal of the 2015 deal.
  • Countries' national policies are collectively not even on track to meet those existing Paris commitments.

Our thought bubble: Put all that together, and it's clear that the burst of regional government and corporate actions are important, but insufficient. A lot of things have to break the right way to prevent blowing far past the Paris goals, and that's a very tall order.

Go deeper

Mark Meadows will stop cooperating with Jan. 6 panel, attorney says

Photo: Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows will no longer cooperate with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, his attorney told Fox News Tuesday.

Why it matters: Meadows, who failed to appear before the panel last month, is believed to have insight into former President Trump's role in efforts to stop the certification of President Biden's election win.

Updated 4 hours ago - Economy & Business

The billionaire balloon

Data: World Inequality Report 2022; Chart: Axios Visuals

The super-rich are getting stupid rich: New data out today shows the share of global wealth held by the richest slice of humanity swelled by almost a full percentage point during the pandemic.

Driving the news: The top 0.01% of individuals now hold about 11% of the world's wealth, compared to just over 10% in 2020, according to the "World Inequality Report 2022," written by Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

Omicron gives a shot to boosters

Expand chart
Data: CDC; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Vaccination rates have ticked higher since the discovery of the Omicron variant, CDC data shows.

By the numbers: The seven-day average for vaccinations in the U.S. reached about 1.8 million on Monday, up from an average of about 1.3 million a month ago.