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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

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Technology

TikTok gets more time (again)

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The White House is again giving TikTok's Chinese parent company more to satisfy national security concerns, rather than initiating legal action, a source familiar with the situation tells Axios.

The state of play: China's ByteDance had until Friday to resolve issues raised by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which is chaired by Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. This was the company's third deadline, with CFIUS having provided two earlier extensions.

Federal judge orders Trump administration to restore DACA

DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, giving undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children a chance to petition for protection from deportation.

Why it matters: DACA was implemented under former President Obama, but President Trump has sought to undo the program since taking office. Friday’s ruling will require Department of Homeland Security officers to begin accepting applications starting Monday and guarantee that work permits are valid for two years.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Health: CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use" — Death rates rising across the country — Study: Increased testing can reduce transmission.
  3. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  4. Cities: Bay Area counties to enact stay-at-home order ahead of state mandate
  5. Vaccine: What vaccine trials still need to do.
  6. World: UN warns "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.