Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

An important new commentary in the journal Nature Climate Change offers a path for quantifying the emissions-cutting initiatives emerging from cities, states, companies and others worldwide.

Why it matters: These efforts are a key part of the climate policy landscape. And that's especially true as these parties respond to the White House's abandonment of Obama-era initiatives and plan to quit the Paris agreement, and as scientific warnings pile up about the need for steep and near-term CO2 cuts.

  • But that creates a thorny problem too, which is how to make sense of the real-world emissions-cutting effects of this global kaleidoscope of subnational and nonstate efforts.
  • Right now, attempts to create accurate comparisons and tallies are limited by reliance on a mishmash of assumptions, methods and data sources.
  • "Existing global aggregation studies ... are fragmented and incomplete," the paper states.

What they found: The paper offers a "research roadmap" for getting a better handle on it, with a suite of ideas around topics such as ...

  • Creating "consistent taxonomies" for defining which types of actions are included in studies.
  • How to analyze and measure the policy and emissions baseline against which actions are seeking to cut emissions.
  • How to disentangle efforts to see which ones are overlapping and to what degree.
  • Assessing the likelihood that various pledges are actually implemented.

Details: To take just one example, the paper offers guidance for how to weigh different forms of "emissions overlap."

1. One form is geographic, wherein different actors target the same type of emissions source, such as power supply, in a shared region.

2. Another is "supply chain overlap," which "occurs when targeting the same emission source either from a supply perspective (car manufacturers, for example) or use perspective (initiatives to change company vehicle fleets)."

  • "If overlap exists, compare the ambition of overlapping actors’ GHG reductions, assuming that one actor adds to the effect of another if its ambition is higher," it suggests.
  • It then offers ways to determine whether there are "amplification effects" from overlapping actions.

The bottom line: "The ability to ratchet up global climate mitigation relies on all levels of government and various actors, but these efforts must now be matched with solid scientific approaches to assess mitigation effort, document progress and highlight the lessons learned over time," it finds.

Go deeper: The limits of local fights against climate change

Go deeper

Breaking down the Tesla obsession

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tesla is the company of the moment — the prime exemplar of just about any big and important trend that you might care about.

Why it matters: Almost every reader of finance and business news will have at least one strongly-held opinion about Tesla. What you might not realize is just how widely those opinions range, and the degree to which they map onto much broader views of the world.

Gallup: Party preference swings dramatically in favor of Democrats

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Americans' political party preferences have swung sharply from a 2-point Republican advantage in January to an 11-point Democratic advantage in July, according to Gallup's monthly averages of telephone polls in 2020.

The big picture: The dramatic shift is more a product of fewer people identifying as Republican or Republican-leaning (down 8% since January) than gains among those who identify as Democratic or Democratic-leaning (up 5%).

Nancy Pelosi: "I yearn for other Republican presidents"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called on President Trump Thursday to exercise "the full power" of the Defense Production Act to meet coronavirus equipment needs and accused him of engaging in a "massive dereliction of duty" by ignoring science during the pandemic.

What she's saying: "I yearn for other Republican presidents," Pelosi said at a press conference. "While we may have disagreed on many points, but at least we had a shared commitment to the governance of our country."