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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The clean energy think tank RMI just launched a nonprofit journalism arm called Canary Media that's staffed by well-known names in energy and climate reporting.

The big picture: Canary will be "at the forefront of the clean energy transition" with a mission to cover global efforts to fight climate change, per RMI, formerly the Rocky Mountain Institute.

The intrigue: Top staff are veterans of Greentech Media, a highly respected but now-defunct site that began in 2007.

  • The consultancy Wood Mackenzie, which bought Greentech in 2016, shuttered it last month (though WoodMac provides its own public-facing content).
  • Canary's editor-in-chief is Jeff St. John, who was managing editor at Greentech. Eric Wesoff, who was Greentech's first employee, is managing editor.
  • Also on board are former Greentech reporters Julian Spector and Emma Foehringer Merchant.

David Roberts, who recently left Vox to launch a Substack newsletter, is the editor at large.

Why it matters: They won't lack material as they cover business, tech and policy in a newsroom they call independent from RMI.

  • Clean tech — in power, mobility, industry and more — is shaking up legacy systems, attracting new investment and policy support.
  • But changes thus far have not started bringing the kinds of steep emissions cuts needed to meet the goals of the Paris climate deal.

What's next: Canary's site went live today and they're also launching a free subscription newsletter.

  • Wesoff tells Axios they have no immediate plans for paywalled products but didn't rule it out. 
  • The site will leverage analyses and data from RMI, but also use research from a range of analysts, Wesoff said.
  • The "launch partners" include Amazon Web Services, Black & Veatch and other companies.

Go deeper

Column / Harder Line

In uneven economic recovery, climate action risks leaving some behind

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A year ago, almost all of us were grappling with the unknowns of the pandemic. Today, some of us are doing just fine, while others are still reeling.

Why it matters: This split-screen economy, called a K-shaped recovery, highlights the risk facing politicians, including President Biden, as they rally around bold climate action. If new climate laws aren’t inclusive of those less well off in America and around the world, they risk exacerbating inequality.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Apr 5, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Energy industry heavyweights boost carbon price lobbying

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

CEO Climate Dialogue, a two-year-old group that includes execs from giant energy and industrial companies, has brought on lobbying powerhouse Forbes-Tate.

Why it matters: The newly public filing highlights the increased K Street activity around pricing since President Biden's win opened the door for new climate legislation.

Surprising pandemic side effect: Soaring trade deficits

Source: Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

Inflation and jobs may get all the economic headlines, but meanwhile a big shift is taking place in the underpinnings of the world economy: The U.S. trade deficit is soaring.

What's happening: Americans' spending on imported physical goods has gone through the roof, while exports are growing slowly, making the U.S. the world's consumer of last resort.