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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new analysis finds that the steep U.S. greenhouse gas emissions decline stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic will have little effect on long-term trends under current policies.

What they did: The firm Energy Innovation modeled the emissions and energy demand effects of the pandemic using gross domestic product estimates from Goldman Sachs, the International Monetary Fund and the Energy Information Administration.

What they found: Their analysis sees the drop in U.S. emissions ranging 7% to 11% in 2020 compared to 2019 levels — and then coming back over the next few years.

  • "[E]missions will likely approach pre-COVID-19 levels by 2025 and COVID-19 is not likely to have a material impact on annual emissions in 2030 or cumulative emissions through 2050," they conclude.

What they're saying: Report author Megan Mahajan tells Axios that "the right stimulus response could change that business-as-usual trajectory."

  • "If the government’s COVID response includes green investments and smart policy, the U.S. could recharge the economy by kick-starting clean industries with the potential for serious decarbonization."

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
Aug 20, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Joe Biden unlikely to push carbon tax as part of climate change plan

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Joe Biden is unlikely to pursue a carbon tax if he wins in November, according to several people familiar with his campaign's thinking.

Driving the news: The campaign said last year it supported a price on carbon emissions, but it has since released policies that embody government mandates, investments and job creation amid the pandemic-induced recession.

Updated 39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Fall and winter COVID surge "unlikely" if people get vaccinated.
  2. Politics: School boards are the next political battleground.
  3. Vaccines: Pfizer begins application for full FDA vaccine approval — Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants.
  4. Economy: U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations.
  5. World: Asia faces massive new COVID surgeIndia records its deadliest day of the pandemic.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Kevin McCarthy officially endorses Elise Stefanik to replace Liz Cheney

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) officially endorsed Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) to become the GOP's next House Republican conference chair during a Fox News appearance Sunday.

Why it matters: The GOP has been feuding internally over the fate of the current chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), because of her criticisms of former President Donald Trump, and her vote to impeach him for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.