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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The U.S. International Development Finance Corp. (DFC) on Monday announced its first "chief climate officer" and his deputy as the development bank looks to use billions in financing tools to help combat global warming.

Driving the news: The chief climate officer is Jake Levine, an energy and climate expert who arrives via the law firm Covington & Burling.

  • He's previously advised California officials, worked for the power software company Opower and served in President Obama's White House.
  • The development bank also announced Aparna Shrivastava, who comes from her role as climate finance lead for the NGO Mercy Corps, as deputy chief climate officer.
  • The DFC notes she brings years of experience in sustainable development in East Africa, Central America and South Asia.

Why it matters: It's part of wider White House efforts to leverage federal financial and development agencies to help other countries cut emissions and become more resilient to climate change.

The big picture: The announcement comes about two weeks after the White House released a broad international climate finance plan.

  • It makes climate investments a priority for the DFC, the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

How it works: The DFC's various tools include project loans, political risk insurance, technical assistance and, via 2018 legislation, the ability to make equity investments.

  • The recent White House plan calls for increasing new climate-focused investments at the DFC to 33% of its billions of dollars in annual new portfolio additions beginning in fiscal year 2023.
  • And an administration official tells Axios that beyond that specific target, the DFC is looking to stitch climate into the fabric of its portfolio more broadly.

Go deeper

Extreme weather defined Earth's hottest month

Expand chart
Reproduced from NOAA; Chart: Connor Rothschild/Axios

July was the hottest month on record worldwide, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Why it matters: When it comes to establishing new climate milestones, the Earth is on a roll, thanks in large part to the burning of fossil fuels for energy, as well as deforestation.

Updated 37 mins ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.

Updated 39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Teens and adults missed 37 million vaccinations during COVID — Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker