Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The UN's Earth Day message calls on governments to do something that's not happening in America: Attach green strings to public aid for corporations in coronavirus rescue packages.

What they're saying: "[W]here taxpayers’ money is used to rescue businesses, it needs to be tied to achieving green jobs and sustainable growth," UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in prepared remarks.

Catch up quick: Republicans rebuffed a Democratic push to tie billions of dollars in airline assistance to new emissions mandates in the "phase 3" coronavirus rescue package a few weeks back.

The big picture: That's just one part of Guterres' much wider set of recommendations to "protect our planet from both the coronavirus and the existential threat of climate disruption."

  • More broadly, it calls for using the huge pandemic economic rescue packages to "deliver new jobs and businesses through a clean, green transition."
  • Another pillar in the six-part plank is that "public funds should be used to invest in the future, not the past, and flow to sustainable sectors and projects that help the environment and the climate."

The intrigue: This comes as the White House is weighing options to aid U.S. oil producers in dire straits as the pandemic crushes demand and prices collapse.

  • Politico, which obtained the remarks early, casts the speech as a direct challenge to the Trump administration.

Go deeper: Imagining a new energy normal after coronavirus

Go deeper

Updated Jul 28, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden says John Lewis asked him to "heal the country"

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Joe Biden summoned the spirit of John Lewis, the congressman and civil rights hero, as he unveiled his own economic plan to address structural inequalities in America.

The big picture: At a speech in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden said Lewis told him on his deathbed that Americans should "stay focused on the work left undone to heal this nation and to remain undaunted by the public health crisis and economic crisis."

Updated 49 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump whisked out of press briefing after shooting outside White House

President Trump was escorted out of a coronavirus press briefing by a Secret Service agent on Monday evening after law enforcement reportedly shot an armed suspect outside of the White House.

What's new: The 51-year-old suspect approached a uniformed Secret Service officer on the corner of 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, near the White House, and said he had a weapon, the agency alleged in a statement late Monday. He "ran aggressively towards the officer, and in a drawing motion, withdrew the object from his clothing."

Updated 1 hour ago - World

Protests in Belarus turn deadly following sham election

Belarus law enforcement officers guard a street during a protest on Monday night. Police in Minsk have fired rubber bullets for a second night against protesters. Photo: Natalia Fedosenko/TASS via Getty Image

Protesters and security forces have been clashing across Belarus overnight in a second night of protests that has left at least one person dead, hundreds injured and thousands arrested.

Why it matters: Sunday’s rigged presidential elections have yielded political uncertainty unlike any seen in Aleksander Lukashenko’s 26-year tenure. After claiming an implausible 80% of the vote, Lukashenko is using every tool in the authoritarian arsenal to maintain his grip on power.