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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."

Netflix tops 200 million global subscribers

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix said that it added another 8.5 million global subscribers last quarter, bringing its total number of paid subscribers globally to more than 200 million.

The big picture: Positive fourth quarter results show Netflix's resiliency, despite increased competition and pandemic-related production headwinds.

Janet Yellen plays down debt, tax hike concerns in confirmation hearing

Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen at an event in December. (Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images)

Janet Yellen, Biden's pick to lead the Treasury Department, pushed back against two key concerns from Republican senators at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday: the country's debt and the incoming administration's plans to eventually raise taxes.

Driving the news: Yellen — who's expected to win confirmation — said spending big now will prevent the U.S. from having to dig out of a deeper hole later. She also said the Biden administration's priority right now is coronavirus relief, not raising taxes.