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Power plants in Klitten, Germany. Photo: Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images

The economic rationale for deeply decarbonizing the global economy is getting stronger even as evidence mounts that the worldwide energy system is nowhere near on pace to make that happen. Axios' Andrew Freedman reports on a new, peer-reviewed paper, which shows that meeting the more stringent global temperature targets in the Paris climate deal would save countries trillions of dollars in economic output, outweighing the costs of reducing emissions.

But, but, but: The same day that paper came out, the International Energy Agency released its latest data on global growth of low-carbon energy technology deployment. While IEA sees progress, they said that just four of 38 energy technologies and sectors they track are on pace to create a pathway that achieves a temperature rise of well below 2°C.

And this week, the World Bank released a new analysis of the worldwide growth of carbon pricing, which refers to emissions trading or taxes that many view as essential in the fight against warming.

  • Their report shows that worldwide, 51 pricing systems at the national, subnational or regional level are in place or scheduled to be implemented.
  • But while pricing is on the march, those initiatives would still cover just a fifth of global emissions.

Don't forget: Separate reports in recent months have concluded that global CO2 emissions actually rose in 2017, ending a three-year plateau.

The bottom line: No matter how many analyses pile up showing the benefits of steep emissions cuts, making them happen on a scale to avoid blowing past 2°C of warming target remains a steep, steep uphill climb.

Go deeper

Trump bump: NYT and WaPo digital subscriptions tripled since 2016

Data: Axios reporting and public filings; Chart: Axios Visuals

The New York Times and The Washington Post have very different strategies for building the subscription news company of the future.

The big picture: Sources tell Axios that the Post is nearing 3 million digital subscribers, a 50% year-over-year growth in subscriptions and more than 3x the number of digital-only subscribers it had in 2016. The New York Times now has more than 6 million digital-only subscribers, nearly 3x its number from 2016.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Biden's emerging climate orbit

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

As of Tuesday morning, we know a lot more about President-elect Joe Biden climate personnel orbit, even as picks for agencies like EPA and DOE are outstanding, so here are a few early conclusions.

Why it matters: They're the highest-level names yet announced who will have a role in what Biden is promising will be a far-reaching climate and energy agenda.

Janet Yellen is back

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images

A face familiar to Wall Street is back as a central player that this time will need to steer the country out of a deep economic crisis.

Driving the news: President-elect Joe Biden is preparing to nominate former Fed chair Janet Yellen to be Treasury secretary.