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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A Moody's Investors Service report says midcentury "net-zero" emissions targets now common among countries and financial firms will have tangible effects on polluting industries.

Why it matters: Yes, that seems obvious! But these efforts are heavy on aspiration and often lack teeth, though some countries are putting targets into law.

"The spate of targets and the push on climate risk disclosure is "expected to raise credit risk and reduce the availability, and increase the cost, of capital for carbon-intensive activities," Moody's says.

The big picture: "[W]e expect pressure to inexorably rise for major producers and users of hydrocarbons to adjust business strategies to implement credible transition plans," it notes.

What we don't know: "The full implications for this decade of such initiatives will only become clear with the detail, breadth and speed of implementation steps taken under the net zero initiatives," Moody's notes.

  • A big thing to watch is government policy and financial sector actions resulting from interim targets.
  • Countries including the U.S. have recently set steep 2030 emissions-cutting targets.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Aug 5, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Exxon reportedly weighs 2050 net-zero carbon pledge

Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that Exxon is "considering a pledge to reduce its net carbon emissions to zero by 2050."

Why it matters: It would be a major shift for Exxon, the U.S.-based multinational giant, which to date has opposed the long-term targets embraced by European giants like Shell and BP.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Aug 5, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden, top automakers aim for 50% electric vehicle sales by 2030

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The White House on Thursday is unveiling draft mandates and aspirational targets aimed at drastically cutting vehicle carbon emissions and accelerating the shift to electric models.

Why it matters: Transportation is the largest source of U.S. emissions.

Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin testifies before a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Sept. 29 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool via Getty Images

The state of Oklahoma filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration on Thursday in an attempt to block the enforcement of its vaccine mandate for federal employees.

Why it matters: The move comes one day after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin denied Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt's (R) request to exempt the state's National Guard from the mandate.