Energy & Environment

Why it matters: Ominous forecasts about the impact of climate change serve as the backdrop for the world — led by U.S. lawmakers and companies — to debate big action on the problem, which could upend energy systems and our way of life.

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Elon Musk claims Tesla is on the cusp of developing fully self-driving cars

Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Tesla CEO Elon Musk told a Chinese audience the carmaker is on the verge of developing fully self-driving cars, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: It's a claim he's made many times before, but has yet to deliver, so take it with a grain of salt.

Electric vehicle startup Fisker could go public

Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Fisker, one of the many electric-vehicle startups with big plans to make cars but no actual production yet, could soon become a public company.

Why it matters: If Fisker has a successful public launch, it'll be yet another sign that the market hive-mind sees something in electric-vehicle startups that aren't yet reflected in their actual financials.

Electric vehicle startup Rivian lands $2.5 billion in new funding

Rivian's R1T pickup. Photo: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Electric vehicle company Rivian announced Friday the close of a $2.5 billion funding round.

Why it matters: It's another sign that the Michigan-based company is very well-positioned among the suite of electric vehicle startups with vehicles heading to the market.

Biden features energy R&D in economic push

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Joe Biden is making it increasingly clear that he'll push for a large increase in energy research, development and demonstration funding if he wins the White House.

Driving the news: The economic proposals Biden unveiled yesterday include $300 billion over four years for investments in R&D and "breakthrough" tech — and one of the focus areas is energy.

Coronavirus surge punctures oil's recovery

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The growth of coronavirus cases is "casting a shadow" over oil's recovery despite the partial demand revival and supply cuts that have considerably tightened the market in recent months, the International Energy Agency said Friday.

Why it matters: IEA's monthly report confirms what analysts have seen coming for a long time: Failure to contain the virus is a huge threat to the market rebound that has seen prices grow, but remain at a perilous level for many companies.

Seagrass is good at storing CO2, but it's vanishing

A seagrass meadow. Photo: Centre for Marine Ecosystems Research at Edith Cowan University

Meadows of seagrass on the ocean floor are among the planet's most efficient ecosystems for absorbing and storing carbon.

Why it matters: Climate change, industrial and agricultural run-off, and development along coastlines are threatening the world's seagrass meadows.

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