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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Heat dome roasts Northwest, Central states as "derecho" threat looms in Midwest

Weather map showing a sprawling heat dome centered over Kansas on July 30, 2021. (

The latest in a series of relentless heat waves is bringing dangerously hot temperatures to a the Central U.S. on Wednesday, and will contribute to a severe thunderstorm outbreak across the Upper Midwest. The heat will expand in scope toward the end of the week.

The big picture: Heat watches, warnings and advisories are in effect across 19 states, from Portland, Oregon east to Minneapolis, and running all the way south to New Orleans. Temperatures of between 10°F and 15°F above average in these areas along with high humidity poses a public health threat.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
7 hours ago - Energy & Environment

A new push to diversify the climate startup world

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A prominent energy venture capital firm and large companies including Microsoft and Duke Energy are launching a new fund to help diversify the clean technology startup sector.

Driving the news: The clean energy and climate-tech focused Energy Impact Partners (EIP) on Wednesday morning unveiled the Elevate Future Fund.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
8 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Report: European power demand outpaces fossil fuels

Reproduced from an Ember report; Chart: Axios Visuals

A new analysis finds that European Union electricity use is almost back to its pre-pandemic levels, but the bloc's use of fossil fuels to generate power has not returned nearly as much.

The big picture: The data, via the environmental think tank Ember, reveal a mixed verdict of sorts for the EU's efforts to decarbonize.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
8 hours ago - Energy & Environment

The private climate finance surge

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There's so much private equity and infrastructure fund action in the climate tech space these days that it's hard to keep up.

Driving the news: Brookfield Asset Management on Tuesday closed $7 billion for its Global Transition Fund that aims to scale clean energy and help carbon-intensive industries cut emissions.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jul 27, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Private equity giant TPG Capital raises $5.4 billion for new climate fund

Jon Winkelried, co-CEO and partner of TPG Capital LP, speaks during the Bloomberg Equality Summit in New York on Wednesday, March 27, 2019. Photo: Bess Adler/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Private equity giant TPG this morning said it raised $5.4 billion for the inaugural round of its TPG Rise Climate fund.

Why it matters: Per the New York Times, it's the "largest climate-focused fund in the world." And there's more coming.

Australian wildfires had bigger influence on climate than lockdowns: Study

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The COVID-19 pandemic-related lockdowns exerted a slight net warming effect on the planet, but Australian wildfires had a much bigger and faster climate impact, cooling the planet from December 2019 through mid-2020, a new study finds.

Why it matters: The study shows how two largely manmade forces — the response to a pandemic and climate change-related wildfires — can influence the planet, with implications for understanding future climate change.

Heat wave grips U.S. this week from coast to coast

Computer model projection from the GFS model showing an unusually hot airmass across the western and Central U.S. on Thursday, June 29, 2021. (

A widespread heat wave has begun across the contiguous U.S., with at least 30 million people likely to see temperatures reach or exceed 100°F by the end of the week. At least 17 states are under heat warnings or advisories on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The hot weather, which comes courtesy of another heat dome building across the Southwest, Rockies and then sliding into the western Plains, will only aggravate drought conditions and worsen many of the western wildfires.

One-on-one with Peter Rawlinson, CEO, Lucid Motors

Peter Rawlinson. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The pressure is on for Lucid Motors. Shares of the electric vehicle company closed up more than 10.6% on its first day of trading on Monday.

Why it matters: Lucid has yet to deliver any cars. The company went public by merging with a SPAC, Churchill Capital Corp. IV, in part to get enough cash to start production.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Jul 27, 2021 - Energy & Environment

The charging travails of driving a non-Tesla EV

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

America is moving toward an electric vehicle future, but the present infrastructure can be maddening for those who own an EV. Particularly if that EV isn't made by Tesla.

Why it matters: President Biden's infrastructure proposal includes billions of dollars for EV charging, in an effort to replicate the ubiquity of gas stations.

Drought pushes 2 major U.S. lakes to historic lows

Kayakers at a boat launch ramp Page, Arizona, on July 3, which was made unusable by record low water levels at Lake Powell as the drought continues to worsen near. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Two significant U.S. lakes, one of which is a major reservoir, are experiencing historic lows amid a drought that scientists have linked to climate change.

What's happening: Lake Powell, the second largest reservoir in the U.S., has fallen to 3,554 feet in elevation, leaving the crucial lake on the Colorado River, at 33% capacity — the lowest since it was filled over half a century ago, new U.S. Bureau of Reclamation data shows.

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