Climate change

The big picture

Your guide to comparing climate change and coronavirus

They're both big risks, but that's where the similarity ends.

Jun 1, 2020
Gauging the public pulse on climate and energy policy

There is bipartisan support for renewables but steep divides over fossil fuels.

Nov 26, 2019
What makes the 2020 election historic for climate change

It's both a defining and a polarizing election issue.

Nov 24, 2019
Trump and Republicans are isolated on climate change

They're increasingly outliers in an otherwise emerging consensus that climate change is a problem.

Mar 18, 2019
What your city's climate will be in 2080

Future climate conditions may have no parallel in modern human history, researchers say.

Updated Feb 15, 2019
Where climate change will hit the U.S. hardest

Inequality among regions in the U.S. is likely to increase, with the South and lower Midwest hit the hardest.

Updated Jun 23, 2018

All Climate change stories

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.

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.

Democrats seem aligned on climate policy, at least for the moment

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Getty Images photos: Ethan Miller and Brian Blanco

The six "unity" task forces that the Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders put together unveiled their policy recommendations yesterday.

The big picture: Big climate ideas include setting "technology-neutral" standards to achieve 100% carbon-free electricity by 2035, and a goal of achieving net-zero emissions in all new buildings by 2030.

The limits of the coronavirus-related emissions dip

Reproduced from Rhodium Group; Chart: Axios Visuals

A pandemic is a bad, expensive and inadequate way to cut carbon emissions, and a Rhodium Group analysis out this morning helps to underscore why.

Why it matters: It modeled U.S. emissions this year and going forward based on several different scenarios of GDP decline and recovery — and all of them show lower levels for the next decade compared to the pre-pandemic baseline, but none are consistent with deeply decarbonizing the economy or a pathway to net-zero emissions by midcentury.

Wall Street giants plan more active role in climate fight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Four of America’s biggest banks are backing a new nonprofit initiative to leverage the financial sector toward achieving climate-change goals.

Driving the news: The Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) is launching a center focused on climate that will be supported by Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase.

Column / Harder Line

Coronavirus topples 2020 energy and climate predictions

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

In early January, I laid out 10 energy and climate change issues to watch this year. Spoiler alert: A pandemic was not on that list.

The big picture: The coronavirus has left no part of our world untouched, energy and climate change included. Let’s check in on my 2020 predictions at the halfway mark of this tumultuous year.

CO2 emissions may have peaked, but that's not enough

Reproduced from DNV GL; Chart: Axios Visuals

More analysts are making the case that COVID-19 could be an inflection point for oil use and carbon emissions, but it's hardly one that puts the world on a sustainable ecological path.

Driving the news: The risk advisory firm DNV GL, citing the pandemic's long-term effects on energy consumption, projects in a new analysis that global CO2 emissions "most likely" peaked in 2019.

Pandemic worsening lack of clean-energy innovation, report says

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Most technologies necessary to aggressively tackle climate change are not yet ready on a mass scale, and the coronavirus is likely to delay development.

Driving the news: That finding is from a report from the International Energy Agency released Thursday, ahead of a meeting of top government officials next week to discuss clean-energy innovation and how to incorporate it into economic recovery plans.

House Democrats smooth over climate differences — for now

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

House Democrats' new climate blueprint may be a wish list, but for now it has succeeded in one big respect: Avoiding a major flare-up of intra-left tensions over policy.

Driving the news: A lot of groups cheered the nearly 550-page plan yesterday, while criticisms from the left flank of the green movement were real but rather muted.

Jul 1, 2020 - Technology

Facebook oversight board urged to tackle climate "loophole"

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Prominent environmentalists and Democratic activists say Facebook is "allowing the spread of climate misinformation to flourish, unchecked" and urging the company's external oversight board to intervene.

Driving the news: A new open letter with signatories including Stacey Abrams, John Podesta and Tom Steyer takes aim at distribution of content from a group called the CO2 Coalition without warning labels or restrictions.

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