All Climate change stories

Amy Harder, author of Generate
Jan 11, 2021 - Energy & Environment
Column / Harder Line

Buoyed by climate politics, companies compete for cleaner fuels

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

One of the most important trends in climate change isn’t anything you heard on the campaign trail, but instead something as basic as data — and the technological exploitation of it.

Driving the news: Companies have been disclosing more data on greenhouse gas emissions since the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, and a new trend cropping up uses that to foster competition for greener energy. Expect far more of this under President-elect Joe Biden.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 8, 2021 - World

Analysis: 2020 ties 2016 as warmest year on record

Bidwell Bar Bridge surrounded by fire during the Bear fire in Oroville, Calif. on September 9, 2020. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Last year tied 2016 as the warmest year ever recorded, capping the end of the warmest decade on record, according to data released Friday by the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service.

By the numbers: "2020 was 0.6°C warmer than the standard 1981-2010 reference period and around 1.25°C above the 1850-1900 pre-industrial period," Copernicus said in a summary of their data. The last six years are the six warmest on record, they said.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Jan 6, 2021 - Energy & Environment

"Shifting baselines" are changing what normal means

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Scientists this year will update how they calculate average temperatures, altering our reference point of a "normal climate."

Why it matters: What we think of as normal in life — whether in climate, politics or society — is always changing due to what's known as the "shifting baselines syndrome." Because we often miss those changes, we end up with a warped image of the present that shapes our policies and our future.

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

The steady rise of electricity for home heating

Expand chart
Data: Energy Institute at Haas; Map: Axios Visuals

A new working paper from UC Berkeley business professor Lucas Davis charts the share of U.S. homes that use electricity as their main heating source.

By the numbers: It went from 1% in 1950 to almost 40% by 2018. The paper, using Census data, maps it through the decades (two snapshots are above).

Amy Harder, author of Generate
Jan 4, 2021 - Energy & Environment
Column / Harder Line

10 energy and climate issues to watch in 2021

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

From presidential aspirations to oil to corporate positioning, here’s what I’m watching this year.

The big picture: After the year that wasn’t, well, everything we thought it would be, 2021 will be a messy mix of the pandemic (still) and reviving all that it sidelined on all things, including energy and climate change.

Amy Harder, author of Generate
Dec 24, 2020 - Energy & Environment

States and companies are now hotbeds of climate action

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

In the four years since the U.S. federal government last paid serious attention to climate change, the problem has become a top priority across states and corporations.

Why it matters: Washington, D.C. isn't the only place, or even the most important place, where meaningful climate change action is likely to happen in the coming years.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Dec 22, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Breaking down the scale of Capitol Hill's climate and energy deal

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The COVID-19 relief and spending deal is Capitol Hill's "most significant action on climate and energy in over a decade," according to analysis from the Rhodium Group, an emissions research firm.

Why it matters: The package now heading for President Trump's signature would phase down a potent greenhouse gases called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in air conditioning and refrigeration.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Dec 21, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Capitol Hill deal would cut major greenhouse gas, boost energy credits

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Congress is nearing passage of legislation that phases down a powerful planet-warming gas used in air conditioning and refrigeration, while also extending tax credits for renewable power and carbon capture projects.

Driving the news: Those provisions are part of the bipartisan year-end spending and COVID-19 relief deal moving through Capitol Hill this week, after a compromise on a $900 billion package was finally reached Sunday night.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Dec 19, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Biden rolls out climate picks with emphasis on jobs, environmental justice

President-elect Biden. Photo: ALEX EDELMAN / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden introduced his energy and environment team on Saturday at an event that emphasized job-creation in low-carbon industries and racial justice, but provided no new policy specifics.

Why it matters: Biden has promised to make climate among his top priorities and his team is planning an approach that draws in agencies government-wide.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Dec 19, 2020 - Energy & Environment

"The Ministry for the Future": How to solve the climate crisis

Photo: Hachette Book Group

A recent novel illustrates the likely consequences of climate change in the decades to come, and offers hope that better technology and politics might help us save the future.

Why it matters: Perhaps no subject as important as climate change has also proven so difficult to effectively and accurately dramatize. "The Ministry for the Future" is the one novel I've read that captures the consequences of warming while offering a realistic blueprint for how we can stop it.