Jun 11, 2018

Weakened international institutions could have climate impact

Pipes at the gas compressor station in Velke Kapusany, Slovakia. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP via Getty Images

Part of Equinor's long-term global energy analysis, released late last week, looks eerily prescient after Trump's tumultuous weekend exit from the G7 summit.

The bottom line: The oil-and-gas giant warned that their "Rivalry" scenario — where geopolitical and trade conflict, weakened multilateral institutions and other forces erode efforts on climate — is looking more likely.

“Unfortunately, we currently see too many signs of the Rivalry-scenario. If continuing, they will negatively impact necessary global collaborative efforts and economic growth which are keys to drive the world in a sustainable direction.”
— Eirik Wærness, the company's chief economist, in a statement alongside the release
  • "Rivalry" — one of their three long-term forecasts — is a recipe for temperature increases that blow well past 2 degrees celsius. Global coal and oil demand are higher in 2050, while energy-related carbon emissions keep rising through 2040 and then plateau.

The big picture: Trump's G7 exit and tweets attacking Canada and European allies are a reminder of the shaken foundation of longstanding alliances.

  • On climate, even before abandoning the whole G7 summit communique, the U.S. of course didn't join the affirmation of the Paris agreement — or a subsequent section that more broadly promotes multilateral climate work.

Why this matters: The worldwide climate picture was already sobering without the latest strife. One key data point: global carbon emissions rose in 2017 after a three-year pause.

  • While major countries have re-affirmed their Paris commitment, the shift in the U.S. posture creates hurdles to the increasing worldwide climate ambition that analysts call needed to prevent highly dangerous warming.
  • Which brings us back to Equinor — even under their less ominous "reform" scenario, the global emissions pathway is badly inconsistent with the steep carbon cuts needed in decades ahead to stay within 2°C.

More: We looked at Equinor's forecasts for EVs here and on peak oil demand here.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 5,490,954 — Total deaths: 345,962 — Total recoveries — 2,228,915Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 1,662,250 — Total deaths: 98,218 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 19 mins ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Authorities issue warning as Americans venture out for Memorial Day weekend

Ocean City in New Jersey on May 25. Photo: Donald Kravitz/Getty Images

Authorities urged Americans to maintain social distancing and wear masks to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus amid reports of packed beaches and bars during the Memorial Day weekend.

Details: Law enforcement stepped up beach patrols, and there were crowded scenes in several places, notably at Lake of the Ozarks bars in Missouri and at Daytona Beach and on the Gulf Coast in Florida, per AP. Police dispersed crowds in some places, ABC notes. But many Americans did take precautions against COVID-19 as they ventured outside for the long weekend, some three months after the pandemic began in the U.S.

Coronavirus stay-at-home orders crater voter registration efforts

A volunteer looks for persons wanting to register to vote on July 4, 2019 in Santa Fe, N.M. Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic is scuppering usual "get out the vote" efforts, leading to fears that large swaths of Americans could miss out on this year's elections.

What’s happening: Advocacy groups typically target college campuses, churches, festivals, fairs and other gatherings to seek out people who have yet to register, but many of those places are now closed. Voter registration efforts have largely moved to the internet, but advocates question whether that will be as effective as the person-to-person pitch.