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FEMA administrator Peter Gaynor repeatedly declined to answer on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday whether he believes human activity is responsible for climate change, instead saying, "I'm going to leave all that up to the scientists."

Why it matters: It is an overwhelming scientific consensus that greenhouse gases emitted by human activity are a driving factor of climate change. While President Trump has frequently denied this consensus, his own administration has published reports concluding there is no credible explanation for modern-day global warming other than the burning of fossil fuels.

The big picture: Gaynor leads the agency responsible for responding to extreme weather events, which scientists say are being exacerbated and made more frequent by climate change. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned earlier this month of the potential for an "extremely active" hurricane season in the Atlantic.

What he's saying: "I'm not a scientist. My role as the nation's emergency manager is to deliver those valuable resources to those impacted by disasters no matter the cause, no matter the place. That's my mission," Gaynor said.

Go deeper: Climate change is fueling this summer's extreme weather

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
Dec 7, 2020 - Energy & Environment
Column / Harder Line

Biden faces new climate diplomacy as Paris deal turns five

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden faces a tough balancing act as he calls for more global action on climate change while also reassuring the world that America is on board for the long haul.

Driving the news: World leaders will convene virtually on Saturday to mark the fifth anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement, which was agreed to by nearly all countries on Dec. 12, 2015.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Investors increase their exuberance

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

U.S. stocks jumped across the board on Monday and the S&P 500 had its best day since June 5, as the bulls stepped in and bought the dips in stock prices following last week's minor selloff.

Why it matters: While some have worried rising U.S. interest rates would dampen investor exuberance over the expected pickup in economic growth thanks to increasing vaccine numbers and big fiscal spending hopes, Monday showed investors still like risk assets. A lot.

4 hours ago - World

China and Russia vaccinate the world — for now

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

While the U.S. and Europe focus on vaccinating their own populations, China and Russia are sending millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses to countries around the world.

Why it matters: China's double success in controlling its domestic outbreak and producing several viable vaccines has allowed it to focus on providing doses abroad — an effort that could help to save lives across several continents.