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Expand chart
Data: IEA; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

A United Nations scientific body just released a seminal report on how the world’s energy systems would have to be transformed to adequately address climate change.

The big picture: The world is still heavily dependent upon fossil fuels. It accounts for 81% of the world's energy consumption, a figure that hasn’t changed in 30 years. Evolving electricity mixes is one clear gauge of how countries are doing cutting their greenhouse gas emissions and using cleaner energy technologies.

The details: Four countries — United States, Japan, China and Denmark — illustrate the challenges different parts of the world have in greening their electricity mixes. You can hover over the Denmark graphic to pull up the same info for any other country.

  1. The United States' greenhouse gas emissions are at lows not seen in decades, thanks largely to cleaner-burning natural gas displacing the far dirtier coal, along with an increase in renewables. While the U.S. is a leader in cutting its emissions, President Trump wants to withdraw America from the Paris climate deal and bring back coal, which would increase domestic emissions.
  2. Japan is a case study of what is likely to happen today when a lot of carbon-free electricity goes away. After the country shut down its nuclear power plants in response to the 2011 Fukushima disaster, its dependence on fossil fuels — and natural gas in particular — increased.
  3. China is ground zero for all things energy and climate change given its population size and energy appetite. Its dependence on coal is huge, yet it’s also leading in developing renewable energy. Its second-largest source of electricity is actually hydropower, a renewable energy that doesn’t get as much attention today as wind and solar.
  4. Denmark is a prime example of the potential for wind energy, particularly offshore. The renewable energy provides nearly 50% of the country’s electricity, a huge growth just over the last couple of decades.

Go deeper: UN details massive changes needed to slow global warming

Go deeper

12 mins ago - Sports

Olympians avoiding COVID at all costs ahead of Beijing Games

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

10 days out from the Olympics, athletes around the world are battening down the hatches in hopes of making it to Beijing COVID-free.

Why it matters: The Beijing bubble — a closed-loop system meant to shut off the outside world entirely — is the strictest ever created for a global sporting event.

16 mins ago - World

DOJ's China Initiative under scrutiny as cases fall apart

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The tide of public opinion may be turning against the Justice Department's China Initiative, as more cases fall apart and more of the researchers charged are speaking out.

The big picture: Chinese government-linked economic and industrial espionage in the United States is a real concern, but the China Initiative's flaws may be overshadowing the problem it was intended to address.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Peloton's wild ride and possible buyers

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Peloton is having a bumpy ride, and has become a source of fascination among even those who've never invested or clipped in.

Driving the news: On Monday, a hedge fund with less than a 5% stake in Peloton called for CEO John Foley to be fired and for the connected fitness company to consider seeking a strategic buyer. Shares gained nearly 10% on the news, but remained down 16.2% for the year and off 80% their December 2020 peak.