Dec 1, 2018

1. G20 leaders pledge to fight climate change — except for Trump

Trump at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires. Photo: Ralf Hirschberger/picture alliance via Getty Images

In a joint declaration released Saturday, leaders of G20 nations reaffirmed their commitment to fighting climate change by upholding the Paris Agreement — with the exception of the U.S.

The United States reiterates its decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, and affirms its strong commitment to economic growth and energy access and security, utilizing all sources and technologies, while protecting the environment.
G20 communique

Between the lines: The Trump administration's position on the Paris Agreement is well known, and a similar clause was included in the communique from last year's G20 summit in Hamburg. But a senior White House official told reporters that the Paris climate section was one of the last issues to be settled "because the countries who typically might agree couldn't agree with each other." Countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Russia might be starting to second-guess their commitment to a multilateral approach to climate change, the official said.

Yes, but: The U.S. nonetheless joined a separate, energy-focused portion of the communique that references climate change (albeit without using the term).

  • "We recognize the crucial role of energy in helping shape our shared future and we encourage energy transitions that combine growth with decreasing greenhouse gas emissions towards cleaner, more flexible and transparent systems, and cooperation in energy efficiency," it states.

Yet the section also has an oblique shout-out to fossil fuels, a U.S. priority, by noting, "We acknowledge the role of all energy sources and technologies in the energy mix and different possible national paths to achieve cleaner energy systems under the term 'transitions.'"

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,513,358 — Total deaths: 88,415 — Total recoveries: 329,329Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 430,376 — Total deaths: 14,739 — Total recoveries: 23,707Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Top Trump administration officials had been developing a plan to give cloth masks to huge numbers of Americans, but the idea lost traction amid heavy internal skepticism.
  4. States latest: New York has reported more cases than the most-affected countries in Europe. Chicago's Cook County jail is largest-known source of coronavirus in U.S.
  5. Business: One-third of U.S. jobs are at risk of disappearing, mostly affecting low-income workers.
  6. World: WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged countries to put politics aside "if you don’t want to have many more body bags.”
  7. Environment: COVID-19 is underscoring the connection between air pollution and dire outcomes from respiratory diseases.
  8. Tech: A new report recommends stimulus spending to help close the digital divide revealed by social distancing.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: New York tops previous day's record death toll

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New York's death toll surged to its highest one-day total on Wednesday — beating the previous day's record. 779 people died in the state in 24 hours. The state has reported more cases than the most-affected countries in Europe.

Why it matters: Public health officials have warned this would be a particularly deadly week for America, even as New York began to see declining trends of hospitalizations and ICU admissions.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 53 mins ago - Health

The pandemic and pollution

New York City's skyline on a smoggy day in May 2019. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

COVID-19 is underscoring the connection between air pollution and dire outcomes from respiratory diseases.

Why it matters: Old-fashioned air pollution is almost certainly the single biggest environmental health threat, contributing to the deaths of some 7 million people a year according to the WHO, making it comparable to deaths from smoking.

Go deeperArrow4 hours ago - Health