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Data: Resources for the Future report; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The think tank Resources for the Future on Tuesday released its latest report comparing various projections and scenarios around emissions, energy demand and more.

The big picture: The energy analyst hive mind is pretty united around the conclusion that nations' current and planned climate policies won't come close to meeting the goals of the Paris climate deal.

The report provides an apples-to-apples comparison of many projections from companies, forecasting bodies and other actors.

Why it matters: "Despite efforts by policymakers in some nations to stimulate a 'green' recovery, far greater effort will be required to spur the scale and speed of technological change necessary to limit warming to 1.5° or 2° Celsius by 2100," RFF notes.

How it works: The report breaks down analyses from the International Energy Agency, energy companies BP and Equinor, the United Nation's climate science body, the research firm BloombergNEF, and more.

  • The analysis includes projections of where emissions, oil demand, renewables uptake, and so forth are heading — and the changes needed to limit global temperature rise to 2°C or 1.5°C above preindustrial levels.
  • The left side of the chart above shows current and evolving policies — the latter a case where policies and tech follows recent trends. The right side is scenarios of where things would need to head to reach the Paris goals.

The bottom line: It's an enormous gap.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jun 7, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Putting Big Oil's green spending in context

Reproduced from IEA; Chart: Axios Visuals

An International Energy Agency report puts some context around how much the world's largest oil companies are investing in clean energy.

The big picture: The chart above shows the combined investments of a collection of roughly 20 giants, including Shell, Exxon and BP, but also state-controlled companies like Saudi Aramco and China National Petroleum Corp.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jun 7, 2021 - Energy & Environment

The global stakes of Biden's infrastructure negotiations

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The infrastructure drama enveloping Capitol Hill could spill onto the global climate stage.

Why it matters: Major new U.S. investments and policies could help spur other nations to take more aggressive and tangible steps to cut emissions. But failure to steer major new initiatives through Congress could hinder the White House diplomatic posture as the U.N. conference looms.

Updated Oct 28, 2020 - Axios Events

Watch: How the pandemic has changed the energy industry

On Wednesday, October 29 Axios' Amy Harder hosted a conversation on the pandemic's effects on the environment, the energy industry, and how these shifts will have a lasting impact on the private sector's approach to renewable energy. The conversation featured Sunrun co-founder and CEO Lynn Jurich and New York's deputy secretary for energy and environment Ali Zaidi.

Lynn Jurich discussed the shift to renewable energy and the technology making renewable energy cheaper than fossil fuels.

  • On the next biggest global challenge in renewable energy: "How do you decarbonize this energy industry globally?...I view this very much as an opportunity and something where the U.S. should really be just moving faster on this. And that's why I look to the Biden program to help us."
  • On new technologies in the energy space: "We're just scratching the surface of the existing lithium-ion battery technology. If we combine that technology with renewable energy, we can go a long way to decarbonizing our energy system."

Ali Zaidi unpacked Gov. Cuomo's statewide plans around renewable energy, from centering issues of race and equity, as well as New York state's initiative to get to 70% renewable electricity by 2030.

  • On the goals of New York's energy policy plans: "It's an opportunity to advance jobs. It's an opportunity to advance justice. And it's an opportunity to advance our climate ambitions. That's the playbook Gov. Cuomo has laid out."
  • How energy is an equity issue: "What we are seeing increasingly is the intersecting and interconnected challenges of race, of equity and of the environment. And what that reveals to us is a real opportunity. Coming out of this pandemic to build back better."

Axios Chief Revenue Officer Fabricio Drumond hosted a View from the Top segment with Cognite co-founder and CEO John Markus Lervik and discussed the role of technology in increasing usage of renewable energy.

  • "For renewables and renewable transformation, [it is] fully dependent on digital transformation. Technology is the single most important driver for more sustainable and environmentally friendly operations."

Thank you Cognite for sponsoring this event.