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Carbon dioxide emissions are on track to rise in 2018 for the second straight year following a plateau in 2014-2016, according to the International Energy Agency.

Why it matters: IEA's finding arrived as a United Nations science panel unveiled a major report concluding that large emissions cuts are needed in coming years to hold global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.

By the numbers: According to the UN's analysis, staying within the 1.5°C target — a benchmark for avoiding far more severe consequences than are already occurring — means human-induced CO2 emissions must fall by 45% by 2030 and reach "net zero" by mid-century.

  • The 45% cut is relative to 2010 levels, which in effect means even deeper reductions are needed.

The big picture: Separate analyses in recent months have shown that energy-related CO2 emissions — that is, the vast majority of global CO2 — ticked up again in 2017 after a multi-year plateau.

IEA's new 2018 projection underscores how the global energy system is far, far off track from the gigantic and rapid transformation that the UN's deeply researched analysis calls needed to stay within the 1.5°C target.

  • "The world is not moving towards Paris Agreement goals requiring emissions to peak as soon as possible, but away from them," IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said via Twitter.

The bottom line: As Axios' Andrew Freedman wrote, global warming will have far more severe consequences if temperatures are allowed to creep past 1.5°C, or 2.7°F, of warming, scientists concluded in the UN analysis.

They noted that there are already deadly impacts from the 1°C, or 1.8°F, of warming so far — including more severe and longer lasting heat waves, more heavy precipitation events, and ocean warming that is killing many of the planet's coral reefs.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's "overwhelming force" doctrine

President-elect Biden arrives to introduce his science team in Wilmington yesterday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. 

The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months.

Off the Rails

Episode 2: Barbarians at the Oval

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 2: Trump stops buying what his professional staff are telling him, and increasingly turns to radical voices telling him what he wants to hear. Read episode 1.

President Trump plunked down in an armchair in the White House residence, still dressed from his golf game — navy fleece, black pants, white MAGA cap. It was Saturday, Nov. 7. The networks had just called the election for Joe Biden.

Fringe right plots new attacks out of sight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Domestic extremists are using obscure and private corners of the internet to plot new attacks ahead of Inauguration Day. Their plans are also hidden in plain sight, buried in podcasts and online video platforms.

Why it matters: Because law enforcement was caught flat-footed during last week's Capitol siege, researchers and intelligence agencies are paying more attention to online threats that could turn into real-world violence.