New UN data shows that annual financial aid from wealthy nations to poor countries for fighting climate change and adapting to its effects reached over $70 billion in 2016, according to Bloomberg.

Why it matters: The report arrives ahead of the next major UN climate summit in Poland next month, and climate finance will be among the items on the agenda, the story notes.

A 2009 summit produced an agreement to mobilize $100 billion annually by 2020.

The intrigue: per Bloomberg, "While the amount of funds has been rising, both the U.S. and Australia have stopped contributing to the Green Climate Fund, raising concerns that their pledges won’t be met."

The big picture: Recent scientific reports that underscore the dire consequences of letting warming rise by more than 2°C (or 3.6˚F) above pre-industrial levels, and major harms even if warming is limited to 1.5°C (or 2.7˚F).

Nonetheless, global carbon emissions are on a trajectory that scientists say will lead to far higher levels of warming, and worldwide emissions are rising again after a multi-year plateau that ended last year.

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28 mins ago - Technology

Congress' next moves to rein in Big Tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

After grilling the CEOs of Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple last week, members of Congress are grappling with whether to accuse any of the firms of illegal anticompetitive behavior, to propose updating federal antitrust laws — or both.

The big picture: Congress is just one arm of government making the case against these companies. Google is expected to be the first of the firms to face possible antitrust litigation from the Justice Department before summer's end, but all four face a full-court press of investigations by DOJ, the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general.

Fauci: Coronavirus task force to examine aerosolized spread


A sneeze. Photo: Maartje van Caspel/Getty Images

The White House coronavirus task force will examine more closely just how much SARS-CoV-2 might be transmitted via aerosols, and not just from droplets, NIAID director Anthony Fauci said Wednesday at an online forum sponsored by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Why it matters: The longer the coronavirus can remain infectious in the air, the more likely it can infect people, particularly indoors — leading to the possible need to alter air filtration and circulation within buildings.

The next wave to hit Main Street

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Call it the great retail wash. A wave of defaults, bankruptcies and evictions expected in cities across the U.S. is poised to remake the retail landscape across the country, but there may be some upside for consumers and small businesses.

Why it matters: Rather than an overnight descent into a collection of urban wastelands full of Starbucks, Amazon fulfillment centers, Chase bank branches and nothing else, the coronavirus pandemic and resulting retail apocalypse may just mean that, in major U.S. cities, less is more.