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Reproduced from BloombergNEF; Note: Carbon & climate funds focus on nature conservation and lowering methane emissions; Chart: Axios Visuals

Green investments account for roughly 1% of the overall $12 trillion currently pledged by major economies recovering from pandemic-induced recessions, a BloombergNEF report finds.

Why it matters: The International Energy Agency projected in May that global investment in all forms of energy would fall by one-fifth this year due to the pandemic, with a 10% decrease for renewable power.

What's new: France and Austria have joined Denmark and the Netherlands as the only countries in the world to pledge more recovery funds to green energy than to CO2-heavy industries, according to Victoria Cuming, head of global policy at BloombergNEF.

  • South Korea ($61 billion) has approved almost as much green economic stimulus as all European Union nations combined ($79 billion). Importantly though, that does not include a massive European Union package that has yet to be approved.

How it works: The vast majority of stimulus pledged by major economies is designated "neutral" by BloombergNEF — referring to loans or aid distributed with no public record of how it's been used.

  • Most countries prioritizing green energy are putting money on electric vehicles, tackling emissions of methane (a potent greenhouse gas that's the primary component of natural gas), energy-efficient buildings, nature conservation, and managing forests.

What to watch: Because of how much money it has already dedicated, South Korea is "one of our question marks" on future green energy spending, Cuming said. Japan could make an announcement on more green COVID-19 funds closer to the end of the year.

  • BloombergNEF says it's pessimistic about green spending from Australia, Brazil, Mexico and the U.S., depending on who wins the White House in November.

Go deeper

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 Drummond 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.

Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note ±3.3% margin of error for the total sample size; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

About half of Americans are worried that trick-or-treating will spread coronavirus in their communities, according to this week's installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: This may seem like more evidence that the pandemic is curbing our nation's cherished pastimes. But a closer look reveals something more nuanced about Americans' increased acceptance for risk around activities in which they want to participate.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: The good and bad news about antibody therapies — Fauci: Hotspots have materialized across "the entire country."
  2. World: Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of cases.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
  5. Technology: The pandemic isn't slowing tech.
  6. Travel: CDC replaces COVID-19 cruise ban with less restrictive "conditional sailing order."
  7. Sports: High school football's pandemic struggles.
  8. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.