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The International Energy Agency examined what happens if current and planned fossil fuel infrastructure worldwide is operated through its estimated lifespan.

Why it matters: That alone, it finds, could easily blow past the goal of holding warming to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels. That's the most ambitious and longshot goal of the Paris agreement to lessen harm from climate change.

How it works: The report models the effect if all of today's power plants, vehicles, industrial plants and buildings "continue to rely on unabated combustion of fossil fuels." IEA then includes power plants currently under construction.

The big picture: "Our bottom-up country-by-country analysis of energy infrastructure both in operation today and under construction shows that, if these assets were operated in line with past practice until the end of their lifetimes, they would generate a level of CO2 emissions that would lead to a long-term temperature increase of 1.65 °C (with a 50% probability)," it states.

Go deeper: Key global warming target slipping out of reach, UN scientists warn

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 19, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Federal court strikes down key Trump power plant rule

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

A federal appeals court this morning vacated EPA carbon emissions regulations for coal-fired power plants, a victory for opponents of the Trump administration policy who criticized the rule as too weak.

Why it matters: The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will remove one hurdle for the incoming Biden administration as it seeks to implement new and wider-ranging policies.

Nathan Bomey, author of Closer
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Tesla delays Cybertruck until 2023

Tesla debuts the Cybertruck in Hawthorne, Calif., on Nov. 21, 2019. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Tesla is at risk of falling behind on one of the most critical products in the American auto industry: pickups.

Why it matters: Pickups are the most profitable segment in the business and account for the first, second and third best-selling vehicles in the country. Without a serious pickup strategy, Tesla could miss out on a huge source of future income.

Defense taking steps to mitigate civilian harm after botched airstrikes

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia on Sept. 1, 2021. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a directive Thursday to improve the U.S. military's approach to civilian harm mitigation and response, calling it a "strategic and a moral imperative."

Why it matters: The Pentagon has faced criticism for years for amassing civilian casualties in its missions, especially in the Middle East. New York Times investigations have found systemic failures in efforts to prevent civilian deaths, as well as a cover-up of a 2019 airstrike that killed dozens of women and children in Syria.