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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Climate change is an enormous risk to the economy and markets. If the world manages to solve its collective action problem, investors will cheer — but, as with any major change, there will be winners and losers.

What to watch: Moody's, the ratings agency, is putting together what it calls a "framework to assess carbon risks." Individual companies will be given a carbon transition assessment, or CTA, which measures how well they'll be able to operate in a low-carbon economy.

"Issuers assigned the highest scores, CT-1 and CT-2, exhibit advanced positioning for carbon transition. These companies typically have a business model that benefits from the transition to a low-carbon economy. By contrast, companies assigned the lowest scores, CT-9 and CT-10, exhibit poor positioning and typically have business models that are fundamentally threatened by carbon transition over any time horizon, including the long term."
— Moody's Investors Service

Why it matters: Carbon transition risk is already built into Moody's existing credit ratings, but it's not a large part of those ratings, largely because it's far from clear that a major carbon transition is actually going to happen. Now that Moody's is separating out this risk into a discrete CTA score, investors will be able to get a much clearer idea of which companies are successfully positioning themselves for a green future.

Go deeper

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris sat down with CNN on Thursday for their first joint interview since the election.

The big picture: In the hour-long segment, the twosome laid out plans for responding to the pandemic, jump-starting the economy and managing the transition of power, among other priorities.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
54 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus death rates rising across the country

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, Census Bureau; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Daily coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. hit a new record on Wednesday, when roughly 2,800 people died from the virus.

The big picture: Caseloads and hospitalizations continue to rise, and deaths are spiking in states all across the country.

55 mins ago - World

Ratcliffe's long-term China play

Ratcliffe testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee in May. Photo: Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe told Axios in an interview Thursday that "China and China alone is the only country that has the ability to compete with the U.S." — and hopes the intelligence community will adopt his view even under "the next administration."

Why it matters: Ratcliffe's comments suggested that he's trying to lock in the Trump era's harder line on China for the long term.