Good morning! Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,240 words, < 5 minutes.
Situational awareness: The World Meteorological Organization warned Tuesday that current policies, if left unchanged, will lead to an increase in the average world temperature of 3°C–5°C by the end of the century, Bloomberg reports.
And Tom Waits' birthday arrives Saturday, so he's got today's moving intro tune...
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Oil-and-gas giant Repsol yesterday pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 — becoming the first oil major to make a specific net-zero commitment (albeit a non-binding one).
The big question: Will they be a trendsetter or outlier?
Why it matters: Bloomberg notes that it's the "most ambitious attempt yet by an oil major to align itself with the Paris climate goals."
Driving the news: The company outlined plans that include adopting interim targets to reduce carbon intensity, moving more deeply into renewable power, and utilizing methods such as carbon capture tech, forest offsets, and EV charging at service stations.
The intrigue: Repsol said it's taking a $5.3 billion "impairment charge" to the value of its assets. That reflects the lower value of fossil fuel holdings in a business model consistent with the Paris Agreement's goals.
What we're watching: Whether any other oil majors, including the ones that have recently increased their climate pledges, will match the step.
What they're saying: I asked Andrew Logan of the sustainable investment group Ceres about the move. He called it a "gauntlet thrown." Logan, who carefully tracks Big Oil's climate moves, added in his email to me...
"One aspect of the Repsol commitment that I think hasn't gotten enough attention is the ~$5B write-down on its existing oil and gas assets."
"This has implications across the sector, and will raise questions among investors about whether other companies should be writing down the value of their assets as well."
The bottom line: This "could be the beginning of a major realignment in the sector," Logan said.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
A new simulator out today empowers readers to choose their own adventure when it comes to tackling climate change, Axios' Naema Ahmed and Amy Harder report.
Why it matters: The tool, created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and think tank Climate Interactive, underscores the grand challenge of employing technologies and policies to tackle climate change.
What’s new: This simulator is the first of its kind designed for politicians and others who care about climate change and energy, but aren’t researchers accustomed to arcane models.
How it works: Think of it as choose your own adventure, like the books you may have read as children.
New polling shows voters in battleground states and congressional districts support extending tax credits for renewable power and creating incentives for deploying storage technologies.
Why it matters: House Democrats recently unveiled legislation that would lengthen expiring incentives for developing wind, solar and other projects, and add a new credit for batteries and other forms of storage.
What they did: The Democratic polling firm Global Strategy Group conducted the national survey, and broke out results for nine Senate battlegrounds (including Michigan, Colorado and Arizona) and swing congressional districts nationwide.
What they found: Check out the chart above. Also, the polling showed that support for the incentives is quite strong across party lines.
The big picture: Portions of the House bill may be up for negotiations in this Congress, so the polling could provide political ammunition for backers.
Of note: The online nationwide survey of 800 registered voters was conducted in early November and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.5%. The MOE is 3.7% for Senate battleground results and 3.9% for the swing congressional districts.
Go deeper: The Global Strategy Group presentation is here.
Axios' David Lawler reports that yesterday's opening of a huge new Russia-China natural gas pipeline is about far more than energy flows between the two powers.
Why it matters: The pipeline could also be seen as a physical manifestation of Russia President Vladimir Putin’s China strategy, David writes.
Where it stands: It's also a big deal for Russia's revenues and its energy posture. The Power of Siberia pipeline is expected to “generate $400 billion for Russian state coffers” over three decades, per Reuters.
The big picture: The Financial Times points out it's one of several collaborations between mammoth-producer Russia and energy-thirsty China.
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Speaking of Russian energy projects, just-departed Energy Secretary Rick Perry tells The Washington Examiner that the U.S. failure to thwart the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany isn't such a failure.
Meanwhile, the Senate voted 70-15 yesterday evening to confirm Dan Brouillette as the new secretary of energy.
Utilities: Via the Wall Street Journal, "PG&E Corp. failed to adequately inspect and maintain its transmission lines for years before a faulty line started the deadliest fire in California history, a state investigation has found."
Electric cars: Per TechCrunch, the EV startup Lucid Motors yesterday broke ground on its production plant in Casa Grande, Arizona, that's designed to build the Lucid Air sedan. The company hopes to begin production late next year.
Coal: E&E News reports: "American Electric Power Co. and Southern Co. will not renew their membership in the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity next year, leaving the prominent trade association without any utility members."