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I'm a few days late here, but let's mark the beginning of spring with my favorite song with that word in the title...
A new paper in the journal Nature Communications has good news if you're in a "glass half full" kind of mood, concluding that China's carbon emissions are likely to peak well before 2030 if several things break right.
Why it matters: China has a lot to say about the planet's future. It's by far the world's largest CO2 emitter and over a fourth of the world's total.
But, but, but: The analysis shows why none of this can be taken for granted.
Quick take: The paper's conclusion is a sign that an important pledge made under the Paris deal is achievable.
Check out the charts above, which Axios data journalist Chris Canipe constructed from International Energy Agency analyses.
What they're saying: I asked Kelly Sims Gallagher, lead study author from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, whether the paper's finding is something of a Pyrrhic victory, given the need for much deeper global cuts.
Details: The authors surveyed experts on China about existing policies and new ones needed to meet China's pledge. They note that the most frequent responses in the latter category include a carbon tax for sectors that aren't covered by the ETS and "entrepreneurship incentives for low-carbon firms."
The intrigue: "Few experts identified innovation policies, economic reform policies, or industrial policies as influential in emissions reductions, but the authors of this paper believe that these policies are, in fact, key to the ability of China to limit future emissions," they write.
President Trump is expected to sign an executive order imminently that's aimed at expediting pipeline development, sources familiar with the plans tell Axios' Amy Harder and Jonathan Swan.
Where it stands: White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the executive order could come as soon as next week, while speaking at a closed-door event Wednesday hosted by conservative think tank American Council for Capital Formation, according to two sources with direct knowledge.
Why it matters: Trump has long supported pipelines as part of his agenda backing oil and natural gas and what the administration has dubbed America’s “energy dominance” around the world. The reality is more mixed.
For the record: The White House did not provide comment. It's unclear what the details of the policy will be.
Go deeper: Politico reported on the potential of such executive orders in late January.
Driving the news: "[B]ehind scenes the U.S. has opened a rare dialogue with the leadership of what many have long considered an illegal cartel," per WSJ.
The intrigue: Fannon wants Venezuelan Oil Minister Manuel Quevedo removed as OPEC president, while Barkindo criticized the so-called NOPEC bill that the Trump administration has sent mixed signals about, according to the article.
And here are a couple more oil-related items worth your time...
Saudi Arabia: Analyst Ellen Wald, writing in Forbes, argues that Saudi Aramco's $69.1 billion deal to obtain a 70% stake in Saudi petrochemicals giant SABIC "should be seen as an ominous sign by investors looking at Saudi opportunities."
Venezuela: The Center for Strategic and International Studies has a detailed and sobering look at Venezuela's oil sector, which has largely collapsed in recent years and is far below its late-90s peak of 3.5 million barrels per day.
"Is the technology getting better or are we just getting more desperate for solutions?"
Who said it: Ethan Zindler, head of Americas for BloombergNEF, speaking at a National Governors Association event in D.C. yesterday.
Context: Zindler was offering a skeptical take on the prospects for technology capturing carbon dioxide emissions, Amy reports.
Yes, but: It remains an expensive proposition and without policy justifying such investments, companies are often opting for other technology or fuel options to reduce emissions in the electricity space.
Go deeper: The world needs clean coal but can’t get it
PG&E service center in San Rafael, Calif. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Axios Expert Voices contributor Justin Guay has some thoughts on the administrative petition from advocates who want California's insurance commissioner to require insurers disclose underwriting of fossil fuel investments.
Why it matters: Globally, natural disasters cost $337 billion in 2017. As the ultimate bearer of risk in the financial system, the insurance industry has a stake in mitigating climate change, which has played a role in driving up these costs.
Background: One of the key roles of the insurance commissioner is to ensure solvency for insurers, so they can pay out when disasters hit.
What to watch: 7 of the world's largest insurance companies have already announced restrictions on underwriting of coal, yet no U.S. companies have joined them.
Guay directs global climate strategy at the Sunrise Project and advises the ClimateWorks Foundation.