Welcome back! Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,041 words, 4 minutes.
And tomorrow marks 25 years since the widespread release of Pearl Jam's "Vitalogy," which provides today's intro tune...
Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman al-Saud arrives for the 177th OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria, on Dec. 5. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP via Getty Images
OPEC and Russia are deciding next steps in their 3-year effort to restrict production in order to prop up prices, during their two-day meeting currently underway in Vienna.
Why it matters: It will reveal how Saudi Arabia and Russia, the OPEC+ group's dominant players, will continue grappling with soft global demand and the rise of U.S. shale production.
The intrigue: There's genuine drama heading into this session!
Where it stands: Financial Times energy editor David Sheppard tweets from Vienna this morning that there's "growing chatter among analysts about a potential ‘Saudi surprise’" — additional cuts of 800,000 barrels per day or more.
What's next: The situation is very fluid as we send out this newsletter, so let's circle back tomorrow (and watch the Axios stream in case there's big news).
General Motors and LG Chem, the South Korea-based battery supplier, are set to announce a major U.S.-based joint venture, according to multiple reports.
Driving the news: Via Reuters, “LG Chem said on Thursday it would invest $916 million in its U.S. subsidiary by 2023” to set up the partnership. GM is expected to invest $1 billion in the effort that involves a facility in Ohio, they report.
Why it matters: The roughly $2 billion venture signals the depth of GM’s push into EVs. The auto giant has previously said it plans to launch 20 electric models by 2023.
Models that climate scientists used in recent decades to project temperature changes have generally been very accurate, a new peer-reviewed study concludes.
Why it matters: It serves to rebut conservative opponents of proposals aimed at cutting emissions, who have long argued that models haven't gotten it right as part of broader attacks on climate science.
What they found: The study in Geophysical Research Letters reviewed the performance of 17 models published between 1970 and 2007.
The big picture: Climate models look at the physical relationship between greenhouse gas emissions and temperature, as well as other factors including human-influenced emissions variables like economic growth and technology change.
One reason the intense fight over fuel efficiency and tailpipe CO2 emissions is so important is that per-capita driving levels in the U.S. are persistently high.
By the numbers: Check out the chart above, via transportation analyst Michael Sivak's post this week in Green Car Congress.
BP will start providing Amazon with renewable electricity to fuel European data centers that power the tech giant's cloud platform, per a Wednesday announcement.
Why it matters: Data centers are very energy thirsty, and account for lots of the tech sector's carbon emissions.
What's next: Starting in 2021, BP said it will provide Amazon with 122 megawatts of capacity from an onshore wind farm under development in Sweden, and 50 MW from a new solar project in Spain.
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Speaking of corporate giants with big carbon footprints working together, The Verge reports:
That was fast. Reuters reports that activist investors hope the oil-and-gas giant Repsol's pledge to have net-zero emissions by 2050 will pressure other majors to get more aggressive.
Why it matters: Their reporting signals how the Spain-based multinational's move announced this week could bring new campaigns against other companies to make similar commitments.
What they're saying: “It is clear that this is a very significant commitment from Repsol that raises the bar across the oil and gas sector,” Adam Matthews of the Church of England's pension board told Reuters.
ICYMI: Repsol this week vowed to achieve net-zero emissions from not only its own operations, but also the use of its fuels in the economy, making it the first oil major with such a pledge covering all those emissions.