Good morning, hope you enjoyed that extra hour sleeping or taking in the morning light.
My latest Harder Line column tackles a topic that I sometimes hear is of interest from you: my personal carbon footprint. I'll share a glimpse of that, and click here to read about my own habits. Then, Ben Geman will get you up to speed on other news.
Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,391 words, ~ 5 minutes.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
I cover energy and climate change, and yet even I do little to reduce my own environmental footprint.
Why it matters: Because most people don’t take action! Recent polling and research show that most of us don’t act virtuously to lessen our impact on the planet, beyond turning off lights when we’re not using them.
Driving the news: Individuals are facing more societal pressure to take action on climate change as federal inaction persists. Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg, who refuses to fly because of its carbon impact, embodies this trend.
Yes, but: Research suggests it would be difficult to get people to take such voluntary steps despite that being a surprisingly big number.
The intrigue: Readers ask me what I do to lower my own carbon footprint, suggesting that because I cover this topic I should stake out a higher moral ground. Spoiler alert: I don’t! Like most people, I’m driven mostly by economic incentives.
The bottom line: Voluntary action can be helpful and inspiring. But ultimately most experts agree systemic change on a global scale — led by governments implementing economic policies — is necessary.
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
Saudi Aramco's IPO really seems to be happening — but not at the scale that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) wanted.
Driving the news: Saudi officials formally announced plans Sunday to proceed with floating a small slice of Aramco on the kingdom's domestic exchange.
Why it matters: It's by far the strongest step yet toward the oft-delayed plan that's aimed at raising tens of billions of dollars to fund Saudi economic diversification.
What's next: The company plans to release a prospectus on Nov. 9 and begin trading on the domestic exchange, called the Tadawul, in December.
But, but, but: Saudi officials concede the desired $2 trillion valuation isn't realistic, and are instead aiming for $1.6 trillion–$1.8 trillion, Bloomberg reports.
The big picture: "At a $1.5 trillion valuation, a 3% listing would raise about $45 billion, far higher than the $25 billion Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. raised in the biggest IPO to date five years ago," per WSJ.
Are we really, really, really sure it's happening? I put that question to analyst Ellen Wald, an expert in all things Saudi oil.
What they're saying: "Yes, it could still be pulled, just like any other IPO can be walked back, but this [announcement] is a significant step," she tells me.
Ruh-roh. New International Energy Agency data out Monday shows just paltry advances in global energy efficiency last year.
What they found: Primary energy intensity — that is, amount of energy needed per unit of GDP — improved by just 1.2% in 2018.
Where it stands: IEA lists several reasons for the slowdown, including...
Why it matters: Improvements in efficiency are an important tool for fighting climate change.
What they're saying: “We can improve energy efficiency by 3% per year simply through the use of existing technologies and cost-effective investments," IEA executive director Fatih Birol said in a statement.
Separately, today is the first day the U.S. can formally begin the process of withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement. AP has more.
A Cal Fire firefighter watches over a structure threatened by the Kincade Fire. Anda Chu/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he's convening PG&E execs, creditors, wildfire victims and others in order to have the utility emerge from bankruptcy in a way that will "advance massive safety transformations beginning before next fire season."
Why it matters: Newsom's Friday announcement of the meetings slated for this week threatens a state takeover of the embattled power company.
Where it stands: Newsom's office did not have any more info about the planned gathering when I asked Sunday.
Go deeper: California wildfires: What you need to know
Axios' Orion Rummler reports ... The federal government should take new steps to help oil-producing regions navigate boom-and-bust cycles and diversify their economies, two nonpartisan think tanks say in a new report.
Why it matters: The decade-long oil boom has transformed the U.S. into the world’s largest producer. But that growth has increased the number of communities vulnerable to market volatility.
What they found: The report from Resources for the Future and a Columbia University energy think tank suggests two main policies.
Where it stands: The biggest risk to oil-heavy communities in places like eastern New Mexico and west Texas is becoming overly dependent on oil production, which can crowd out investment in other sectors — leading to a non-diverse economy that doesn't do well long-term.
Between the lines: "I don’t know if either of those options are likely to be adopted, but given Washington’s celebration of the oil boom, it seems like there may be some appetite," Raimi says. "Our main goal is to simply put the issue on the table."