Happy Friday! Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,225 words, < 5 minutes.
We'll be off Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so look for Generate again on Tuesday.
🎵 And Monday will mark 45 years since Bob Dylan released "Blood On The Tracks," so a track from that masterpiece is today's intro tune...
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Microsoft is pushing aggressive goals to tackle climate change while simultaneously supporting House Republicans' more modest efforts on the matter, Axios' Amy Harder reports.
Driving the news: On Thursday, Microsoft announced its new pledge to become carbon negative in 10 years, while earlier in the week its president, Brad Smith, expressed support for House Republicans’ far narrower efforts on climate.
Why it matters: These two developments reflect a common split-screen dynamic playing out across America.
The intrigue: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) hosted a meeting Thursday where more than a hundred Republican members discussed policies the party could present as a way to address climate change.
What they're saying: “[Microsoft] said, ‘We want to help you with that. We want to be a part of that,’" McCarthy told Axios Thursday in an interview. “The basis was, they said, ‘We like your approach because you’re basing it on science, technology and it’s really looking at the problem and solving it.’"
Between the lines: Microsoft has been vocal about its support for aggressive action on climate change. This includes recently doubling its internal price on CO2 and joining a group that supports a carbon price in Congress.
What’s next: House Republicans are looking to unveil a package of related legislation in the spring.
Microsoft's promise to remove more carbon from the atmosphere than it produces by 2030 — the strongest among tech giants — is particularly interesting because it won't just apply to its direct operations and energy supplies.
Catch up fast: Microsoft also said that by 2050, it will remove from the atmosphere all the CO2 it has spewed directly or via power consumption since its 1975 founding.
The big picture: It's the latest and biggest example of companies' climate plans expanding to invest directly in carbon removal, or negative emissions, technologies.
What they're saying: "How catalytic this commitment ends up being towards economy-wide progress on negative emissions will depend on the details of Microsoft’s actions," Noah Deich, executive director of the group Carbon180, said in this wider Twitter thread.
Quick take: Microsoft's climate pledges are now the most aggressive among big tech companies.
Mike Bloomberg's presidential campaign unveiled plans this morning to cut carbon from transportation, the nation's biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions.
Driving the news: Here are a few pillars of the wide-ranging plan...
Quick take: The plan is ambitious (though so are his rivals'), but major portions of it would require new action from Congress, notably tax code changes and big new investments.
Transportation is a top contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, but the worst offenders aren't congested cities like New York and San Francisco, Axios' Joann Muller writes.
Why it matters: Even dense, traffic-choked cities can offset their carbon output with better urban planning and other, cleaner forms of transportation, says StreetLight Data, which studied mobility behavior in 100 cities to create its new U.S. Transportation Climate Impact Index.
What they did: Using location-based data from mobile phones, StreetLight Data scored each metropolitan area, per capita, by six transportation factors to gain a fuller picture.
What they found: The New York metro area has the lowest climate impact.
A pair of items provide fresh reminders that China is the center of the action on electric cars...
Joby Aviation's Aircraft in Santa Cruz, Calif. Photo: Joby Aviation
Joby Aviation, a California-based developer of electric air taxis, raised $590 million in Series C funding led by existing backer Toyota, Axios' Dan Primack reports.
Why it matters: It's by far the largest-ever investment for an air taxi company, and already makes 2020 the record year for such deals.
The bottom line, via Joann: "Automakers are confronting serious challenges to their core business — congestion and climate change mean there’s a limit to how many cars and trucks they can sell. As they experiment with new forms of future mobility, they might as well look to the skies."
Go deeper: Hyundai unveils flying taxi for Uber