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1 big thing: The SEC lobbying frenzy

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Newly posted SEC records reveal fresh corporate efforts to shape regulations that will mandate detailed disclosures of greenhouse gas emissions, Ben writes.

Driving the news: They show recent SEC member or staff meetings with BP; banking giants like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase under the banner of the Financial Services Forum; and Allstate Insurance.

  • There have also been sessions with interest groups like the Environmental Defense Fund, Public Citizen, Americans for Financial Reform and others.

Why it matters: The flurry of newly available records for September and October, as well as older meetings, show intense interest and concern about the brewing first-time requirements.

The meetings provide stakeholders a chance to influence draft proposals before they're made final.

🔍Zoom in: The filings provide a glimpse into what's on the minds of the parties.

  • The large banks' Sept. 19 and Sept. 23 meetings with SEC chair Gary Gensler's office explored topics including "recommendations to reduce the burden and cost."
  • BP's Sept. 16 meeting with staff for Gensler notes its support for the overall proposal, but also discussion of extending the phase-in period, and specifics that "may be challenging to implement."
  • Gensler met directly with the lefty Americans for Financial Reform on Oct. 6. They discussed the new climate law's effect on capital markets and "investors’ need for climate-related disclosures," among other matters.

2. Breaking: CO2 emissions growth slows way down

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Global CO2 from fossil fuels is projected to rise by just under 1% this year, well under last year's 6% growth, per a new International Energy Agency estimate, Ben writes.

Why it matters: "CO2 emissions are growing far less quickly this year than some people feared," IEA head Fatih Birol said in a statement. Fossil fuel-related emissions are the vast bulk of the global total.

The big picture: "The rise in global CO2 emissions this year would be much larger — more than tripling to reach close to 1 billion tonnes — were it not for the major deployments of renewable energy technologies and electric vehicles (EVs) around the world," IEA said.

Yes, but: Emissions need to decline steeply to keep Paris Agreement goals within reach. But holding growth in check is a first step and obviously better than large increases.

3. Climate commitments' gaps revealed

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As countries head into the COP27 climate summit next month in Egypt, they face a chasm between their pledged emissions cuts, and what is needed to limit warming to the Paris targets, a new study finds, Andrew writes.

Driving the news: The report from the World Resources Institute (WRI), shows countries need to ratchet up their current emissions pledges by a factor of six to meet the Paris Agreement's 1.5-degree goal.

Zoom in: WRI's review of national emissions commitments shows the newest group would curtail emissions by an additional 7% compared to 2019 levels by 2030 versus the original pledges laid out in 2015.

  • Such emissions targets are formally known as nationally determined commitments or NDCs.

Yes, but: The UN IPCC has shown that global emissions must plummet by at least 43% below 2019 levels by 2030, the report notes.

  • Many NDCs have glaring omissions, the report shows.
  • For example, 119 countries signed the Global Methane Pledge to cut emissions of that powerful global warming agent, but only 15 of those countries included a quantified methane target as part of their NDC.

What they're saying: "Countries are making incremental progress on strengthening their NDCs," said the paper's lead author, Taryn Fransen, in a statement. "But what we really need... is urgent transformational change."

4. Biden's latest oil play

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

ICYMI: The Energy Department will release another 15 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in December — and even more may flow this winter, Biden officials said last night, Ben and Axios' Sareen Habeshian report.

Why it matters: The move comes at the close of a campaign season in which high gas prices (national average: $3.85) — while far lower than their June peak — put Dems in political jeopardy.

The intrigue: The 15 million barrels is the last tranche of the 180 million release the White House announced in March, but officials said "significant" additional barrels could be authorized this winter. Go deeper.

The big picture: Oil prices have fallen after initially spiking in response to OPEC+ plans to cut production that emerged early this month.

But the market remains volatile as traders weigh gloomy economic signs against further supply effects of Russia's war on Ukraine.

Threat level: A ClearView Energy Partners note points out that Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened to curtail exports in response to the G7's proposed oil price cap.

"But even if Putin’s 'energy weapon' were to stay in its metaphorical holster, crude markets could potentially tighten in December for sanctions-related reasons," they add, citing the EU's planned embargo on Russian barrels.

👀 Speaking of Biden team policy, the Interior Department in December will auction leases for wind development off the Pacific Coast for the first time. Go deeper.

5. A big moment for Tesla

Tesla profits
Data: Company earnings reports; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Here are a few things on our radar when Tesla, the world's largest seller of electric cars, reports Q3 earnings Wednesday after markets close and CEO Elon Musk briefs analysts, Ben writes.

The big picture: Tesla's now consistently profitable. But there's tumult surrounding Tesla — including Musk's Twitter purchase drama — and the stock is down 36% over six months.

  • Wedbush Securities' Dan Ives, in a note, cited hurdles ranging from logistical challenges in China to growing EV market competition.
  • Investors are "starting to worry that the bloom is coming off the rose."

What we're watching: The raw numbers, but also...

🚛 Products: Musk said on Oct. 6 that Tesla's long-delayed semi-truck is starting production and PepsiCo will get the first deliveries Dec. 1, but offered nothing on future volumes and timelines.

We're also wondering about the delayed "Cybertruck" pickup and plans for new battery factories.

⚠️ Headwinds: Tesla delivered a record 343,830 electric cars worldwide in Q2, but that missed Wall Street expectations.

Inflation, Europe's high energy bills and signs of China's market slowdown have "raised doubts...about whether Tesla can buck an economic slowdown and continue to raise prices without hurting its sales," Reuters reports.

📝 Climate law impact: Tonight's call is the first since enactment of the law that expanded consumer purchase subsidies, but ties them to complicated sourcing requirements.

6. A new approach to CO2 removal

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

A new nonprofit called Terraset just launched that will pool donations for purchasing carbon removal services in a push to speed growth of the nascent tech, Ben writes.

How it works: It aims to draw upon "climate-conscious individuals, foundations, family offices, and donor advised funds."

  • "We’re here to channel more of the philanthropic dollars to carbon removal," the site states.
  • It's working with startups including the direct air capture firm Heirloom and Charm Industrial, which transforms biomass into "bio-oil" and buries it underground.
  • Protocol scooped Terraset's arrival and has much more.

Why it matters: If removal ever scales, it could complement — not replace! — renewables, EVs, efficiency, and other tech that slashes new emissions.

Quick take: Terraset's emergence is the latest sign that efforts to scale removal tech go well beyond traditional venture finance and development models.

For instance, April brought the launch of Frontier — a new fund backed by Alphabet, Meta, McKinsey and other big players — that's pledging almost $1 billion in "advance market commitments" for removal purchases.

🙏Thanks to Mickey Meece and David Nather for edits to today's newsletter. We'll see you back here tomorrow!