Welcome back! Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,214 words, < 5 minutes.
Situational awareness: The emerging House-Senate deal to extend various tax credits does not include the expansion of incentives for electric vehicle purchases — a defeat for Tesla and other automakers. The Washington Examiner’s Joshua Siegel notes more on the energy portions of the bill.
Plus, happy belated birthday (Monday) to ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, who opens today's edition with some terrific guitar work...
Extinction Rebellion climate activists protest on Wall Street in October. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images
A pair of events over the past few days offers a preview of upcoming investor efforts to push some of the world's largest companies to get more active on global warming.
Why it matters: Shareholder pressure is becoming an increasingly important driver of corporate decision-making at a time when national governments' political will on climate is uneven at best.
Driving the news, part 1: As we wrote yesterday, banking giant Goldman Sachs says it won't directly finance Arctic oil exploration or new coal-fired power plants anywhere, among other revisions to its climate policies.
Driving the news, part 2: Shareholder efforts to push Big Oil to significantly bolster its climate commitments to align with the Paris climate agreement in 2020 are coming into focus.
What we're watching: It'll be interesting to see which of these might up for a vote, given the ability of U.S. companies to petition to the Securities and Exchange Commission to thwart them.
Goldman Sachs analysts circulated a wide-ranging report last week on how climate change is re-shaping the energy industry, and it includes a focus on the role of capital markets and shareholders.
The big picture: Check out the chart above. "The number of climate-related shareholder proposals has almost doubled since 2011 and the % of investors voting in favour has tripled over the same time period," the report states.
But, but, but: This picture doesn't tell the whole story. As I note above, U.S.-based companies can ask the SEC to scuttle resolutions.
A new International Energy Agency report sees global coal consumption rising slightly over the next several years after dipping in 2019.
The big picture: Growing demand in India and Asia will offset declines in the U.S. and Europe, IEA said in its outlook through 2024.
Why it matters: Coal is the most carbon-intensive fuel, so its persistence in the global energy mix underscores the challenge of reining in global CO2 emissions.
The intrigue: My colleague Orion Rummler explores sections of the report that discuss coal's trajectory against the backdrop of major climate agreements.
A 2018 explosion at a natural gas well owned by an ExxonMobil subsidiary emitted more methane into the atmosphere than some countries do in a year, a new study using satellite data has found, Axios' Rebecca Falconer reports.
Why it matters: It's the first time methane from an oil or gas incident has been detected and quantified using data gathered by satellite.
Details: The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Monday, shows space technology could become a key tool in detecting leaks of the potent greenhouse gas. Per the study abstract...
"Our work demonstrates the strength and effectiveness of routine satellite measurements in detecting and quantifying greenhouse gas emission from unpredictable events. In this specific case, the magnitude of a relatively unknown yet extremely large accidental leakage was revealed."
An interesting Bloomberg piece compares the EU's newly unveiled climate proposals with the Green New Deal that's in vogue in American progressive circles on the left.
The intrigue: There's a lot there, but at one point the authors wonder whether the multitopic focus of the Green New Deal — which tackles health care, job and wage guarantees — will make it tougher to implement than the European Green Deal.
The big picture: The piece looks at the European goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. "Even ultra-conservative European governments, such as Poland’s, which resisted committing themselves to Green Deal goals, didn’t object to the bloc striving to meet the objective," they report.
Of note: There's no single Green New Deal, so Bloomberg uses a mashup of concepts in the congressional resolution and plans from Democratic White House hopefuls.
One big question: Will senior Capitol Hill Democrats, as they start preparing climate legislation that would be ready if the party regains control of Washington, take their cues from the Green New Deal's breadth?
Part of the European Green Deal is on "carbon border adjustments," which basically means there would be import penalties on goods from countries without tough climate policies.
There's an interesting prediction in a note from the research firm ClearView Energy Partners: If Europe moves ahead with border adjustments — which their plan envisions proposing in 2021 but ClearView points out could slip — it "could catalyze the (bipartisan) passage of U.S. carbon fee legislation by the mid-2020s."