Good morning and welcome back!
Onward to music. On this day in 1992, R.E.M.'s "Automatic for the People" hit #1 on the U.K. album charts. So they've got today's beautiful intro tune...
ExxonMobil's pledge Tuesday to put $1 million into carbon tax lobbying is the latest of several industry moves lately — including Exxon and Chevron joining the wider Oil and Gas Climate Initiative and more low-carbon energy investments by some big players.
Reality check: With the big UN report highlighting the unprecedented global energy transition needed to limit the extent of global warming — something far more seismic than the changes occurring today — now is a good time to explore what further steps the industry could take in the near(ish) term.
What to watch: Among other topics, we are keeping an eye on the following questions...
Meanwhile, another important dynamic is the disconnect over the role of natural gas in the future.
Yes, but: The new UN analysis of what's likely needed to hold the global temperature rise to 1.5ºC above preindustrial levels shows that steep reductions in fossil fuels are needed.
President Trump expressed suspicion regarding the United Nations' new, landmark climate change report, saying that he'll look at the study but also wants to look at "which group drew it," Axios' Michael Sykes and Andrew Freedman report.
The intrigue: Yet, as their piece notes, representatives of global governments approved each word of the new report’s summary, including officials from the State Department. It was also co-authored by U.S. scientists — and the U.S. was one of the countries to request the new report when the Paris Agreement went into effect.
My thought bubble: Trump's response underscores a wider dynamic — while the White House plans to abandon the Paris agreement and agencies like EPA and the Interior Department are scuttling Obama-era climate work, other parts of the federal government are continuing to be involved.
What Trump said:
"It was given to me. It was given to me. ... And I want to look at who drew it. You know, which group drew it. Because I can give you reports that are fabulous, and I can give you reports that aren’t so good. But I will be looking at it."
ICYMI: The report dives deep into the severe and deadly consequences the global community could face in just a few years if temperatures are allowed to move past 1.5°C, or 2.7°F, of warming relative to preindustrial levels.
Bloomberg NEF has new data on the scope of financing for EV players in China, where the market is growing as government policy pushes more EVs into the world's largest auto market.
By the numbers: The major takeaway from their wider quarterly report on clean energy finance trends — the 6 largest private equity or venture capital deals of 2018 so far have all financed Chinese EV firms, Bloomberg NEF said.
The big picture: It's another sign of growing activity in the space. A recent International Energy Agency analysis looked at VC money flowing into transportation-related startups.
Amy reports ... Emissions from manufacturing plants making essential materials like cement and steel are an overlooked problem in addressing climate change, according to a new report released today by centrist think tank Third Way, AFL-CIO and the Council on Competitiveness.
Why it matters: Carbon dioxide emissions from the U.S. industrial sector are set to rise 23% by 2050 — and they are the hardest to turn green because renewable energy can’t fill the void and the chemical processes are quite carbon-intensive. Per the report:
The lesson here is that transitioning the grid to renewables and other low-carbon power sources is helpful in addressing industrial emissions, but it can only do so much. Successfully cutting carbon in this sector will require significant onsite action at these facilities.
By the numbers:
What's next? The report lays out ways emissions can be cut from manufacturing plants — and create jobs while doing it:
Yes, but: Any changes to the manufacturing sector as it relates to its carbon footprint are unlikely to come about without action in Washington, which appears to be unlikely soon.
Go deeper: Read the report.
EPA: Per Bloomberg, "EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler has used his private social media accounts to interact with incendiary content online, including 'liking' a racist image of former President Barack Obama and posts from conservative provocateurs."
Ethanol: Via Politico, "President Donald Trump ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to expand sales of corn ethanol on Tuesday, delivering a gift to farm state Republicans a month before the midterm elections."
Coal: The Wall Street Journal reports, "Westmoreland Coal Co. filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday with an agreement to sell the mining business to a group of lenders, subject to better bids, in a transaction intended to reduce its $1.4 billion in debt."
Via the Energy Department, the number of vehicle per thousand people in China is rising fast and in 2016 was similar to the United States. That is, the U.S. in 1923.
Why it matters: China is already the world's largest auto market and, as that factoid shows, there's room for massive growth.