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And happy birthday (a day late) to the late Bobby Womack, who opens today's edition...
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Planned IPOs by Uber and Lyft will likely lead to pressure from shareholder activists who want the ride-hailing giants to act more aggressively on stemming carbon emissions.
Why it matters: The IPOs come as some analysts fear that the growth of ride-hailing is siphoning riders from more climate-friendly mass-transit options and adding to congestion.
What they're saying: Sue Reid of the sustainable investor advocacy network Ceres tells Axios...
“These companies either could be part of a broad set of climate solutions or they could significantly exacerbate the cause of climate change."
"They have some really important decisions in terms of their business plans to be made.”
“Savvy investors should be asking some tough questions of these companies to ensure they are calibrating their business plans to be on the right side of the climate equation."
The intrigue: Ride-hailing, along with the rise of autonomous tech, is something of a wildcard for the future of transport-related carbon emissions.
Yes, but: Lyft and Uber have several existing climate-focused and sustainability initiatives. For instance...
Between the lines: Reid tells me investors will be looking for the companies to "build on" those programs.
Where it stands: Ceres is not the only group eyeing the IPOs and both company's future.
What's next: Uber is expected to file papers with securities regulators soon, and Lyft submitted its papers last week.
The big picture: Climate-focused investors have in recent years notched several successes in pushing some very big companies into new steps on corporate disclosure and emissions targets.
Breaking this morning: Chevron expects to more than double its production in the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico in the next 5 years — an almost 40% increase from its prior forecast, the Wall Street Journal reports.
LNG: Via Reuters, "Total has agreed to buy a 10 percent stake in the Arctic LNG 2 project from Russia’s Novatek, as the French energy group looks to build up its presence in the area to service a fast-growing Asian market."
Pipelines: Per Bloomberg, "China announced it will form a national oil and pipeline company, the first public acknowledgment of the massive energy industry overhaul planned since at least 2014."
Libya: The Wall Street Journal reports that Libya's state oil company has re-started some production at the big Sharara oil field following removal of gunmen who had occupied the region.
Quartz reports this morning that a California startup called Kobold, which has developed advanced methods to chase down supplies of cobalt, has won backing from the Bill Gates' Breakthrough Energy Ventures and the VC powerhouse Andreessen Horowitz.
Why it matters: Cobalt is a critical component in batteries needed for smartphones and the growth of EVs, so demand is growing.
The intrigue: Per Quartz, Kobold employs experts in fields ranging from quantum computing to economic geology and says it can bring advanced digital tech to bear on finding supplies outside the DRC.
As if tumult and sanctions around Venezuela and Iran weren't enough, Axios' Dion Rabouin looks at another change looming in oil markets: new maritime fuel standards. From his piece...
The oil landscape is changing rapidly. Two major producers, Iran and Venezuela, have had oil output largely sidelined by U.S. sanctions and in Venezuela's case a massive production shortfall.
What's happening: Next year, the UN's International Maritime Organization will bar ships from carrying fuel that contains sulfur content higher than 0.5% and capping sulfur emissions from ships at 0.5%.
Why it matters: Maritime shipping uses about 4 million–5 million barrels of fuel a day of the oil market's 100-million-barrel-per-day total. S&P Global Platts Analytics estimates that compliance will add $60 billion to fuel costs in 2020.
What they're saying: Sebastian Esposito, VP of business development at Inatech, tells Axios he doesn't know if companies are ready for the new regulations. While he says a lot of elements are still up in the air, "I would imagine next year fuel is going to cost more money."
Image courtesy of Sono Motors
The German EV startup Sono Motors has released updated images of its Sion, a vehicle that can partially re-charge using solar panels integrated into its design.
Why it matters: The company said the panels can add up to 34 kilometers a day of additional range under "peak" conditions. The company says the car will cost 25,500 Euros (around $28,900).
What they're saying: Via the EV site Electrek, "Their claim of 30 km of range per day added with solar panels is most likely in ideal conditions. Therefore, make no mistake, this vehicle is very much powered by its battery pack."
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Speaking of new electric models, CNET looks at today's debut at the Geneva Motor Show of Mercedes-Benz's new electric minivan that's "slated to enter production in the near future."