Good morning! Tuesday's Smart Brevity count: 1,134 words, ~ 4 minutes.
And, exactly 40 years ago ZZ Top released "Degüello," so here's some killer guitar from Texas to provide today's intro tune...
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
Separate comments at the G7 meeting in France offered stark examples of how the U.S. has broken with historic allies on global warming.
Driving the news: The last question President Trump took at his concluding press conference asked what he thinks the world should be doing on climate.
The other side, per AP: UN Secretary-General António Guterres openly suggests he's looking past the U.S. federal government for progress — and directly to Americans to fight climate change.
But, but, but: Yes, a number of states, cities and companies have stepped up their efforts.
What's next: Guterres is hopeful that other countries will strengthen their existing pledges under the Paris agreement at next month's UN climate meeting in New York.
A Massachusetts startup has raised $40 million in Series B funding to develop batteries with new chemistries capable of providing cost-effective, long-duration storage.
What's happening: Form Energy recently announced new funding from the venture arm of Italian oil giant Eni and Capricorn Investment Group.
Why it matters: Long-term storage is one of the keys to enabling very high levels of intermittent renewables penetration in power grids while phasing out the need for complimentary fossil fuel plants.
The intrigue: The announcement comes just a week after the investment giant SoftBank Vision Fund said it's putting $110 million behind Energy Vault.
The big picture: The twin announcements for very different technologies — one using a battery system and one leveraging a gravity-based technique — show how the race to figure out economical long-duration storage is wide open.
Where it stands: Form has been working with a sulfur-based system, though the announcement late last week didn't specify any particular materials.
What they're saying: “The arrival of cost-effective long-duration storage is not nearly as far off as many would believe," CEO Mateo Jaramillo said in a statement.
Go deeper: Greentech Media has more here.
Axios' Amy Harder reports ... The International Energy Agency will take a newly detailed look at the climate and economic costs of the world’s coal plants in its 2019 World Energy Outlook, set for release in November, the agency's top official said.
Why it matters: "There is an important problem here," IEA executive director Fatih Birol said in a recent interview.
The big picture: IEA’s analysis will include a detailed, plant-level analysis, looking at what their "continued operation would mean for global emissions, energy security and costs,” a spokesperson said.
By the numbers:
Why you'll hear about this again: The intergovernmental organization's annual long-term outlooks are closely examined by analysts, companies, governments and others.
Go deeper: Why climate change is so hard to tackle
Axios' Dion Rabouin writes ... Oil prices have been incredibly volatile so far this year, having fallen around 20% from their 2019 high reached in April. That gave back most of the gains from a 30% rise to start the year.
Coal: "Former coal CEO Don Blankenship’s misdemeanor conviction for conspiring to violate mine safety laws should be tossed out, a federal magistrate judge in West Virginia recommended Monday," AP reports.
Middle East: "Iraq is trying to cut its dependence on Iranian energy under pressure from the U.S., moving to connect its power grid to Tehran’s Arab rivals and develop alternatives to Iranian natural-gas imports," according to the WSJ.
2020: "Businessman Andrew Yang released his plan for addressing climate change on Monday, coupling calls for massive investment in technological innovation and nuclear power with the goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2049 and federal funding to move at-risk communities to safer areas," per Politico.
Toyota's "e-Palette" electric vehicle. Courtesy of Toyota
Toyota, which has a partnership with the Tokyo Olympics, has announced the slate of electric vehicles that will be used to move fans, athletes and others around the 2020 games.
By the numbers: The auto giant said that it's providing 3,700 "mobility products and/or vehicles" for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Look at the vehicle shown above.
Go deeper: Business Insider discusses the "bizarre autonomous and electric vehicles."