Happy Friday. At this moment 30 years ago, Guns N' Roses were atop the Billboard album charts with "Appetite For Destruction."
That title could double as the headline for today's second newsletter item, so they'll take us into the weekend...
Rising use of petrochemicals that make plastics and other products will be the largest source of crude oil demand growth in coming decades, the International Energy Agency said in a new report.
The big picture: "Petrochemicals ... are set to account for more than a third of the growth in oil demand to 2030, and nearly half to 2050, ahead of trucks, aviation and shipping," the report shows.
Why it matters: The IEA report calls the topic a "blind spot" in energy policy debates.
Petrochemicals are fundamental and helpful parts of the global economy, but also pose major pollution problems and represent a growing source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
What's next (or could be): The report offers a "clean technology scenario" to lower the environmental toll of petrochemicals in coming decades.
Go deeper: Reuters has more here.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Axios' Andrew Freedman looks ahead to Sunday evening, when the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is scheduled to release its special report on the risks and benefits of limiting global warming to 1.5°C, or 2.7°F, above preindustrial levels.
Why it matters: The report is expected to contain sobering findings about how difficult it will be to meet the 1.5-degree target, which is an aspirational goal contained in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
Every country in the world — except the U.S. — intends to honor the 2015 agreement, and the report will help inform negotiators in the next round of climate talks, set for December.
Buzz: The report is expected to call for a major role for carbon removal technologies, such as direct air capture. But many of these methods are in their infancy.
By the numbers:
Yes, but: Current emissions projections show the world is on track to increase emissions through 2030.
Read more of Andrew's story, which is worthy of your time.
My thought bubble: Despite the plummeting costs of renewables, the growth of electric cars and other low-carbon energy tech, it will be a stark reminder that the pace of global energy transition and the level of political ambition remains at odds with holding global warming in check.
The big picture: "Oil’s march toward $100 a barrel is coming at just the right the time for auto makers investing billions in the switch to electric cars," Bloomberg reports.
Players: Via Reuters, "Renault-Nissan and Daimler may expand their cooperation to battery and autonomous cars technology and mobility services."
GM CEO Mary Barra writes for Axios that federal legislation is needed to help realize the safety and emissions-cutting potential of self-driving and electric vehicles.
Tesla: ICYMI, Elon Musk is back on Twitter antagonizing the Securities and Exchange Commission just a few days after settling with them for $20 million (while Tesla reached a separate but related settlement for another $20 million).
Building highly efficient homes that meet — or at least could meet — all their energy needs with renewables isn't just an expensive option for the eco-rich anymore, a new Rocky Mountain Institute report finds.
Check out the chart above: It summarizes their findings on the cost of building solar-powered "zero-energy" (ZE) homes and "zero-energy ready" (ZER) homes (which don't yet have solar panels) in 4 big markets.
Why it matters: Residential energy use is an important source of fossil fuel consumption and hence GHGs.
The big picture: These homes are just 1% of the nationwide residential market, but the additional cost to build these single-family homes is "far less than consumers, builders, and policymakers may realize," according to the low-carbon energy think tank.
By the numbers: In the case studies of these markets, they found that ZERs are roughly 1%–2.5% more expensive, while ZEs are 7%–8% costlier. Per a summary:
[T]he economics for these homes have changed: ZE homes have quietly passed cost thresholds that make them not only good for the environment but also cost-effective.
Nevada: A new report from the Brattle Group finds potential for substantial, cost-effective growth of energy storage in the state. The report, prepared for state regulators, finds that up to 175 megawatts of utility-scale battery storage could be deployed in 2020.
New York: Caldwell Intellectual Property Law's Maggie Teliska writes for Axios that construction on New York State’s largest-ever energy storage project started late last month, to launch in 2019.