1 big reminder: Our daily Axios Markets newsletter launches Jan. 7 and will cover all the important stories in markets, business and finance.
Global demand for coal, the most carbon-emitting fuel, is slated to grow slightly over the next 5 years, according to a new International Energy Agency forecast.
Why it matters: The latest projection of coal's persistence in the global energy mix arrives on the heels of major scientific reports warning that worldwide emissions must start plummeting — and soon — to avoid potentially disastrous warming.
The big picture: Surging demand in India and elsewhere in southeast Asia — including Indonesia and Vietnam — is driving the uptick.
Where it stands: Keisuke Sadamori, IEA's director of energy markets and security, said in a statement:
Buzz: IEA is using the forecast to make the case for stronger global efforts to deploy Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) technologies in the power sector...
"While 2018 brought some good news in terms of policies and projects, our progress with deploying CCUS remains woefully off-track with what is required for a sustainable energy future."
The oil-and-gas industry has halted years of declining investments in exploration and it's paying off in the form of big conventional finds.
Where it stands: The consultancy Rystad Energy said in a note Monday that discoveries this year will total an estimated 9.4 billion barrels of oil-equivalent.
The big picture: Industry spending on oil-and-gas exploration began plunging nearly a half-decade ago, dropping 61% from 2014 levels, but the picture is changing again. Rystad analyst Palzor Shenga said in a statement...
“Global exploration activity and discoveries have halted their year-after-year decline and look set to rise in the next year...
"This as an exciting recovery which runs contrary to a decline in global exploration spending from 2014 to 2017."
By the numbers: Analysis from the consultancy Wood Mackenzie — shared with Reuters and confirmed by Axios — shows that upstream spending is slated to grow to $425 billion next year.
The intrigue: It's not clear whether the industry will bring enough new crude supplies online in coming years to avoid problems down the road as demand grows and mature fields decline.
What they're saying: The IEA's big World Energy Outlook in November warned: "The average level of new conventional crude oil project approvals over the last three years is only half the amount necessary to balance the market out to 2025."
State of the market: "Oil prices continued a steep slide early Tuesday, as concerns that slowing global growth could further hinder demand for crude outweighed production cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries," the Wall Street Journal reports.
More shale: Per Bloomberg, "Royal Dutch Shell Plc is in negotiations to buy Endeavor Energy Resources LP for about $8 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, or roughly half as much as the Texas oil producer was expected to fetch when it put itself on the block this year."
LNG: Via Reuters, "The scramble for new projects to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) is shifting to the Pacific Northwest, where longstanding proposals are getting a renewed look as rising shipping rates make the region’s easy access to Asia more appealing, with gas price shifts sweetening the deal."
Two pieces of energy and climate polling out yesterday caught my eye...
Green New Deal: A survey from Yale and George Mason universities find that respondents really like the "Green New Deal," which a growing number of Democrats led by progressive newcomer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are pushing. The details...
But, but, but: There are some big caveats here. The poll question only partially describes the sweeping climate and economic proposal, which also includes job guarantees, universal health care and a lot more aspects. I don't know how that might change the answers one way or the other.
Of note: The analysis accompanying the poll makes 2 other big points...
The bottom line: "For any survey respondents who were previously unaware of the Deal, it is likely that their reactions have not yet been influenced by partisan loyalty," per the analysis. Polarization over it could grow moving forward, they said.
* * *
Climate change: Via CNBC, a new NBC/WSJ poll shows that "66 percent of Americans now say they've seen enough evidence to justify action on climate change, up from 51 percent two decades ago."
E&E News has a nice rundown of roughly a dozen names floating around, including:
Other names in the mix include...
The U.S. military views climate change as a threat multiplier, one that is likely to worsen already existing weaknesses of government and poverty, Axios' Andrew Freedman reports.
Why it matters: Internal and external climate displacement is already occurring. Depending how quickly and significantly temperatures rise, the specter of climate migration and refugee flows looms large by midcentury.
Rising seas: In 2017 alone, nearly 19 million new internal displacements were recorded in more than 130 countries worldwide, largely triggered by extreme weather events such as floods and tropical cyclones, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center.
Drought: In addition to sea level rise, water stress is the biggest concern of humanitarian groups and military planners.
The bottom line: No refugee crisis or migration flow is purely due to climate change. But already, global warming-related factors are playing a role in setting people into motion, both within countries and between them.
Axios Expert Voices contributor Sarah E. Hunt sees a disconnect in the White House posture on coal, based on their position at the UN climate conference last week.
Where it stands: Speakers at the Trump administration's event in Katowice, Poland, argued that future coal plants should be built with advanced clean coal technology from the U.S., which includes carbon capture and storage (CCS).
But, but, but: The Trump administration’s commitment to energy R&D has been shaky.
Hunt is the co-founder and CEO of Joseph Rainey Center for Public Policy.