Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Eldar Sætre. Photo: Niklas Halle'n/AFP/Getty Images

HOUSTON — The CEO of Norwegian oil company Equinor, Eldar Sætre, spends more than half his time on climate change and is optimistic the industry will unite on the issue despite the existential threat it presents, the executive told Axios on the sidelines of a major conference.

Why it matters: Equinor, partially owned by the Norwegian government, is the most progressive global oil and gas company in the world when climate change. It even changed its name last year from Statoil to reflect its transition away from oil and toward cleaner sources like offshore wind. Here are excerpts of our interview Monday at CERAWeek by IHS Markit.

Axios: The Norwegian government recently announced it was divesting its sovereign wealth fund — the largest in the world — from exploration and production companies as a way to make its economy less dependent on oil. That spares bigger companies like Equinor, BP and Shell. What’s your reaction to this?

"I don’t see this having a big impact on these companies. … It’s being read and interpreted in many ways, including getting away from oil and gas, but the government is very clear, it has nothing to do with that."

Axios: In your speech at this conference, you talked a lot about how populism and extreme politics is getting worse. What do you mean by this?

You see this in quite a few countries, where the politics is becoming more short-sighted, driven by how political processes are being run through social media and communicated directly to people.”
  • Reality check: He said he wasn’t referring specifically to any country or politician, but his description captured the dynamic here in the U.S. with President Trump.

Axios: To what extent have you considered ending memberships in trade associations, such as the American Petroleum Institute, for their positions that don’t align with your aggressive stance supporting action on climate change?

When it comes to API, there are dilemmas with API, but we also feel we can have differing views on specific themes, and agree on other themes. As long as we can do that, we find that it's an association we can be a part of. We can also work from the inside, in our view, and promote our views.”

Axios: It takes a large amount of new investments in new oil discoveries just to keep pace with global oil demand. As you shift your portfolio, do you foresee ceasing looking for new sources of oil?

"We’ll shrink our portfolio at some point. Our exploration portfolio is still growing. … Renewables displace oil and gas: We don’t have that situation yet. We do meaningful oil and gas projects, still growing it, not a lot but some, and we can still do a lot of good renewable projects."

Axios: You talked a lot about how the industry can unite around climate change. But you’re a very different company than, say, ExxonMobil or EOG Resources. How can such a diverse industry get on the same page on what ultimately is a competitive space?

Sætre laid out three areas where he thinks the industry can agree, including transparency, supporting regulations and engagement:

“Transparency is an obvious one. Investors want that insight into what our portfolio looks like. It’s not an attack on our industry. … We can engage more. Some companies are hiding a little bit, seeing what’s going on, but staying out of this discussion. We need to engage.”

Axios: How much time do you spend on climate change?

“A lot. Externally, it’s more than 50%. Go back, five, 10 years ago, it’s a big increase. It’s also a big part of the dialogue with investors, almost just in the last year.”

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Right-wingers making McCarthy sweat for future Speaker post

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stands with his Republican colleagues outside the House on Nov. 17. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Right-wing elements in the Republican Party are complicating House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's attempts to become the next speaker of the House should the GOP take back the majority in 2022.

Why it matters: While McCarthy has worked carefully to build trust among the conservatives who tanked his chances at clinching the speakership in 2015, they're still circling ahead of the next Speaker vote in January 2023.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congress sprints to meet crush of deadlines

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Congressional leaders have been pushing off vital action for months — and a lot of it will catch up with them in December, which begins Wednesday.

Driving the news: Funding for the federal government is set to expire at midnight on Friday. There are also consequential deadlines related to the debt limit, President Biden's agenda and annual actions like voting on the National Defense Authorization Act.

2 hours ago - World

U.S. fears Iran won’t scale back to 2015 nuclear deal

Officials gather in Vienna on Sept. 29 for the first day of renewed nuclear talks with Iran. Photo: EU Vienna Delegation/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

U.S. officials have extremely low expectations as world powers resume negotiations with Iran to curb its nuclear program, believing the Iranians aren't yet ready to negotiate seriously, Axios is told.

Driving the news: Senior officials in the U.S. intelligence community have assessed the new Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi, thinks of his predecessor, Hassan Rouhani, as a weak accommodationist who negotiated a bad deal with the U.S. and other world powers in 2015.