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Expand chart
Data: Rhodium Group; Chart: Axios Visuals

The corporate world and governments are awash in ambitious climate pledges, but two new reports underscore how the on-the-ground policy reality has not yet begun to spur steep emissions cuts.

Driving the news, part 1: The Rhodium Group consultancy is out with new projections of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions cuts under current federal and state policies.

  • As you can see above, the country is nowhere near on track to meet the recent White House pledge of 50%-52% U.S. cuts by 2030, while the longstanding 2025 target of 26%-28% reductions is a nearer miss (but the uncertainty band is large).

Driving the news, part 2: New International Energy Agency analysis shows that fossil fuels will be used to meet almost half of this year's projected 5% rebound in global electricity demand.

  • They see CO2 emissions from electricity, the largest global emissions source, rising 3.5% this year and another 2.5% in 2022.
  • Coal-fired generation, especially fueled by China, is slated to rise by 5% this year. "It will grow by a further 3% in 2022 and could set an all-time high," IEA notes (emphasis added).

Why it matters: This isn't the hottest take, but the upshot is that it's important to watch the specifics and implementation efforts that flow from headline-grabbing long-term commitments.

  • For the U.S., the biggest question right now is the fate of huge new investments and incentives the White House wants to move through Congress, as well as executive steps.
  • Globally, keep watch on the fate of aggressive new proposals in Europe, as well as how China fills in the blanks on its pledges, among other efforts.

What they're saying: "To shift to a sustainable trajectory, we need to massively step up investment in clean energy technologies — especially renewables and energy efficiency," Keisuke Sadamori, IEA's director of energy markets and security, said in a statement alongside the power report.

What we're watching: One thing on our U.S. radar is Rhodium's follow-up analysis coming this fall.It will explore "emissions impacts of a suite of federal and subnational actions that can help close the gap between the current U.S. emissions trajectory and ambitious decarbonization goals."

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 22, 2021 - Energy & Environment

The economic spillover from high energy prices

The 6 megawatt Stanton Solar Farm outside of Orlando, Florida. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund are out with fresh warnings about the energy commodity run-up, but both also see some relief ahead.

Driving the news: The IMF, in a post on Thursday, projects prices will moderate in the coming months, but also says, "uncertainty remains high and small demand shocks could trigger fresh price spikes."

Updated 16 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden calls Fox News reporter a "stupid son of a b---h" on hot mic

President Biden blasted Fox News' Peter Doocy on Monday after the reporter asked if the nation's soaring inflation is a political liability, saying, "what a stupid son of a b----h."

The latest: The president called Doocy Monday evening, the reporter told Fox's Sean Hannity. "He cleared the air and I appreciated it. We had a nice call," Doocy said when asked whether the president apologized, adding: "I don't need anyone to apologize to me."

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February.
  2. Vaccines: The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: New York Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Hochul's mask mandate for public areas — Sarah Palin tests positive for COVID, delaying defamation trial — Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker