Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

An International Energy Agency analysis finds that carbon emissions linked to streaming video aren't a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but are nonetheless important to track as use grows.

Why it matters: Streaming video is one of the few entertainment options for those living under coronavirus lockdowns. Even before the crisis, services like Netflix and Hulu had ballooned in use.

Catch up quick: "[C]ontrary to a slew of recent misleading media coverage, the climate impacts of streaming video remain relatively modest, particularly compared to other activities and sectors," writes IEA analyst George Kamiya.

What they did: Kamiya unpacks a widely circulated study by the Shift Project, which claimed that streaming video created about 300 million tonnes of CO2 in 2018 — an amount Kamiya notes amounts to emissions from all of France.

  • The size of your carbon footprint created by watching a half hour of Netflix is equal to driving roughly 200 meters in a standard car, Kamiya found — and even that figure can drop, depending on if your region uses more low-carbon energy.
  • What's more, rising internet traffic has not increased data centers' energy consumption.

Yes, but: Although laptops, phones and TVs are becoming more efficient — as well as data centers and networks — it's increasingly likely that tech will be unable to offset growing data demands from 5G and machine learning.

The big picture: Americans almost doubled their streaming consumption from 2018 to 2019, and are poised to continue that pace as movies are released directly to streaming services to entertain those staying at home.

Go deeper: 10 ways coronavirus is changing energy and climate change

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
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U.S. cities' lagging climate progress

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Reproduced from a Brookings Institution report; Chart: Axios Visuals

A just-published Brookings Institution analysis of U.S. cities' pledges to cut carbon emissions reveals very mixed results.

Why it matters: The potential — and limits — of city and state initiatives have gotten more attention amid President Trump's scuttling of Obama-era national policies.

New state unemployment filings fall to 787,000

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

First-time applications for unemployment fell last week, according to Department of Labor data released on Thursday.

Between the lines: The overall number of Americans relying on unemployment also fell to a still-staggering 23 million. But there are continued signs of labor market strain, with more people shifting to an unemployment program designed for the long-term jobless.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: Many U.S. deaths were avoidable — The pandemic is getting worse again.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.