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!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

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!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

At Wednesday night's climate change town hall, top Democratic presidential candidates will be challenged to lay out a climate strategy that is both effective and politically viable.

The big picture: Despite efforts by state governments and the private sector, the U.S. has a long way to go to formulate a coherent and globally credible climate strategy. A dedicated town hall offers Democratic primary voters a chance to scrutinize proposals like the sweeping Green New Deal and it reflects their growing sense of urgency around climate change.

What to watch: In the world of climate policy, there are technically credible plans that lack meaningful political support and bold political calls to action that neglect business, market and technical concerns. Candidates hoping to bridge that divide must attend to several overarching issues:

  • Reconciling climate action with populism and nationalism. Australia, Brazil and Canada have seen voters repudiate climate-centric strategies, and the question of “who pays” for climate action has sparked protests like France's “gilets jaunes” movement. Even in “deep blue” Washington state, a carbon tax ballot initiative was defeated in 2016 and again in 2018.
  • Wrestling with the future of oil and gas. Substitutes for petroleum fuel are still not at scale, particularly for trucking, shipping, rail and aviation. Two key questions, especially for voters in battleground states like Colorado and Pennsylvania, will be the speed of the transition candidates envision and how they see U.S. oil and gas exports fitting into it, if at all.
  • Weighing the role of carbon taxes. Debate has swirled around the right tax rates to decrease demand and whether to offset such taxes with consumer rebates or reductions in other types of taxes.

The bottom line: The town hall provides an initial opportunity for Democrats to convince voters that climate deserves to be more than what Trump calls a “niche” issue, but there is a long campaign ahead and no shortage of competing issues.

Robert Johnston is managing director for global energy and natural resources at Eurasia Group and a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center.

Go deeper

Chauvin defense closing: "Does not have to prove his innocence"

Chauvin's defense attorney Eric Nelson opened his closing argument on Monday by reminding the jury that Derek Chauvin "does not have to prove his innocence."

Why it matters: The jury's verdict in Chauvin's murder trial is seen by advocates as one of the most crucial civil rights cases in decades.

Merrick Garland: Domestic terror is "still with us"

Photo: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In his first major speech, Attorney General Merrick Garland warned the nation Monday to remain vigilant against the rising threat of domestic extremism.

Why it matters: Domestic terrorism poses an "elevated threat" to the nation this year, according to U.S. intelligence. Garland has already pledged to crack down on violence linked to white supremacists and right-wing militia groups.