Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The U.S. started the one-year clock this week to formally abandon the Paris climate deal.

One big question: Will the U.S. move affect other big polluters' climate efforts, especially as new national pledges under the pact come due next year?

  • Andrew Light of the World Resources Institute says the U.S. was a key player in getting other nations to put up meaningful pledges in the first round a half-decade ago.
  • The question now, he tells me, is to what extent other nations step forward and fill that role as countries craft their updated submissions.

Where it stands: The federal posture going forward depends on the 2020 election outcome. The NYT's Lisa Friedman reports that "supporters of the pact say they have to plan for a future without American cooperation."

Speaking of the election, every Democratic White House candidate has pledged to re-enter the pact, which can happen relatively fast under its rules.

  • One thing to watch, however, is if President Trump's move shakes loose how exactly the candidates would write the updated U.S. pledge (called a "nationally determined contribution").
  • The next U.S. target would extend through 2030, and Light says what's important is not only the targeted emissions-cutting level. “The next president is going to have to not only articulate a number, but explain how they can do this," he said.

The intrigue: Trump's rejection of Paris puts him at least rhetorically at odds with some major corporate interests.

  • But for all the chatter about K Street splitting with Trump on climate, two key groups — the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable — kept a low profile yesterday.

What they're saying: If you asked the Chamber, you got this statement: "The Chamber supports U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement because greater collaboration between governments and businesses is essential to tackling the climate challenge."

  • It notes that they're an observer at UN climate talks and will keep working with overseas business partners on the matter.
  • The Business Roundtable, in response to a query, said: "Whether or not the U.S. is participating in this international agreement, Business Roundtable supports actions designed to address risks associated with the changing climate."

Go deeper: Trump begins formal withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement

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Case growth outpacing testing in coronavirus hotspots

Data: The COVID Tracking Project. Note: Vermont and Hawaii were not included because they have fewer than 20 cases per day. Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The United States' alarming rise in coronavirus cases isn't due to increased testing — particularly not where cases have grown fastest over the last month.

Why it matters: The U.S. doesn't yet know what it looks like when a pandemic rages on relatively unchecked after the health system has become overwhelmed. It may be about to find out.

The impending retail apocalypse

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Because of the coronavirus and people's buying habits moving online, retail stores are closing everywhere — often for good.

Why it matters: Malls are going belly up. Familiar names like J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus and J. Crew have filed for bankruptcy. Increasingly, Americans' shopping choices will boil down to a handful of internet Everything Stores and survival-of-the-fittest national chains.

Biden campaign using Instagram to mobilize celebrity supporters

Collins appears on the Build live interview series in November 2019. Photo: Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

The Biden campaign is launching a new initiative today that will draft Hollywood celebrities for Instagram Live chats with campaign officials and other Biden supporters.

Why it matters: The campaign, called #TeamJoeTalks, is an attempt to open up a new front on social media, drawing on celebrities’ Instagram followers to help find and motivate voters while large parts of the country remain locked down.