Miami port cranes and a cargo ship transferring goods. Photo: Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

The U.N. shipping agency has reached an agreement to cut carbon emissions "by at least 50 percent by 2050," Reuters reports, although they added that the goal "fell short of more ambitious targets."

Why it matters, from Axios' Ben Geman: Shipping is estimated to account for 2-3% of global CO2 emissions, but that share is projected to rise sharply to 17% by mid-century, absent more steps to tackle the problem. The agreement also highlights the challenge of curbing emissions from the wider transportation sector, even as cars and light trucks grow more efficient and move towards greater electrification.

Be smart: Though several industry insiders said they think the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Panama could have pushed to reduce emissions even further — the E.U. and Marshall Islands had aimed for cutting emissions "by 70 to 100 percent by 2050," per Reuters — the overall goal of phasing out global CO2 emissions was made clear.

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Congress' next moves to rein in Big Tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

After grilling the CEOs of Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple last week, members of Congress are grappling with whether to accuse any of the firms of illegal anticompetitive behavior, to propose updating federal antitrust laws — or both.

The big picture: Congress is just one arm of government making the case against these companies. Google is expected to be the first of the firms to face possible antitrust litigation from the Justice Department before summer's end, but all four face a full-court press of investigations by DOJ, the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general.

Fauci: Coronavirus task force to examine aerosolized spread


A sneeze. Photo: Maartje van Caspel/Getty Images

The White House coronavirus task force will examine more closely just how much SARS-CoV-2 might be transmitted via aerosols, and not just from droplets, NIAID director Anthony Fauci said Wednesday at an online forum sponsored by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Why it matters: The longer the coronavirus can remain infectious in the air, the more likely it can infect people, particularly indoors — leading to the possible need to alter air filtration and circulation within buildings.

The next wave to hit Main Street

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Call it the great retail wash. A wave of defaults, bankruptcies and evictions expected in cities across the U.S. is poised to remake the retail landscape across the country, but there may be some upside for consumers and small businesses.

Why it matters: Rather than an overnight descent into a collection of urban wastelands full of Starbucks, Amazon fulfillment centers, Chase bank branches and nothing else, the coronavirus pandemic and resulting retail apocalypse may just mean that, in major U.S. cities, less is more.