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Reproduced from BP; Chart: Axios Visuals

Wind and solar power grew by record amounts last year, BP notes in its latest detailed and wide-ranging annual look at global energy statistics and trends.

The big picture: The pandemic helped to push CO2 emissions from energy use down 6.3%, the largest decline since the end of World War II, amid steep declines in oil and coal use.

  • Last year renewables share of global power generation rose to 11.7% while coal's share fell to 35.1%, which BP notes is a new low in its dataset.

Yes, but: Emissions are rebounding, and BP chief economist Spencer Dale notes in the report:

"[F]rom a forward-looking perspective, the rate of decline in carbon emissions observed last year is similar to what the world needs to average each and every year for the next 30 years to be on track to meet the Paris climate goals."

Go deeper: Reuters has detailed coverage here, while Nikos Tsafos of the Center for Strategic and International Studies offers helpful observations here.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jul 8, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Tallying the Western drought's toll on California hydropower

Expand chart
Reproduced from U.S. Energy Information Administration via U.S. Drought Monitor; Chart: Axios Visuals

A new report from the Energy Information Administration gets to how much the bad Western drought is sapping hydroelectric generation in California.

By the numbers: "In the first four months of 2021, hydroelectric generation in California was 37% less than in the same four months in 2020 and 71% less than during those months in 2019," notes EIA, the Energy Department's independent stats arm.

Bezos beats Branson in space billionaires' battle for attention

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Imtiyaz Shaikh (Anadolu Agency), Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Jeff Bezos' flight into space generated more interest from the public than Richard Branson's, and both billionaires overshadowed their respective space companies.

Why it matters: Data shows an outsized public interest in the personalities at the center of the space trips, compared to the companies behind them — which could reinforce public suspicion that the ventures were partly vanity plays.

Updated 4 hours ago - Sports

Swimmer Chase Kalisz first American to win Olympics gold medal

Chase Kalisz of Team United States celebrates after winning the Men's 400m Individual Medley Final on day two of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images

Swimmer Chase Kalisz became on Sunday the first Team USA Olympian to win gold at the Tokyo Games.

The big picture: The Rio 2016 silver medalist's winning time in the men's 400 meters Individual Medley Final was 4 minutes 9.42 seconds. His teammate Jay Litherland took silver .86 seconds later.

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