Energy & Environment

Why it matters: Ominous forecasts about the impact of climate change serve as the backdrop for the world — led by U.S. lawmakers and companies — to debate big action on the problem, which could upend energy systems and our way of life.

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Pandemic drives spike in plastic use, but it may not last

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The war against plastic is losing, for now, to the war against the coronavirus.

Where it stands: Reusable everything, from bags to utensils, is considered a potential spreader of COVID-19, so businesses across the spectrum are swapping multi-use products for single-use alternatives, most of which is plastic.

Global mayors call for green investments in COVID-19 recovery efforts

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Urban economies need to be rebuilt to prioritize green investments in order to create a more resilient, just society that can withstand global shocks, argue the mayors of many of the world's biggest cities in a report out Wednesday.

Why it matters: "A return to 'business as usual' would not just be a monumental failure of imagination, but lock in the inequities laid bare by the pandemic and the inevitability of more devastating crises due to the climate breakdown," the group of mayors concludes.

Why transitioning to electric vehicles might be cheaper in the long run

Reproduced from Institute of Transportation Studies at University of California, Davis; Chart: Axios Visuals

Falling costs for battery and fuel cell technology mean that governments can push for widespread deployment of zero-emissions vehicles without straining taxpayers, University of California, Davis researchers say.

Why it matters: Transportation overtook electricity generation a few years ago as the nation's largest source of carbon dioxide emissions.

Fossil fuels have upper hand in G20 coronavirus stimulus plans so far

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

G20 governments' pandemic recovery packages are steering much more funding to fossil fuel industries and energy-intensive sectors like airlines than "clean" energy, an Energy Policy Tracker project from several think tanks and activist groups shows.

Why it matters: International agencies like the United Nations and International Monetary Fund have been urging governments to prioritize climate-friendly energy in economic recovery packages.

BlackRock took "voting action" against 53 companies on climate issues so far this year

Photo: Hannes Breustedt/picture alliance via Getty Images

BlackRock, in a report published Tuesday, said this year it has used its shares to take "voting action" against 53 companies that are "making insufficient progress integrating climate risk into their business models or disclosures."

Why it matters: The tally is an early sign of how BlackRock is implementing one element of its wider plan unveiled early this year to make climate change more central to its strategy.

Biden teases political path for climate plans

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden is offering hints about how he’d try to thread the political needle to move big climate and energy plans through Congress.

Why it matters: If the 2020 election opens a path to moving substantial legislation, it's likely to be a fraught and narrow one that could vanish entirely in the 2022 midterm elections.

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