|PRESENTED BY ENBRIDGE
|By Ben Geman and Andrew Freedman · Mar 06, 2023
🤠 Good morning from Houston, where we're both covering the big CERAWeek by S&P Global conference.
🏃🏽♀Today's newsletter has a Smart Brevity count of 1,239 words, 5 minutes.
🎶 This week's music trivia will all come from Texas! ZZ Top's third album, "Tres Hombres," turns 50 this year and provides today's intro tune...
|1 big thing: Big Oil and Team Biden in one place — and different pages
Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios
HOUSTON — Oil execs are on friendly turf at a huge gathering here, but that won't insulate the sector from swirling pressures as the Russia crisis persists and climate change worsens, Ben writes.
Driving the news: CERAWeek by S&P Global, one of the world's largest energy conferences, gets underway today during what's been a hugely lucrative but unpredictable stretch for oil and gas companies.
🖼️ The big picture: The annual conference brings Big Oil CEOs, top federal officials, foreign energy ministers, tech and power giants, and everything in between.
The intrigue: Here are a few big themes onstage and in the hive of private, high-level meetings...
👀 What we're watching: Today's remarks by Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber of the United Arab Emirates, president of the next big UN climate conference.
|2. 🛢️Charted: A volatile era
Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Axios Visuals
CERAWeek opens amid a wild stretch in energy markets — and much of it is rooted in tragedy, Ben writes.
The big picture: COVID temporarily cut energy demand and set prices way down, bringing huge losses for producers.
|3. The climate link to the new oceans treaty
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
UN-convened delegates reached a weekend deal on a new global treaty on ocean conservation and biodiversity — a draft pact that points to climate-related harms to marine ecosystems, Ben writes.
Why it matters: Climate change is bringing interlocking threats to the world's oceans — ranging from warming to acidification — that imperil multiple species.
The big picture: Via the NYT...
The intrigue: "The treaty also requires environmental impact assessments for potentially harmful activities, such as proposals to conduct geoengineering experiments in the ocean to combat climate change," Bloomberg reports.
Yes, but: There's a long and uncertain road from the weekend deal to actually creating and enforcing new protections.
Go deeper: Axios' Rebecca Falconer has more.
Andrew Freedman contributed
A MESSAGE FROM ENBRIDGE
|The time is right for North American LNG
Amid surging global demand for energy, liquefied natural gas has become a compelling solution to the dual challenge of energy security and curbing emissions.
Enbridge transports 20% of natural gas consumed in the U.S. and is working to connect this resource to global markets.
|4. 👀 First look: New pressure on Vanguard
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
Clients of asset management giant Vanguard are putting fresh pressure on the firm to act more aggressively on climate — and hinting at litigation if they're not satisfied, Ben writes.
Driving the news: Individual investors — over 1,400, organizers say — sent letters expressing "serious concern" that Vanguard is doing a lousy job managing climate risks to portfolio values.
What they're saying: They allege Vanguard is "lagging behind its industry peers" and calls for steps including:
Zoom in: The first author is Paul Rissman, a Vanguard client and member of the Sierra Club Foundation's board. He's the former chief investment officer of Alliance Growth Equities.
The intrigue: The letter accuses Vanguard of violating fiduciary duties to clients.
The big picture: It's part of a wider battle over Wall Street climate policies.
Catch up fast: Vanguard recently left an industry coalition called the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative.
|5. Study: High temps linked to increased deaths in U.S. prisons
Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios
New research finds that higher temperatures are "associated with increased mortality in [U.S.] prisons, yet this vulnerable population’s risk has largely been overlooked," Ben writes.
Driving the news: The peer-reviewed study in PLOS One analyzed mortality data in nearly 1,000 state and private prisons during June, July and August of 2001 to 2019.
Why it matters: Researchers unaffiliated with the paper say the topic requires growing attention in a warming world.
The big picture: Prisoners' attributes and environmental conditions create particular heat sensitivities, the paper notes.
Yes, but: The authors note limitations of the study. They lacked data on which prisons or units were air conditioned.
What they're saying: Ashley Ward of Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability called it important work on a topic that's difficult to study.
A MESSAGE FROM ENBRIDGE
|Hydrogen: The fuel of tomorrow, today
Enbridge is blending green hydrogen into natural gas to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Why it’s important: The company was the ﬁrst in North America to pilot hydrogen blending — just one way it’s greening the grid.
🙏 Thanks to Nick Aspinwall and David Nather for edits to today's edition.
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