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02/04/2009 08:00 PM
EPA holds trump card in U.S. emissions debate
Greenwire: Two years ago today, the Supreme Court ordered U.S. EPA to reconsider its decision not to regulate for greenhouse gas emissions. President George W. Bush quickly responded, saying he would take the opinion (pdf) "very seriously." Speaking to reporters in the White House Rose Garden, he said, "It's the new law of the land." But Bush never allowed EPA to act -- punting all critical next steps to his successor. And now, time's up. President Obama's EPA will make its first ... read more

01/04/2009 08:00 PM
World's poor face malnutrition threat
Guardian: Hellen Apale knows how important it is that her children get a good diet. She knows that at eight months pregnant, she needs to be eating well and eating regularly for the health of her unborn baby. The problem is she has no food. "We had a really bad harvest, there was a drought which came early last year and it has affected everyone," she says, gesturing to the scrubby field outside her home, where cassava plants wilt in the brown cracked earth. "It's not how it used to be when we ... read more

03/04/2009 08:00 PM
Insurers seize climate change opportunity with over 600 new products
Business Green: The insurance sector is responding rapidly to the opportunities presented by climate change and the emergence of low carbon technologies with a glut of new products and services that should help accelerate the adoption of greener business models. That is the conclusion of a major new report from sustainable investor group Ceres, which found that there are 643 climate change related products and services being offered by almost 250 insurers worldwide, including a doubling in new ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Calif. Desert Becomes Home For Renewable Energy
National Public Radio: California's utilities are in a tight spot. They're mandated to procure 20 percent of their electricity from renewable resources by the end of next year. Currently, renewable energy provides only 12 percent of the state's needs. Green energy is needed, and fast. Where to get it? The southeastern corner of California is becoming the state's Wild West of renewable energy. Five years from now this patch of desert will hold one of the largest solar thermal plants in the world. An ... read more

03/04/2009 08:00 PM
Ice-free Arctic Ocean Possible In 30 Years, Not 90 As Previously Estimated
ScienceDaily: A nearly ice-free Arctic Ocean in the summer may happen three times sooner than scientists have estimated. New research says the Arctic might lose most of its ice cover in summer in as few as 30 years instead of the end of the century. The amount of the Arctic Ocean covered by ice at the end of summer by then could be only about 1 million square kilometers, or about 620,000 square miles. That's compared to today's ice extent of 4.6 million square kilometers, or 2.8 million square ... read more

03/04/2009 08:00 PM
US and Canada target shipping emissions
Business Green: The US and Canada have proposed that a 200 nautical-mile zone around their coasts be designated as a reduced emissions area that would impose strict new air quality regulations on shipping. The Emission Control Area (ECA), which the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), would govern nitrous oxide (NOx), sulphur oxide (SOx), and particulate matter. Starting in 2015, fuel from vessels in the region would have to ... read more

03/04/2009 08:00 PM
Arctic may be ice-free in 30 years: study
Agence France-Presse: Some 80 percent of Arctic ice may disappear in 30 years, not 90 as scientists had previously estimated, according to a new study on the impact of global warming. "The amount of the Arctic Ocean covered by ice at the end of summer by then could be only about 1 million square kilometers, or about 620,000 square miles," said US researchers who authored the study published Thursday. "That's compared to today's ice extent of 4.6 million square kilometers, or 2.8 million square ... read more

04/04/2009 08:00 PM
Australia: Concerns Rise Over Leak at Uranium Mine
Inter Press Service: The revelation that a substantial amount of contaminated water is leaking each day from a tailings dam at a uranium mine, located in a World Heritage Site, has sparked protests from environment activists. About 100 cubic metres per day of contaminated water is coming from the tailings dam, according to official information given at a recent Senate committee hearing by Alan Hughes, the supervising scientist for the Alligator Rivers region in Australia's Northern Territory, where the ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Can China be green by 2020?
BBC: China's unprecedented economic growth over the past 30 years has come at a huge cost to the environment. The damage has not only been to the air the Chinese breath or the water in their rivers, but also to its reputation across the world. But there are signs that China may now be serious about tackling pollution to prove to the world that it can develop while causing less damage to the environment. BBC Brasil travelled to China, which recently overtook the United States ... read more

03/04/2009 08:00 PM
Green groups slam G20 "missed opportunity"
Business Green: Green groups reacted with dismay last night to the historic economic rescue deal brokered at the G20 Summit in London, branding it a "missed opportunity" to secure meaningful action on climate change. While business leaders and anti-poverty groups welcomed the G20's commitment to provide an additional $1.1tr to the World Bank and IMF and introduce tighter regulations on tax havens and hedge funds, green campaigners were left disappointed by the final agreement's failure to deliver any ... read more

03/04/2009 08:00 PM
Italy to double solar capacity to 900 MW in '09
Reuters: Sunny Italy expects to more than double its installed photovoltaic capacity used to turn sunlight into power to 900 megawatt (MW) by the end of 2009 on the back of government incentives, state-run agency GSE said on Friday. Italy saw 338 MW of photovoltaic (PV) capacity installed in 2008 alone, the third-biggest annual rise in PV capacity in the world, on a par with the United States and behind Spain and Germany, the power management agency said in a statement. Italy's PV ... read more

03/04/2009 08:00 PM
Oil Producers Look for Ways out of Crisis
Inter Press Service: With the price of crude oil down more than 50 percent from a year ago, and with U.S. President Barack Obama championing alternative forms of energy, oil producers are scrambling to find ways to protect their industry. At the 10th International Oil Summit, held in Paris Thursday, government ministers, company executives and representatives of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) discussed ways of dealing with the current economic crisis and future ... read more

03/04/2009 08:00 PM
Cap-and-trade advocates press on after budget battle
ClimateWire: Don't bury cap-and-trade legislation just yet. That was the message from several moderate Senate Democrats yesterday who a day earlier had joined with Republicans in a 67-31 Senate vote against fast-tracking a climate change bill so that it did not have to face a filibuster. (pdf) "It was a little bit of a false issue," explained Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor, one of the 26 Democrats who voted against the option of including climate change in a budget reconciliation bill. "It ... read more

03/04/2009 08:00 PM
Climate change biggest loser of G20 summit: campaigners
Guardian: The $1.1 trillion stimulus package agreed by G20 leaders yesterday risks locking the world into a high-carbon economy in which greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, environmental groups have warned. Campaigners agreed that the summit's biggest loser was the fight against climate change, despite a positive response from global financial markets to the announcement of financial aid. At the summit, prime minister Gordon Brown reiterated support for low-carbon economic growth and ... read more

03/04/2009 08:00 PM
US to be 'pragmatic on climate'
BBC: The US must balance science with what is politically and technologically achievable on climate change, America's lead negotiator has said. Speaking at UN talks in Bonn, Jonathan Pershing said the US must not offer more than it could deliver by 2020. Poor countries said the latest science showed rich states should cut emissions by 40% on 1990 levels by 2020. President Barack Obama's plan merely to stabilise greenhouse gases at 1990 levels by 2020 is much less ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Kenya: Slum cooker protects environment, helps poor
Reuters: Kenya's huge and squalid slums don't have much of anything, except mountains of trash that fill rivers and muddy streets, breeding disease. Now Kenyan designers have built a cooker that uses the trash as fuel to feed the poor, provide hot water and destroy toxic waste, as well as curbing the destruction of woodlands. After nine years of development, the prototype "Community Cooker" is close to being rolled out in overcrowded refugee camps as well as slums around the country ... read more

03/04/2009 08:00 PM
Climate-Change Policies Risk Protectionism, China, India Say
Bloomberg: Global-warming policies being considered by the U.S. and Japan risk provoking trade barriers, Chinese and Indian officials said in interviews. Protectionism, rejected yesterday by world leaders meeting in London, has been discussed in the U.S. Congress and in France as a response to the competitive advantage of developing nations like China that refuse to regulate greenhouse gases. Potential import fees could prompt trade retaliation, said Su Wei, China's lead negotiator for a new ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Farming Could Be Friend or Foe
Inter Press Service: Don't forget about agriculture in the upcoming global negotiations to combat climate change, experts warn. Not only is farming most at risk in an increasingly variable and tempestuous climate, it is also a major emitter of greenhouse gases. But with the right policies in place, agriculture could both continue to feed the world and play a crucial role in solving the climate problem. "Agriculture has been missing in the run-up talks to Copenhagen," says Mark Rosegrant of the ... read more

03/04/2009 08:00 PM
Global warming forecast says Spain will run dry
Times (UK): The rain in Spain no longer falls mainly in the plain. Global warming could cause rainfall in the Iberian peninsula to fall by up to 40 per cent by the end of the century, according to a European Commission report. Spain and Portugal could be the hardest hit by climate change, according to the commission white paper, which predicts that food harvests could fall 30 per cent in the region because of a lack of water. There has been an increase in the number of heat waves as ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Study: Arctic sea ice melting faster than expected
Associated Press: Arctic sea ice is melting so fast most of it could be gone in 30 years. A new analysis of changing conditions in the region, using complex computer models of weather and climate, says conditions that had been forecast by the end of the century could occur much sooner. A change in the amount of ice is important because the white surface reflects sunlight back into space. When ice is replaced by dark ocean water that sunlight can be absorbed, warming the water and increasing the warming ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Australia: Experts Blame Whale Beachings On Climate Change
redOrbit: Researchers say global warming is bringing food stocks closer to shore, causing the mass beaching of whales along Australia's coast, the American Free Press reported. Last week, nearly 90 long-finned pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins were beached along the Hamelin Bay on Australia's west coast in the last month. Experts say it took the total number of beached cetaceans in southern Australia beyond 500 in the past four months alone, including a single stranding of almost 200 ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Canada: Suncor fined over environmental breaches
Canadian Press: Oil sands company Suncor Energy Inc. has been fined for breaking environmental laws in northern Alberta. Suncor was fined $675,000 in provincial court for failing to install pollution control equipment at its Firebag oilsands facility near Fort McMurray. Suncor and its work camp operator were also fined a combined $400,000 over charges involving the dumping of sewage into the Athabasca River. Suncor was cited for failing to properly supervise Compass Group, the camp ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Obama: U.S. to lead on climate so China, India follow
Reuters: U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday the United States would "lead by example" in combating climate change so that developing nations such as India and China would follow suit. Speaking at the G20 meeting of major economies, he used his presidential debut on the world stage to contrast his policies with those of former President George W. Bush, who had twinned U.S. action to curb climate greenhouse gases with pressure on emerging economic powerhouses. "China and India ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Sun has fewest sunspots since 1913, better GPS
Associated Press: The sun has been unusually quiet lately, with fewer sunspots and weaker magnetic fields than in nearly a century. A quiet sun is good for Earth: GPS systems are more accurate, satellites stay in orbit longer; even the effects of manmade global warming are marginally reduced, though just by three-tenths of a degree at most. It's all a normal part of the strange but regular cycles of the sun's activity. Scientists don't know why it happens, but "for humankind it's probably a good ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Small islands urge deep CO2 cuts, fear rising seas
Reuters: Small island states have sharpened their calls for the rich to make deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, saying low-lying atolls risk being washed off the map by rising ocean levels. An alliance of 43 island states, backed by more than a dozen nations in Africa and Latin America, urged developed countries at U.N. climate talks in Bonn on Thursday to cut greenhouse emissions by "at least 45 percent below 1990 levels by 2020." "The scientific findings about climate change are ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Canada: Suncor slapped with environmental fines in Alberta
Reuters: A Canadian court slapped Suncor Energy Inc and a contractor it hired with more than C$1 million ($805,000) in fines on Thursday for environmental infractions at the company's northern Alberta oil sands operations. Suncor, Canada's No. 2 oil sands producer, will pay C$675,000 for failing to install pollution control equipment at its Firebag steam-driven oil sands operation near Fort McMurray, Alberta, and then keeping that information from provincial environmental ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Final offshore wind rules in months: U.S. Interior
Reuters: U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said on Thursday he expects his department to finalize rules for offshore renewable energy in a few months. "I expect that because we have done so much work on these rules that a good time horizon is within the next couple of months that we will have these rules finalized," Salzar told reporters at energy forum. The department is considering whether to give final approval to offshore wind energy project Cape Wind off the coast of ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Pelosi Promises Caution on Climate Change Legislation
CQPolitics: Faced with a GOP assault on proposed climate change legislation and restiveness within her own ranks, Speaker Nancy Pelosi pledged Thursday that any measure the House passes this year won't overly burden utility ratepayers or businesses. "I will work to see that whatever we do does not increase the burden on our rate payers and also has mitigation for business so we can be competitive," the Speaker said at her weekly news conference. She also made clear that she will not push ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Natural mechanism for medieval warming discovered
New Scientist: Europe basked in unusually warm weather in medieval times âEUR" so much so that wine was produced in England âEUR" but why has been open to debate. Now the natural climate mechanism that caused the mild spell seems to have been pinpointed. The finding is significant today because, according to Valerie Trouetat the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow, and Landscape Research in Birmensdorf, the mechanism is not now of sufficient strength to explain current warming. The ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
United States: TVA agrees to pursue renewable energy purchases
Associated Press: In the face of looming legislative pressures for cleaner energy, the nation's largest public utility agreed Thursday to buy more than a nuclear reactor's worth of electricity from renewable energy sources. The Tennessee Valley Authority board gave President and CEO Tom Kilgore authority to sign contracts totaling up to 2,000 megawatts of renewable and clean energy by 2011, with some of the power entering TVA's seven-state system as early as 2010. TVA began the search in ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Environmental groups see snub at G20 summit
Reuters: World leaders at the G20 summit disappointed environmental groups on Thursday who said their commitment to fight climate change had been vague. The leaders reaffirmed a previous commitment to sign a U.N. climate deal this year, a step the U.N. climate-change chief said was useful, though action would be better. The London summit had focused on averting a financial meltdown, pledging a $1 trillion package to save the world economy and boost fragile consumer and business ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Who Will Profit from Climate Change?
Greenwire: In the midst of a worldwide economic crisis, city officials and Wall Street executives are talking about turning the battered U.S. financial center into a global hub of green finance and environmental commodities trading. The spark: draft energy and climate legislation unveiled by two senior House Democrats in Washington this week. The cap-and-trade proposal from Reps. Henry Waxman of California and Ed Markey of Massachusetts has been the talk of the Wall Street Green Trading ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Pelosi vows global warming bill by 2010
Politico: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has set her sights on passing a global warming bill by the end of the year, pushing past strong misgivings from moderate Democrats in the House and Senate. Asked Thursday when the House would pass an energy measure that seeks to reduce carbon emissions and possibly impose a cap and trade system, Pelosi said simply: "This year." Pelosi, who refers to climate change as "the flagship issue" of her speakership, said the political dynamics in the ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Greener energy policies don't have to cost the earth
Telegraph: The Tory environmentalist Zac Goldsmith has a line he sometimes uses in speeches: "Saving the world might not be cost-effective, but we should probably give it a go anyway." It's a good gag -- and fair up to a point -- but in fact, we won't save the world unless we start thinking hard about whether it's worth it. What with the economic crisis and the drama of the G20, it's been easy to forget about the environment recently. In fact, the WWF claims that this is precisely what world ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Mich. senators vote to extend debate on climate change
Detroit Free Press: Both of Michigan's senators voted against a measure that would have protected a sweeping climate change bill from being filibustered. Although the climate change bill isn't even out of the hands of Henry Waxman – the California Democrat who now chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee and who wrote the bill – the Senate passed an amendment to the budget resolution Wednesday night prohibiting it from falling under the process of reconciliation, which – if it had been used – would ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Brazil: Former environment minister Silva honored with prestigious environmental award
Mongabay: Brazil's former Environment Minister Marina Silva was awarded Norway's $100,000 Sophie Prize for her efforts to protect the Amazon rainforest. Silva, who resigned last year following battles with national industrial interests over plans to develop the Amazon, was recognized for Brazil's 60 percent reduction in deforestation from 2004 to 2007. "Silva used drastic measures and clamped down on all illegal activity in the forest," the Sophie Foundation said in a statement. "While ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
South Africa says still facing major energy crisis
Reuters: South Africa's energy minister said on Thursday the country was still in the grip of a major power crisis despite being able to keep the lights on since a series of blackouts early last year. Voluntary energy savings had failed to meet the required levels, and the country was risking new power cuts, the Minister of Minerals and Energy, Buyelwa Sonjica said in a statement. State-owned utility Eskom, which provides 95 percent of the country's power, has rationed electricity since ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
G20 outcome: Where's the green?
Greenpeace: The G20 leaders' failure to put the climate crisis at the top of their agenda has missed a key opportunity to secure long-term global economic and environmental health, as revealed in today's summit communiqué. "Tacking climate change on to the end of the G20 communiqué as an after thought does not demonstrate anything like the seriousness we need to see. Hundreds of billions were found for the IMF and World Bank, but for making the transition to a green economy there is no money on ... read more

01/04/2009 08:00 PM
U.S. Senate leader tries to quell climate bill fears
Reuters: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reached out to industrial-state lawmakers on Tuesday to ease concerns about proposed measures to cut climate-warming carbon emissions. Reid told reporters on Wednesday that the 10 Democratic senators he met with from states heavily dependent on coal were not opposed to a global-warming bill. But states like Ohio, Michigan and Indiana want assurances that their economies will not suffer from new environmental requirements. Draft ... read more

01/04/2009 08:00 PM
U.S. groups say vast areas off limits to clean energy
Reuters: Environmental groups on Wednesday released maps of the U.S. West with vast areas that they said should be off-limits for renewable energy projects. President Barack Obama backs plans to ramp up the country's renewable energy infrastructure, but environmentalists fear that a boom in solar and wind energy could endanger wildlife. By showing where development should not go, The Path to Green Energy project "is intended to be very favorable to mapping the path to green energy," ... read more

01/04/2009 08:00 PM
Revolutionary new theory overturns modern meteorology: claims that forests move rain
Mongabay: Largely ignored by scientific community, new theory could change how future generations view forests Two Russian scientists, Victor Gorshkov and Anastassia Makarieva of the St. Petersburg Nuclear Physics, have published a revolutionary theory that turns modern meteorology on its head, positing that forests--and their capacity for condensation--are actually the main driver of winds rather than temperature. While this model has widespread implications for numerous sciences, none of them ... read more

31/03/2009 08:00 PM
Canada: US climate change bill could side-swipe oilsands
Canwest News Service: Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday unveiled draft climate change legislation to slash America's greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2020, setting the stage for a protracted and intense political debate in Washington that has potentially major consequences for Canada's energy industry. The 648-page draft bill would establish a carbon cap-and-trade system to help industry achieve the greenhouse gas reductions, but sidesteps the politically explosive issue ... read more

01/04/2009 08:00 PM
Poor nations must set own emissions targets -Mexico
Reuters: Developing nations must adopt targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and they need to do their share to reduce global warming, Mexican President Felipe Calderon said on Wednesday. Developing countries -- so far exempt from meeting emissions targets -- need to help solve the world's most pressing problem, global warming, and stop blaming rich nations for causing it, he said in a speech at the British Council. "Talking as a developing nation is difficult for me because ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
EU Carbon Trading System Shows Signs of Working
New York Times: Europe's controversial trading system to cut carbon emissions is showing faint signs of working, according to analysis of preliminary figures released Wednesday by the European Commission. Emissions among industries covered by the E.U. system fell between 4 percent and 6 percent during 2008 compared with increases of roughly 1 percent in the two previous years, according to analysts who reviewed the figures. Most of the decline was from falling industrial and electricity ... read more

01/04/2009 08:00 PM
Carbon Capture Needs 'Apollo-Style' Program in EU, Alstom Says
Bloomberg: The European Union must accelerate efforts to trap and bury carbon dioxide released by power plants or risk missing its goals to reduce global-warming emissions, a report commissioned by Alstom SA said. The 27-nation bloc may need a "radical transformation" of power generation by 2030 that includes closing all coal-burning plants that don't store the waste gas, according to a copy of the study seen by Bloomberg. Developing the unproven technology must pick up pace, said Alstom, the ... read more

01/04/2009 08:00 PM
Draft of climate change bill leaves lots to be resolved
Houston Chronicle: The House Energy and Commerce Committee this week issued a draft of its proposed energy and climate change legislation, an incomplete version of the bill politicians hope will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency and create hundreds of thousands of "green jobs." Despite its 648-page length, the document left a number of issues unresolved, a nod to the complexity of the matter and a sign Democrats are willing to compromise on some issues. What isn`t ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Australian miners step up carbon trade opposition
Reuters: Australia's coal and gas producers, including miner Rio Tinto Ltd, said the government must give more assistance to major emitting export industries, and to increase the number of free carbon pollution permits. Mining and gas firms have stepped up their campaign against the government's carbon trading plans, telling a Senate inquiry the current plan will stifle investment and force mines to close. Rio Tinto Ltd. produces between 10 and 15 percent of Australia's ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Brazil: 'Soy King', Environment Minister strike deal on Amazon deforestation
Mongabay: Meeting at the Katoomba payments-for-ecosystem-services conference in Cuiaba, Brazil, Carlos Minc, Brazil's Environment Minister, and Blairo Maggi, Governor of the State of Mato Grosso and the world's largest individual soy grower, put aside their ideological differences and agreed to grant a temporary reprieve for ranchers and farmers in the Amazonian state, allowing them up to four years to reforest their holdings to bring them up to legal code. Under Brazilian law landowners in the "legal ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Europe readies for effects of climate change - New York Times
ClimateWire: Adapting to the effects of climate change has become a hot topic on both sides of the Atlantic. The European Union has just released a white paper on the topic, one day after U.S. House Democrats unveiled a draft bill focusing on the very same issue. Presented yesterday by the European Commission after two years in the making, the white paper aims at bolstering the 27 E.U. member states' overall capacity to cope with the effects of climate change by complementing and coordinating ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
United States: Emissions change considered by Governor would affect few power plants
New York Times: When Gov. David A. Paterson indicated last month that he might ease demands made on industry under New York's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it was with companies like Indeck Energy Services in mind. Indeck, which operates five power plants in the state, is chafing under the requirements of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, the 10-state pact to tackle global warming. The initiative, Indeck officials say, is good for the environment but imposes an unfair ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Bangladesh: Asian dolphin, feared dying, is thriving
New York Times: Countering their expectations, biologists working in Bangladesh have found a thriving population of 6,000 Irrawaddy dolphins, a species restricted to brackish bays and rivers from southern Asia to northern Australia that marine mammal experts had worried was vulnerable to extinction. The population, many times larger than any other known regional groups of the dolphins, was revealed in 2004 in the first systematic survey for marine mammals along Bangladesh's coast of waterways, bays ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
United States: State faces greater risk from global warming
Ventura County Star: State officials on Wednesday released what they called the most comprehensive and detailed report on the effects of climate change in California -- a 40-volume set of scientific studies that shows the state more at risk to global warming than previously believed. Among the projected effects: a loss of up to $3 billion in agricultural revenues by 2050 resulting from reductions in the water supply, a statewide increase in electricity demand of up to 55 percent because of extended use of ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
China vies to be world's leader in electric cars
New York Times: Chinese leaders have adopted a plan aimed at turning the country into one of the leading producers of hybrid and all-electric vehicles within three years, and making it the world leader in electric cars and buses after that. The goal, which radiates from the very top of the Chinese government, suggests that Detroit's Big Three, already struggling to stay alive, will face even stiffer foreign competition on the next field of automotive technology than they do today. "China is ... read more

01/04/2009 08:00 PM
Wartime frugality needed to help fight climate change, says Energy Saving Trust
Telegraph: The Energy Saving Trust campaign will revive a number of ideas seen during the Second World War, such as the "Dig for Victory" campaign to encourage people to grow fruit and vegetables and "Don't be Fuelish", encouraging people to cut their energy use. But this time instead of saving resources because the country is at war, the effort is intended to cut waste and carbon emissions in an effort to slow global warming. A survey of more than 1,500 people commissioned by the EST ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Google shows alternative energy firms the way
San Francisco Chronicle: Picking the right place for an immense solar power plant or wind farm is a tricky business, one that can turn natural allies into enemies. An open stretch of desert might look empty to a renewable-power developer who wants to blanket a few hundred acres with solar panels or mirrors. To environmentalists, the same spot could be vital habitat for an endangered lizard or bird - an ecosystem too delicate to touch. Now, a collaboration between Google and two leading environmental ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Outlook is for stress to state's water supply
San Francisco Chronicle: A warmer climate over the next century poses the prospect of less spring runoff, drained reservoirs and severe floods - adding more stress to California's already-stretched water supply. The state report released Wednesday found that "changing precipitation patterns will result in longer and drier droughts and decreased groundwater levels, coupled with a higher frequency and severity of extreme flooding events." Researchers forecast that in some years, water levels in the ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
United States: Scientists expect more and larger wildfires
San Francisco Chronicle: The expected transformation of California's climate this century will mean significant increases in the number and scope of wildland fires and could bring major changes in wildlife habitat and the health of the state's 31 million acres of forest, according to the team of scientists. Reduced snowmelt will change the types of trees and vegetation in some areas and could have lasting impacts on animals, insects and pathogens, state researchers say. Timber harvesting could also suffer, ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
United States: State forecast to face less water, more heat
San Francisco Chronicle: Californians probably will have to cope with less water and more frequent and intense wildfires, heat waves and bad-air days throughout this century, according to studies released Wednesday by state climate experts. The studies, which Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered to help officials carry out the state's ambitious plans to deal with climate change, provide the most detailed look ever at how hot and dry the state could get as global emissions drive up carbon dioxide levels in the ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Itron says U.S. smart meter projects on track
Reuters: Itron Inc, which makes meters for the electricity and water industries, said on Wednesday the economic recession has not affected deployment of the company's $1.4 billion in smart meter contracts with four major U.S. utilities. In an interview, Itron Chief Executive Malcolm Unsworth said projects with Sempra Energy's San Diego Gas & Electric, CenterPoint Energy Inc and Edison International's Southern California Edison "are all on plan according to what they originally ... read more

01/04/2009 08:00 PM
House climate bill would hand EPA a heavy workload
Greenwire: Under House Democrats' draft climate and energy bill, U.S. EPA would be tasked with launching a raft of major climate programs, dramatically boosting the workload of a cash-strapped agency already struggling to meet a long list of regulatory deadlines. The draft (pdf) directs EPA to implement several new programs aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions and boosting transportation efficiency -- this for an agency trying to revisit Bush-era regulations returned for review by federal ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Report outlines possible effects of warming on California
LA Times: As California warms in coming decades, farmers will have less water, the state could lose more than a million acres of cropland and forest fire rates will soar, according to a broad-ranging state report released Wednesday. The document, which officials called the "the ultimate picture to date" of global warming's likely effect on California, consists of 37 research papers that examine an array of issues including water supply, air pollution and property losses. Without actions ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Australia: Climate change to bring more whale beachings
Age: Experts studying the mass beaching of whales along Australia's coast have warned that such tragedies could become more frequent as global warming brings the mammals' food stocks closer to shore. Almost 90 long-finned pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins died after washing up last week at Hamelin Bay, on the country's west coast. It was the second mass stranding in March, and took the total number of cetaceans to beach in southern Australia in the past four months beyond 500, ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
EU mulls climate-change adaptation strategy
EurActiv: In an attempt to prepare the ground for a comprehensive EU climate-change adaptation strategy for after 2013, the European Commission has proposed to review key sectoral policies by 2012, to determine the potential impacts and costs of climate change for different economic sectors. Background: EU climate policy has largely focused on measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and convince international partners to sign up to an international deal to address global ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Climate change will hit China hard, says UK scientist
China Daily: Hundreds of millions of Chinese people are likely to face extreme climate change and shortages of water, food and energy in the next few decades unless the emission of carbon dioxide and other polluting chemicals is checked, the UK's chief scientific adviser said in Guangzhou yesterday. John Beddington, engaged in research of global climate for decades, was concerned about the impact of global warming on the world, especially China, in a seminar, attended by dozens of leading climate ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Going Beyond the Carbon Market
Inter Press Service: With an incisive report in hand about what awaits Latin America and the Caribbean in the future if action is not taken to fight climate change, economist John Nash defends the role of the World Bank and underscores the need to expand the so-called "clean development mechanism". Nash, the World Bank's lead economist for the region, sets out a dramatic scenario for what lies ahead if no agreement is reached to replace the Kyoto Protocol on climate change - a treaty that has been in ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Senator Seeks to Ease Climate Bill Apprehensions
redOrbit: Industrial-state lawmakers are feeling more at ease after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reached out on Tuesday to address concerns about recommended measures to reduce climate-warming carbon emissions, a Reuters report accounted. The ten Democratic senators he met with from states greatly reliant on coal, Reid told reporters on Wednesday, were not against a global-warming bill. Such states like Ohio, Michigan and Indiana fear their economies may suffer with the ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
OPEC says oil not to blame for climate change
Reuters: OPEC said oil was not to blame for climate change and consuming countries should pay to fight the threat, while the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell said drivers could help by not buying Hummer sports utility vehicles. "Oil is not responsible," the producer group's Secretary General, Abdullah al-Badri, told reporters on Thursday on the sidelines of the International Oil Summit in Paris. "It is the industrialised countries which are making all this pollution in the ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Clean tech investment drops in first quarter: surveys
Reuters: Worldwide investment in clean technology suffered a steep decline in the first quarter of 2009 as the difficulty of pushing through initial public offerings (IPOs) of start-ups across many sectors hit record lows, three surveys showed on Wednesday. Although the surveys used different methodologies, their messages were the same -- investment is down in clean tech and other areas and it won't rebound in the near-term. Deloitte and Cleantech Group reported that investment in clean ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
French 'Spiderman' scales London tower
Agence France-Presse: A French urban climber nicknamed "Spiderman" scaled the outside of the Lloyd's Building in central London on Thursday in a protest he claims is about climate change. Alain Robert, famous for his daring unaided ascents of skyscrapers and iconic sites around the world, was arrested once he had climbed back down, police told AFP. The 14-storey building, which is 88 metres tall, is home to the insurance group Lloyd's of London. The protest comes as world leaders meet in ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Jumping into the Green Job Market
Business Green: With record numbers of people out of work, the prospect of an emerging green economy is increasingly viewed as the light at end of a long dark tunnel by many jobseekers, especially those from industries that are retooling - or retreating - as tough times persist. Questions abound about how to penetrate the new job market and pursue opportunities. Nick Ellis, a managing partner of Bright Green Talent, an environmentally-focused executive search firm whose services recently ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
China's E6 electric car: 'We're not trying to save the world - we're trying to make money'
Guardian: When BYD Auto launches one of China's first mass produced fully electric sedans later this year, it will be trying to conquer the world rather than save it. But such is the explosive growth of China's car market and thirst for petrol that the two goals are likely to become ever more synonymous. The E6 plug-in is currently under wraps at the company's sprawling industrial complex in Shenzhen, but it will soon be at the vanguard of a company's – and a nation's – plans to dominate the ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
United Kingdom: Climate change numpties: Simon Singh's guide for the perplexed
Guardian: Having been a fan of Franny Armstrong's previous film, McLibel, I was keen to see her latest documentary, The Age of Stupid. While Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth was a rather dry and semi-academic look at climate change, The Age of Stupid is an emotional attempt to rally the troops. The fact that it preaches largely to the converted is not necessarily a bad thing if it encourages those who believe in climate change to become more vocal and more active. But what about those who still ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Climate change may cost California billions
Reuters: Climate change may cost California tens of billions of dollars annually in coming years as sea levels rise and hot days cause people to turn up the air conditioning, a draft report from the state said on Wednesday. Thirsty cities may be able to buy water from farmers and high-altitude forests are expected to benefit for most of the century as trees enjoy the warmer weather, but a long-term effort to understand the details of climate change suggests costs will be higher than ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
U.S. carbon-market battle begins
United Press International: The U.S. Congress kicked off a long-anticipated battle over climate-change legislation Tuesday, when two Democratic representatives released draft legislation that could dramatically cut emissions -- and raise energy prices, Republicans say. The 684-page American Clean Energy and Security Act includes sweeping energy-policy changes, ranging from a mandate that 25 percent of U.S. electricity come from renewable sources by 2025 to a funding program for states that adopt ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Nature's underground carbon stores aren't rock solid
CBC: Carbon dioxide stored in water can erupt back into the atmosphere through natural vents such as the Chaffin Ranch geyser in Utah. (Jason Heath/Nature) Carbon dioxide stored underground in nature eventually ends up mainly in fizzy water, not rocks -- and that could have implications for artificial carbon capture and storage projects. A new study by British, Canadian and U.S. researchers, published in Thursday's edition of Nature, sheds some light on the conditions that allow ... read more

01/04/2009 08:00 PM
Satellite snow maps help reindeer herders adapt to a changing Arctic
Physorg: Arctic reindeer herders are facing the challenges of adapting to climate change as a warmer Arctic climate makes it harder for herds to find food and navigate. To help them adapt, the ESA-backed Polar View initiative is providing them with satellite-based snow maps. "Snow is of paramount importance for reindeer herding because its quality determines whether reindeer are able to access the pastures that lie beneath it for much of the year," said Anders Oskal, the Director of the ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
United Kingdom: In pictures: Climate Camp demo
BBC: X read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
US, Germany top green ranking for stimulus plans
Agence France-Presse: German and US economic recovery plans are more climate friendly that those in France, Britain or Italy, but all fall short of what is needed to avoid dangerous levels of global warming, according to a green ranking of stimulus plans released Thursday. The world's largest economies are gathering in London for a G-20 summit Thursday in an attempt to align efforts to combat global recession. "These packages amounting to billions of dollars provide a clear opportunity to shift to a ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Economic cuts EU's CO2 emissions in '08: institute
Agence France-Presse: The economic crisis hitting the European Union caused the bloc's carbon dioxide emissions to drop by six percent last year, the Oslo-based research institute Point Carbon said. The EU's 27 member states, which take part in the bloc's emissions trading scheme, emitted 2.11 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2008, compared to 2.24 billion a year earlier, the institute said in a statement issued late Wednesday. "Today's numbers tell us two things. They confirm that the ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
G20 forgets the environment
Guardian: Here is the text of the G20 communique, in compressed form. "We, the Leaders of the Group of Twenty, will use every cent we don't possess to rescue corporate capitalism from its contradictions and set the world economy back onto the path of unsustainable growth. We have already spent trillions of dollars of your money on bailing out the banks, so that they can be returned to their proper functions of fleecing the poor and wrecking the Earth's living systems. Now we're going to spend ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
World leaders meet to discuss future of rainforests
Mongabay: World leaders met Wednesday to discuss the role rainforests can play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The meeting was hosted by Prince Charles, whose Rainforests Project advocates rainforest conservation as a way to simultaneously fight climate change, maintain key ecological services, support rural communities, and preserve biodiversity. The Prince of Wales is pushing for a global climate framework that includes funding for to enable rainforest nations to reduce deforestation, a ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
Clean tech venture investment falls to $1bn during first quarter
Business Green: Venture capital investment in clean tech firms in North America, Europe, China and India unsurprisingly slumped during the first quarter of the year, falling 48 per cent year-on-year to $1bn according to new figures from analyst the Cleantech Group. The value of the average funding round also fell from a high watermark of $20m (£14m) during the third quarter of 2008 to just $12.3m during the first quarter of this year. Brian Fan, senior director of research at the Cleantech ... read more

02/04/2009 08:00 PM
UK offshore wind industry receives dual project boost
Business Green: Amid all the recent reports of project delays and wary investors, observers would be forgiven for thinking that the UK wind industry is in crisis. But if that is the case, no one appears to have told three of Europe's largest energy firms, which yesterday announced they were pressing ahead with plans for offshore wind farm developments. Denmark's Dong Energy yesterday successfully completed the installation of the first offshore turbine to be built as part of the government's ... read more

01/04/2009 08:00 PM
U.S. says climate plans do not signal protectionism
Reuters: U.S. plans to step up the fight against climate change and revive the economy will not mean a slide toward protectionism, Washington's delegation told United Nations climate talks on Wednesday. Developing nations at the 175-nation U.N. meeting in Bonn say that exports, of everything from Chinese steel to African flowers, would suffer if rich states put up import barriers to penalize their emissions from burning fossil fuels. "We certainly do not see it that way," U.S. deputy ... read more

01/04/2009 08:00 PM
Hundreds of protesters set up 'climate camp'
Press Association: Hundreds of people today set up a "climate camp" in the City of London to protest against economic measures which they say will not tackle climate change. Live from our man at the Bank of England protest Jerome Taylor: Live with the climate change protestors Protests at 'cradle of the crunch' Demonstrations turn violent Protesters who had gathered in small groups around the City descended on carbon trading body the European Climate Exchange on Bishopsgate, shutting off a ... read more

01/04/2009 08:00 PM
Renewables the way forward for India
SciDev.Net: India should retool its economy to run on renewable energy, creating millions of jobs and raising the standard of living, says Anil K. Rajvanshi. The global economic downturn provides an excellent opportunity to improve India's energy supplies, which are critical to supporting better infrastructure and driving growth, argues Rajvanshi. The increasing number of qualified engineers and scientists remaining in India, or returning from the United States, should be used in the renewable ... read more

01/04/2009 08:00 PM
Put agriculture at heart of climate talks, says report
SciDev.Net: A campaign to drive agriculture to the forefront of climate change negotiations took a step forward yesterday with the launch of a document by food policy experts. Agriculture will be "dramatically" affected by climate change, says the paper, published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). It could also become a potent brake on climate change if the right research and policies are implemented. But its role has yet to be championed in the build-up to the ... read more

01/04/2009 08:00 PM
Underground water absorbs CO2 emissions: study
Reuters: Water deep below ground has safely trapped carbon dioxide for millions of years and may one day help absorb emissions of the greenhouse gas to help slow climate change, researchers said Wednesday. The finding shows that such carbon capture and storage is possible provided scientists find an area where the geology is suitable, said Chris Ballentine, a researcher at the University of Manchester, who worked on the study. This means locating ancient deep water systems thousands of ... read more

01/04/2009 08:00 PM
Prince calls for emergency forest funds
Guardian: Prince Charles today urged world leaders to support an "emergency package" to save rainforests by diverting billions of pounds every year to tropical nations such as Brazil and Indonesia. The prince told senior figures - including the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, and US secretary of state, Hilary Clinton - that they must "strain every sinew" to find ways to halt the destruction of forests across the world. He took advantage of the G20 meeting in London to convene his own ... read more

01/04/2009 08:00 PM
Europe will suffer despite climate measures: EU
Agence France-Presse: Europe must prepare both for more floods and drought caused by climate change, regardless of the measures taken to combat it, EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas warned Wednesday. "Even if we have zero emissions it is simply impossible to reverse climate change overnight," Dimas warned, as he unveiled a new report on what Europe should do to deal with its effects. "Urgent action is therefore necessary to make our people... resilient to the inevitable impact of climate ... read more

01/04/2009 08:00 PM
Rainforests may pump winds worldwide
New Scientist: THE acres upon acres of lush tropical forest in the Amazon and tropical Africa are often referred to as the planet's lungs. But what if they are also its heart? This is exactly what a couple of meteorologists claim in a controversial new theory that questions our fundamental understanding of what drives the weather. They believe vast forests generate winds that help pump water around the planet. If correct, the theory would explain how the deep interiors of forested continents get as ... read more

01/04/2009 08:00 PM
Study finds 6,000 rare Irrawaddy dolphins off Bangladesh
Independent: Thousands of rare Irrawaddy dolphins have been found in Bangladeshi waters, a wildlife advocacy group said today, a hopeful sign for a vulnerable species found only in small numbers elsewhere. However, the newly discovered population is already threatened by climate change and fishing nets, the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society said. Nearly 6,000 Irrawaddy dolphins, which are related to orcas or killer whales, were found living in freshwater regions of Bangladesh's ... read more

01/04/2009 08:00 PM
Call to halt falling Oz food productivity
Australian Broadcasting Corporation: Australia's food productivity is declining along with agricultural r&d, undermining the country's ability to help feed the world, says one expert. In the current issue of Australasian Science, agricultural economist Dr John Mullen, says the pattern is reflected in other developed countries such as the US and UK. "I'm pretty concerned about what's happening," says Mullen, an adjunct professor at Charles Sturt University. "We've got to feed another 3 billion people in ... read more

01/04/2009 08:00 PM
Carbon Capture Needs 'Apollo-Style' Push, Alstom Says
Bloomberg: The European Union must accelerate efforts to trap and bury carbon dioxide released by power plants or risk missing its goals to reduce global-warming emissions, a report commissioned by Alstom SA said. The 27-nation bloc may need a "radical transformation" of power generation by 2030 that includes closing all coal-burning plants that don't store the waste gas, according to a copy of the study seen by Bloomberg. Developing the unproven technology must pick up pace, said Alstom, the ... read more

01/04/2009 08:00 PM
Ecologists Question Effects Of Climate Change On Infectious Diseases
ScienceDaily: Recent research has predicted that climate change may expand the scope of human infectious diseases. A new review, however, argues that climate change may have a negligible effect on pathogens or even reduce their ranges. The paper has sparked debate in the ecological community. In a forum in the April issue of Ecology, Kevin Lafferty of the U.S. Geological Survey's Western Ecological Research Center suggests that instead of a net expansion in the global range of diseases, climate ... read more

01/04/2009 08:00 PM
Germany clears way for climate change hope CCS
Agence France-Presse: The German government cleared the way on Wednesday for pilot projects to test the viability of siphoning off carbon dioxide churned out by coal power stations and storing it deep underground. The technology, known as Carbon Storage and Sequestration (CCS), aims to store the CO2 in geological chambers such as disused oilfields, rather than letting it escape into the atmosphere where it contributes to global warming. Supporters say that with the large majority of the world's ... read more

01/04/2009 08:00 PM
US climate moves encouraging but relatively small: EU
Agence France-Presse: A US plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions is "very encouraging", EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said Wednesday, while admitting it falls far short of Europe's plans. "This is really very encouraging," Dimas told reporters in Brussels as he unveiled a report on how Europe should adapt to climate change. "I am even more optimistic in getting an agreement in Copenhagen" in December at key global talks on battling climate change, he added. The US House of ... read more

01/04/2009 08:00 PM
Rich urged to make deeper CO2 cuts
Reuters: China, India and other developing nations joined forces on Wednesday to urge rich countries to make far deeper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions than planned by 2020 to slow global warming. Many developing states at 175-country talks in Bonn, working on a new U.N. climate pact, urged the rich to cut emissions by "at least 40 percent" below 1990 levels by 2020 to confront what they said were worsening signs of climate change. The calls, part of negotiations on a new U.N. climate ... read more

01/04/2009 08:00 PM
Australia urges new phase for climate talks
Agence France-Presse: Australia's climate negotiator is urging nations to show their cards at ongoing Bonn talks, warning the fight against global warming will falter unless governments commit to clear -- but realistic -- goals. Climate Minister Penny Wong visited Washington, where she welcomed US President Barack Obama's push on global warming along with new legislation introduced in Congress on curbing carbon emissions. In an interview with AFP late Tuesday, Wong said the talks in Bonn -- part of ... read more

01/04/2009 08:00 PM
Indonesia should drop forest carbon credit plan: Greenpeace
Agence France-Presse: Environmental group Greenpeace called on Indonesia Wednesday to drop plans to tackle global climate change with credits for preserving forests, saying the measure could destroy carbon markets. The Southeast Asian nation, a key backer of "avoided deforestation" measures that would award tradeable carbon credits for conservation, should abandon the plan in favour of funds to preserve forests, campaigner Bustar Maitar said. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono should use meetings on ... read more



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