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17/09/2009 08:00 PM
Cap-and-Trade Memos Fire Up the Skeptics
Washington Post: Climate-change legislation might be on the Senate's back burner, but the heat's still on climate politics. The latest flare-up occurred this week when the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which questions whether human and industrial activity is linked to global warming, released a one-page internal Treasury Department memo from March estimating potential government revenue from a cap-and-trade climate bill at $100 billion to $200 billion a year. The memo assumed that 100 percent of ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
Canada: Greenpeace ends Alberta oilsands protest after 31 hours with no charges laid
Canadian Press: A Greenpeace protest at the massive Shell oilsands mine in northern Alberta ended peacefully Wednesday after 31 hours with an agreement that there will be no charges and no arrests. "Shell has agreed not to pursue criminal charges against the protesters because it does nothing to further the climate change conversation," John Abbott, Shell's executive vice president of heavy oil, said in a news release. About two dozen environmental activists from Canada, France and the U.S. ... read more

17/09/2009 08:00 PM
World's big polluters kick off climate talks in Washington
Agence France-Presse: Representatives of the world's 17 biggest carbon polluters were due Thursday to kick off a week of high-level and high-stakes talks on climate change at a meeting in Washington. The aim of the talks, which will be held for two days at the State Department before moving to New York next week and then to Pittsburgh, is to try to patch up differences and generate momentum for a much heralded meeting in Copenhagen in December, where a UN conference hopes to produce an ambitious new pact ... read more

17/09/2009 08:00 PM
Finance groups demand tough climate target
Financial Times: Some of the biggest names in finance called on governments on Wednesday to strike a tough deal on emissions reductions in Copenhagen this December, in an effort to boost investment into climate change. The investors, with a combined $13,000bn in assets under management, demanded higher commitments on emissions reductions than nations are likely to agree. Signatories include investors such as HSBC, Hermes, ING Group, Société Général, Swiss Re, Allianz Global Investors and numerous US ... read more

17/09/2009 08:00 PM
'Global health catastrophe' feared if no Copenhagen deal
Radio New Zealand: Medical leaders all over the world are warning of a global health catastrophe if governments cannot agree on cuts in greenhouse gases when they meet at Copenhagen in December. In articles in The Lancet and British Medical Journal, 18 professional medical organisations say developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa are particularly vulnerable. They say that what is good for the climate is good for health, because curbing climate change would have other benefits, such as ... read more

17/09/2009 08:00 PM
Targets demand dogs poor nations' steps to cut CO2
Reuters: In the game of climate poker, developing nations might feel they have the right cards on the table in U.N. talks after ramping up efforts to curb greenhouse gas output. China, India, South Korea and other emerging economic powers have announced a series of measures this year to make their economies greener and limit the increase of carbon dioxide emissions from their farms, forests and factories. The question is whether these domestic steps are enough to seal a new global ... read more

17/09/2009 08:00 PM
Some Bad Climate News and Some Good
New York Times: Senators Barbara Boxer and John Kerry have delayed the introduction of their long-awaited climate change bill until the end of this month – one more sign that Congress will be hard pressed to get a bill to President Obama's desk before the international summit on global warming in Copenhagen in December. The chances of action this year, never all that good, are even slimmer now that the White House and the Senate leadership have pretty much agreed to keep controversial issues – and a ... read more

17/09/2009 08:00 PM
Ethanol emits same emissions as petrol: study
Agence France-Presse: CARS running on sugarcane ethanol can produce as many harmful pollutants as those using ordinary petrol, according a study published by Brazil's environment ministry. But the report on the emissions of the cars on Brazil's roads did not count carbon dioxide emissions. "We want to make sure that customers are aware of pollutant emissions'' when they buy a car, Environment Minister Carlos Minc said. The study ranked emissions based of a scale of "green grades'' that ... read more

17/09/2009 08:00 PM
Key "fat tail" risks facing Asian investors
Reuters: A year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers overturned many conventional risk management models, scenario-planning and risk-mapping techniques have taken on new importance for investors and businesses. Many of the "fat tail" risks that could cause another crisis come from outside the world of finance -- from geopolitics, terrorism, epidemics, extreme weather and natural disasters. While they may be impossible to capture in conventional risk estimates, markets and companies can ... read more

17/09/2009 08:00 PM
Quotes on steps by developing nations to curb CO2
Reuters: Developing nations have stepped up pledges to curb growth in greenhouse gas emissions as U.N.-led talks trying to seal a broader pact on fighting climate change intensity ahead of a major climate meeting in December. Following are comments from leading climate officials and policy analysts on how these steps will affect the tone of the talks and the outcome. (For related analysis, click on: [ID:nSP54859]; for related factbox [ID:nSP415940]) KIM CARSTENSEN, HEAD OF WWF'S ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
Copenhagen begins in Beijing
Guardian: What is China playing at on climate change? That may be the most important question in the world right now, thanks alone to its status as the world's biggest producer of greenhouse gasses. But what Beijing is – or is not – prepared to do will also determine whether the rest of the world can reach a deal on combating global warming that is worth the paper it's written on. So it's hardly surprising that reading the Chinese approach has become the latterday equivalent of cold war ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
EPA to propose tightening limits on ozone pollution
Houston Chronicle: Federal regulators signaled Wednesday that they would abandon Bush-era limits on smog pollution that scientists said didn't go far enough to protect public health. Amid concerns that the current rules don't adhere to the federal Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency will propose tighter nationwide limits on ozone, or smog, by late December. "This is one of the most important protection measures we can take to safeguard our health and our environment," EPA ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
Legislators may take up climate change spending this month
Alaska Dispatch: A legislative proposal to spend $1.5 million advancing Alaska's positions on climate change and related issues could be discussed later this month. The plan's major proponent, Rep. John Harris, said Alaska has sat on its heels too long while the nation considers new rules on carbon emissions, such as cap and trade, which could have repercussions for business and industry. He wants a firm to help identify what the state could do in conjunction with others to present its case to ... read more

17/09/2009 08:00 PM
GE Energy to set up wind turbine plant in India
Reuters: U.S. conglomerate General Electric's <GE.N> energy arm said on Wednesday it is planning to set up a wind-turbine-generator plant in southern India that will start production in the second half of next year. The plant will eventually have the ability to ship 300 wind turbines per year, a capacity of 450 megawatts, the company said in a statement. The facility would also help GE Energy, which entered wind power in 2002 when it bought Enron's wind assets, create a larger sourcing ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
EU plans 30 cities to lead world on "smart" energys
Reuters: Europe will select 30 cities to pioneer "smart" electricity grids and space-age insulation as it seeks to lead the global race for green technology, a draft European Union document shows. Skip related content The windpower sector must shift offshore and strive to provide a fifth of EU electricity by 2020, said a draft of the European Commission's long-awaited Strategic Energy Technology Plan. The so-called SET-Plan lays out the EU's strategy for promoting hi-tech solutions to ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
China terms carbon tax protectionism
United Press International: China says a proposed carbon tax on imported goods from countries without stringent environmental laws would violate World Trade Organization rules. Expressing his government's firm opposition to any such tax, Chinese Assistant Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said it would amount to trade protectionism, China Daily reported. The carbon tax as it relates to climate change is expected to figure at the Group of 20 Summit next week in Pittsburgh. Referring to a bill passed by ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
U.N. Seeks Political Boost for Climate Summit
Inter Press Service: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, one of the strongest proponents of next week's summit on climate change, is confident that world leaders will provide a high political profile for an impending environmental crisis threatening to cause devastation worldwide in the next few decades. "Climate change is the greatest challenge facing this and future generations," he warns. "If we are to avoid catastrophic consequences for people and the planet, we have less than 10 years to halt ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
EU calls on US to do more to tackle climate change
Agence France-Presse: The United States must do more to tackle climate change, the EU presidency said Wednesday, in a challenge to President Barack Obama ahead of a key international summit in Pittsburgh. "I hope to speed up the talks all over the climate issue," Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said in online comments, the day before a EU summit Brussels. While acknowledging a promise by Japan's incoming prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, to target 25 percent cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
Largest Group Ever of World Investors Calls For Strong Global Climate Change Treat
PRNewswire: The world's largest global investors issued a joint call today for strong action this year from U.S. and international policy makers in the fight against global warming. Amid growing focus on upcoming international climate treaty talks and Congressional debate of climate and energy legislation, global investors meeting here issued a major policy statement calling for a strong and binding international treaty that will reduce pollution and catalyze massive ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
Greenland icesheet could melt faster than thought: study
Agence France-Presse: The Greenland icesheet responded to global warming over the past 10,000 years more quickly than thought, according to a study released Wednesday. As a result, a medium-sized temperature increase this century could cause the continent-sized ice block to start melting at an alarming rate, it suggests. "It is entirely possible that a future temperature increase of a few degrees Celsius in Greenland will result in a icesheet mass loss and contribution to sea level rise larger than ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
Biofuel Production Could Undercut Efforts To Shrink Gulf 'Dead Zone'
ScienceDaily: Scientists in Pennsylvania report that boosting production of crops used to make biofuels could make a difficult task to shrink a vast, oxygen-depleted "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico more difficult. The zone, which reached the size of Massachusetts in 2008, forms in summer and threatens marine life and jobs in the region. Their study is scheduled for the Oct. 1 issue of ACS' semi-monthly journal Environmental Science & Technology. Christine Costello and W. Michael ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
Schwarzenegger boosts clean energy plan
Reuters: California's governor on Tuesday ordered that a third of the state's electricity come from renewable resources by 2020, the same amount as a legislature plan but with promises to let power companies get more electricity from outside the state. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said that his plan would help the state better meet its clean energy target by making it easier to import power. He also said the legislature's alternative would have required solar thermal plants to clear more ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
World Carbon Database Launches To Track Global Carbon Offsets
Business Wire: The World Carbon Database (WCD) today launched the world's first integrated database for carbon offset credits and carbon reduction credits. WCD, a non-profit open resource, uses proprietary data collection tools at the point of sale to archive customer and product data, and is a single comprehensive source for data about carbon credit purchases and purchasers. WCD's database will provide the basis for consistent, in-depth and up-to-the-minute analysis of consumer activity ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
West Africa group adopts common position on climate change
Agence France-Presse: West African experts and officials Wednesday adopted a common position on the effects of climate change and human rights ahead of the global UN conference in Copenhagen. Participants at a two-meeting in Lome came up with a declaration on the challenges related to climate change in west Africa, approved by ministers responsible for environment and human rights in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a statement said. "It is only through political will, ... read more

17/09/2009 08:00 PM
Attempts to shape climate bill in full swing
Associated Press: Industry, economic and environmental groups are making a final push to influence a climate bill that may go before the Senate within weeks. Investors managing more than $13 trillion in assets called for new global emissions laws Wednesday, illustrating how the issue has divided even groups that traditionally have opposed new curbs. Speaking at the International Investor Forum on Climate Change, Lord Nicholas Stern, among Britain's most influential economists, said the global ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
Global investors call for binding climate policy
Reuters: Banks, pension funds and other investment groups representing more than $13 trillion in assets called for a strong global agreement on climate policy on Wednesday, saying it would lead to a flood of investment into the low-carbon economy. "Without the policies to encourage clean energy, investors are stuck at the starting gates," Mindy Lubber, the president of Ceres, a Boston-based coalition of investors and environmentalists, and the director of the Investor Network on Climate ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
White House Wants Fuel Subsidy Cuts on G-20 Agenda
New York Times: White House officials are calling for international efforts to end fuel and electric power subsidies as part of the agenda for next week's G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh, according to a letter from a senior administration official. The White House also says G-20 nations should take steps to improve oil market transparency and scale up financing for tackling climate change. Michael Froman, the White House's deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs, said in ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
Q&A: "Climate Change Reinforcing Political Problems"t;
Inter Press Service: The negative fallout from climate change, including drought, floods, melting glaciers, mass migration, and sea level rise, is being increasingly viewed as a potential security threat to nation states worldwide. In a statement on Darfur, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon referred to climate change as one of the main causes of the violence taking place in the Sudanese province threatened by drought and desertification. This view is shared by U.S. Senator John Kerry, chair of the ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
Oil firm to compensate Ivory Coast poison victims
Agence France-Presse: An oil trading company is to pay compensation to thousands of victims in Ivory Coast who were poisoned by toxic waste dumped in the country in 2006, representatives of the two sides said Wednesday. Victims took legal action in Britain against Trafigura after waste from a ship the company chartered was illegally dumped in Abidjan, killing 17 people and causing more than 100,000 to seek medical help. "A global settlement is being considered by the parties and it currently appears ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
Failure To Tackle Climate Change Spells A Global Health Catastrophe, Experts Warn
ScienceDaily: An editorial and letter, published simultaneously by the BMJ and Lancet, warn that failure to agree radical cuts in carbon dioxide emissions at the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen this December spells a global health catastrophe. The scientific evidence that global temperatures are rising and that man is responsible has been widely accepted since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's report in 2007, write Lord Michael Jay and Professor Michael Marmot in the ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
Global warming may bring tsunami and quakes: scientists
Reuters: Quakes, volcanic eruptions, giant landslides and tsunamis may become more frequent as global warming changes the earth's crust, scientists said on Wednesday. Climate-linked geological changes may also trigger "methane burps," the release of a potent greenhouse gas, currently stored in solid form under melting permafrost and the seabed, in quantities greater than all the carbon dioxide (CO2) in our air today. "Climate change doesn't just affect the atmosphere and the oceans but ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
College students protest coal use on campuses
San Francisco Chronicle: On Wednesday, students at the University of Missouri and other schools nationwide mounted a Sierra Club-led campaign targeting coal-based power at colleges, whether generated at on-campus plants or purchased from private utilities. The campaign began the same day a group of college presidents rallied in Washington in support of clean energy legislation. Student organizers said colleges have a societal obligation to reduce and eventually eliminate coal use in favor of renewable energy. ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
Lack of U.S. Climate Change Legislation Will Delay Global Treaty Talks
Scientific American: President Obama's top climate diplomat acknowledged today that Capitol Hill delays over global warming legislation will likely push international negotiations to work beyond a December summit in Copenhagen on a new treaty to succeed the Kyoto Protocol. "I think that we'll shape the thing to get as much done as can be done, and there are some pieces that need to get completed," Todd Stern, the State Department's climate envoy, told reporters. "But I think the mission is to get the most ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
Canada: Greenpeace ends protest at Shell oil sands mine
Reuters: Greenpeace activists who occupied mining equipment at Royal Dutch Shell Plc's Canadian oil sands project ended their protest on Wednesday after 1-1/2 days and were escorted away without facing charges, the environmental group said. Shell said production at the Muskeg River mine, one of four oil sands projects in northern Alberta, operated at normal rates throughout the day as the demonstrators worked to spread their message that developing the oil sands hampers the fight against ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
U.S. reconsiders Bush-era smog pollution standards
Reuters: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Wednesday it would reconsider Bush-era standards for smog pollution that have been slammed by environmentalists for not being aggressive enough. The 2008 standards, approved during the Bush administration, drew sharp criticism from environmental groups and the American Lung Association for being too weak and opening the regulatory process to interference from political appointees. "Reconsidering these standards and ensuring ... read more

17/09/2009 08:00 PM
Green surge gives carbon trade hub its first profit
Independent (UK): Carbon passed a milestone on the road to acceptance as a tradeable commodity yesterday as the Climate Exchange recorded its first ever profit. The company -- which runs the European Climate Exchange in London and its US counterpart -- recorded a near-doubling in volumes in the first half, pushing it to pre-tax profits of £1.5m compared with last year's £300,000 loss. The market for "green" products is taking off, boosted by schemes such as Europe's emissions trading scheme and ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
United Kingdom: Miliband announces boost for green jobs
Guardian: The energy and climate change secretary, Ed Miliband, today announced a boost for green jobs including government funding for a new factory in the north-east, which will make the largest offshore wind blades in the world. Miliband unveiled the £4.4m grant to Clipper Windpower to develop offshore wind turbines, with blades 70m long, 175m high, and weighing over 30 tonnes – "the size of a jumbo jet" – in a speech to the TUC in Liverpool. "With strong government backing, the UK is ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
EPA limits pollution from medical incinerators
Associated Press: About 50 medical waste incinerators nationwide will have to reduce their air pollution under new regulations announced Wednesday by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA said that the new rules, which require better monitoring and tighten emissions limits, will reduce toxic pollution from the burning of medical waste by 390,000 pounds annually and likely result in no new incinerators being built. Medical incinerators burn biological waste, needles, plastic gloves, ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
Former Cold War foes team up to probe warming seas
Reuters: Rebecca Woodgate had no time for idle chat as her oceanography team scurried on the deck of their research ship during a recent mission in the Bering Strait, a crucial region for studying the impact of global warming. Woodgate, of the University of Washington's Polar Science Center, had much to do in a short time, pinpointing undersea locations of eight data-gathering moorings on the U.S. and Russian sides of the strait, electronically coaxing them to the surface and sinking new ones ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
Using the market to tackle the climate crisis
Boston Globe: IT HAS become clear that the full changes America needs will not be solved by simply swapping White House tenants. In fact, this has been emphasized by the new tenant himself: we can`t stand on the sidelines and expect to realize the full change we need. And the change we most urgently need is the one that government is least able to tackle alone: the climate crisis. The US government has so far produced only a counterfeit proposal for responding to climate change. As fossil fuels` day in ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
Obama administration unveils fuel economy rules
Associated Press: With global talks on climate change looming, the Obama administration sought to gain momentum Tuesday by unveiling its plan to require better gas mileage for cars and trucks and the first-ever rules on vehicle greenhouse gas emissions. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson released the proposed regulations at the White House, the follow-up to President Barack Obama's announcement in May that the government regulations would link emissions and fuel ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
New Zealand: Activists chain themselves to ship
TVNZ: Greenpeace activists have chained themselves to a ship moored off Tauranga, protesting against a shipment of palm kernel animal feed. The 12 activists have boarded the East Ambition, waiting to enter the Port of Tauranga and destined for Fonterra dairy farms. The protestors are calling on Prime Minister John Key to halt imports of the palm kernel feed due to its impact on climate change and address intensive dairy farming in New Zealand. "Fonterra's involvement in ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
Climate change spells 'global health catastrophe'
Politics.co.uk: Eminent surgeons and physicians from across the world have signed a joint letter calling for the government to see climate change as a priority health issue. The letter, a copy of which has been sent to Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband, was published jointly by the BMJ and the Lancet today. It emphasises the benefits a low-carbon economy and diet would have on health, including lower rates of cancer, obesity, diabetes and heart disease. It also warns that a failure of world ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
Australia: Wong says Coalition has no ideas on climate change
Australian Broadcasting Corporation: TONY EASTLEY: The polls all say Malcolm Turnbull is not at all popular, but everyone wants a piece of him when it comes to debate about emissions trading legislation, or an ETS. The Opposition Leader is facing a divided party room and different pressure from industry groups. Some want him to participate; others to walk away. The Climate Change Minister, Penny Wong, who heads off to the US for climate discussions today, says she can't believe the Opposition has bluntly opposed ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
Climate change 'could kill 4.5 million children'
Agence France-Presse: AT least 4.5 million children could die if wealthy nations fail to provide more funds to help impoverished countries combat global warming, development charity Oxfam has warned. The organisation said in a report it was concerned that industrialised nations would take money out of existing funds dedicated to economic development in order to help poor countries battle climate change. World leaders will meet in Denmark in December to negotiate a new climate pact on reducing ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
US Hits the Brakes on Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Environment News Service: The Obama administration opened a new era in U.S. automotive history today by proposing the nation's first greenhouse gas emissions standards for vehicles. The emissions standards would be paired with stronger vehicle fuel efficiency standards in a coordinated national program to address climate change and energy security. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced the program at a news conference in Washington. "These proposed ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
Australia is #1 - New World Leader in Global Warming Emissions
Reuters: Australia now emits about 20.6 tons of CO2 per capita annually. The US is second at about 19.8 tons. China leads the world in total greenhouse gas emissions, but it's per capita emissions are miniscule in comparison - 4.5 tons. Also, India, another developing nation leading the world in CO2 emissions (4th) and under pressure to curb its emissions only emits 1.16 tons per capita annually. This new information comes from Maplecroft, a world leader in global risk assesments. Canada is ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
UN chief urges leaders to 'get moving' on climate change talks
Agence-France Presse: UN chief Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday negotiations have stalled over a climate change deal, and urged world leaders to "get moving," ahead of a crucial meeting on the issue. Before a summit of almost 100 heads of government in New York next week to discuss climate change, the UN secretary general told the Guardian that leaders held in their hands "the future of this entire humanity". "We are deeply concerned that the negotiation is not making much headway," Ban told the ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
United States: Senate Dems react to Schwarzenegger's renewable energy order
Sacramento Bee: Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Pato Alto, sent a letter today to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger urging him to reconsider pursuing a legislative mandate for boosting the state's reliance on solar, wind and other renewable energy sources. "(An) Executive Order does not have the force and effect of law. Additionally, such a proclamation will only cause confusion and uncertainty to California's energy markets, jeopardizing California's role as the world ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
United States: Schwarzenegger bypasses legislature on clean energy bill
Christian Science Monitor: As promised, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Tuesday signed an executive order, requiring California to get 33 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. The state legislature had already passed two bills on Sept. 11, calling for the same standard and giving California the largest "renewable portfolio standard" in the country. But Governor Schwarzenegger declared that he will veto those bills when they reach his desk because they are "poorly drafted" and "overly ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
Doctors warn of 'world catastrophe'
Press Association: A failure to tackle climate change will lead to a "global health catastrophe", leading doctors have warned. But taking steps to cut the world's carbon emissions, such as eating less meat and switching to cleaner energy, will have benefits for people's health, an editorial published in both the Lancet and British Medical Journal (BMJ) said. And in a letter accompanying the editorial, medical chiefs in the UK, Ireland and around the world called on doctors to put pressure on ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
Australia: Garrett douses Beds Are Burning re-recording speculation
Agence France-Presse: Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett says he will not join 55 celebrities in reprising one of Midnight Oil's greatest hits in the name of climate change. The former Midnight Oil frontman confirmed he and the band did collaborate with the Geneva-based Global Humanitarian Forum on a revamp of their 1980s hit Beds Are Burning, but will not take part in the recording. "The band were obviously aware of it and were happy to contribute to [the song] being reworked," a spokesman ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
China and India warned to co-operate over CO2 emissions
Financial Times: Todd Stern, the US's climate change envoy, has warned countries such as China and India that they run greater risk of protectionist measures in the US Congress if they do not co-operate on international steps to hold down carbon emissions. Speaking to the FT, he added that the US would still have a solid bargaining position even if, as is widely expected, the Obama administration fails to push its own emissions legislation through Congress before December's intergovernmental ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
Australia: Wong heads to US for climate talks
AAP: Federal Climate Change Minister Penny Wong leaves for the United States on Wednesday for talks with Obama administration officials as the government's planned emissions trading scheme remains stalled. Labor legislation setting up the carbon pollution reduction scheme is in legislative limbo following its rejection in the Senate in August. The government is still waiting to see promised coalition amendments to its draft laws. "I have said for months now, forward your ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
United States: Schwarzenegger Orders Increase in Renewable Energy Use
New York Times: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an executive order Tuesday requiring that California draw 33 percent of its electricity from renewable sources like solar and wind power by 2020. The requirement is stricter than any other state's except Hawaii's, which calls for 40 percent by 2030. "Right now, we are relying too heavily on coal-fired power plants," Mr. Schwarzenegger said at a news briefing in Sacramento, shortly before signing the order. About half the 50 states have ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
Climate change: Senate Democrats may delay legislation
Guardian: Democratic leaders in the Senate said last night they may wait until next year to take up climate change legislation, jeopardising the prospect of reaching a deal to avoid the most catastrophic consequences of global warming. The delay would prevent Barack Obama from delivering on his promise of demonstrating firm US commitment on climate change action in advance of negotiations at Copenhagen next December. The setback arrives at a critical moment in the home stretch of the ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
Fuel-economy rules set 35.5 mpg standard for 2016 models
USA Today: The government announced tough new fuel-economy standards Tuesday in a proposed rule that also would place the first nationwide limits on vehicles' greenhouse gas emissions, blamed for global warming. The Obama administration outlined its targets in May, but final details were uncertain until the joint announcement by the federal Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency. The rules would phase in with 2012 models, when the current rules end, and escalate ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
Greenpeace shuts down oil sands mine in Canada
Associated Press: A Greenpeace protest shut down Royal Dutch Shell PLC's massive oil sands mine on Tuesday on the eve of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's visit with President Barack Obama. Two dozen Greenpeace members chained themselves to giant earth-moving equipment, shutting down Shell's massive Albian Sands oil sands mine in northwestern Alberta for several hours. Alberta's oil sands projects have been criticized as a growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. Shell temporarily suspended ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
World Bank spends billions on coal-fired power stations despite own warnings
Times (UK): The World Bank is spending billions of pounds subsidising new coal-fired power stations in developing countries despite claiming that burning fossil fuels exposes the poor to catastrophic climate change. The bank, which has a goal of reducing poverty and is funded by Britain and other developed countries, calls on all nations in a report today to "act differently on climate change'. It says that the world must reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, but it is funding several giant ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
United States: Schwarzenegger boosts state's clean energy plan
Reuters: California's governor on Tuesday ordered that a third of the state's electricity come from renewable resources by 2020, the same amount as a legislature plan but with promises to let power companies get more electricity from outside the state. Governor Arnold said that his plan would help the state better meet its clean energy target by making it easier to import power. He also said the legislature's alternative would have required solar thermal plants to clear more regulatory hurdles ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
North America backs plan to cut greenhouse gases
Associated Press: Small island nations gained North America's powerful backing Tuesday for a plan to convert the U.N. ozone treaty into a tool for phasing out some of the globe's most powerful climate-warming gases. The Obama administration announced the United States, Canada and Mexico now support using the treaty to require cuts in powerful greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs. The treaty, called the Montreal Protocol, was signed by 195 nations to fix the globe's ozone ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
EC president outlines climate change, immigration and human rights plans
Guardian: The president of the European commission, José Manuel Barroso, pledged yesterday to create three European commissioner posts – for climate change, immigration and human rights – if he is granted a second term tomorrow. The European parliament will vote following a summer of intense politicking that saw the vote postponed. Barroso needs a simple majority of votes to win a new term. The centre-right former Portuguese prime minister should muster a majority, but the scale of the victory will be ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
World Bank warns even two degree rise will cripple development efforts
Business Green: The World Bank yesterday issued its clearest warning to date that development efforts in poorer nations will be derailed without a huge increase in funding for climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. The Bank's annual World Development Report warns that even if the G8 group of industrialised nations achieves its target of limiting global warming to two degrees above pre-industrial levels, the increase in global average temperatures will still result in shrinking levels of ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
U.S. backs proposal to cut HFC greenhouse gases
Reuters: The United States, Canada and Mexico have proposed using an existing international protocol to reduce emissions of potent greenhouse gases called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in refrigerators and air conditioners, the State Department said on Tuesday. The State Department said the three countries believed the Montreal Protocol, which regulates hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) blamed for depleting the ozone layer, could also help phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in cooling ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
Climate change will damage your health
Independent (UK): Human society faces a global health catastrophe if climate change is not effectively tackled at the UN conference in Copenhagen in December, leading doctors from around the world warn today. Calling on medical practitioners everywhere to put pressure on politicians in advance of the meeting, the doctors say that the world's poorest people will be hit first by the health effects of global warming, but add that "no one will be spared". Their stark challenge to governments follows ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
United Kingdom: Doctors warn on climate failure
BBC: Failure to agree a new UN climate deal in December will bring a "global health catastrophe", say 18 of the world's professional medical organisations. Writing in The Lancet and the British Medical Journal, they urge doctors to "take a lead" on the climate issue. In a separate editorial, the journals say that people in poor tropical nations will suffer the worst impacts. They argue that curbing climate change would have other benefits such as more healthy diets and ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
Climate cuts urged to avert "health catastrophe"
Reuters: The world will face a "global health catastrophe" if governments fail to agree deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions as part of a U.N. pact in Copenhagen in December, several leading doctors have declared. "What's good for the climate is good for health," according to an editorial published in the British Medical Journal and The Lancet on Wednesday. A strong agreement in Copenhagen by 190 nations to curb emissions would help avert heatwaves, floods and desertification that ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
Malaysia: Independent review finds logging company has abused rights of indigenous Penan in Borneo
Mongabay: An independent review of Interhill Logging found that the Sarawak logging company is regularly violating forest laws and abusing the rights of the indigenous Penan peoples. The review, conducted by French tourism giant ACCOR, found that Interhill Logging had not received free, prior, and informed consent from the local Penan people for its logging operations; the logging being done by Interhill "is very definitely not sustainable"; the company is not fully compiling with Sarawak's ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
Tackling Climate Change Could Earn Africa $1.5bn
Reuters: Using Africa's vast agricultural resources to help tackle climate change could earn the continent $1.5 billion (909.4 million pounds) a year, a World Bank head said on Tuesday. The region should also tap its underexploited renewable resources, particularly hydropower, to meet increasing energy demand and boost both growth and development. "It is essential that climate change be viewed as a major development opportunity for Africa given the anticipated increase in the energy ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
Rich nations must lead global warming battle: World Bank
Agence France-Presse: The World Bank on Tuesday called on rich countries to step up the battle against global warming, saying their assistance is essential to help developing countries reduce their carbon footprints. Developing countries can shift to lower-carbon paths while promoting development and reducing poverty, but this depends on financial and technical assistance from high-income countries, the World Bank said in a report released ahead of the December international conference on climate change in ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
Climate goals must be achievable: U.S. official
Reuters: Nations aiming to agree on a new global climate deal should focus on achievable greenhouse gas emissions targets, to involve as many nations as possible, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said on Tuesday. The world is meant to thrash out in December in Copenhagen a new international climate change pact beyond 2012, to replace the Kyoto Protocol. Developing nations want rich countries to cut emissions by 25 to 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020 to avert the worst effects of ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
World Bank urges rich states to act now on climate
Reuters: The world's rich nations must make immediate and deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions or the steeply rising cost of climate change will fall disproportionately on poor countries, the World Bank said on Tuesday. In a major report on the threat of climate change, the Bank's "World Development Report" said developing countries will bear 75 to 80 percent of the costs of damage caused by climate change and rich countries, the biggest CO2 emitters in the past, have a "moral" obligation to ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
China's Hu to unveil new climate proposals to UN - Reuters
Reuters: China's President Hu Jintao will present China's new plans for tackling global warming at a United Nations summit on climate change later this month, the country's senior negotiator said on Tuesday. "He will make an important speech," Xie Zhenhua told reporters ahead of Hu's trip next week to the United Nations and the G20 summit of major rich and developing economies in Pittsburgh. Hu "will announce the next policies, measures and actions that China is going to take," added ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
Climate Change Risks Could Cost Nations nearly 20% of GDP
Environmental Leader: While one study shows that climate change risks could cost nations nearly 20 percent of their GDP by 2030, another one indicates that some countries including Mexico and Argentina are leading the way to a low-carbon economy. Climate change risks could cost nations up to 19 percent of their GDP by 2030, with developing countries most vulnerable, according to a new report from the Economics of Climate Adaptation Working Group. The report also finds that cost-effective adaptation ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
Lawyers call on G20 to deliver clearer climate change regulations
Business Green: A coalition including some of the UK's largest law firms has called upon world leaders to deliver a clear and consistent international regulatory framework, or risk undermining the effectiveness of the global climate change deal that is expected to be agreed later this year in Copenhagen. The Legal Sector Alliance (LSA), which represents 124 law firms including global players such as Linklaters and Taylor Wessing, yesterday issued a communiqué to leaders of the G20 group of nations ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
Iraq seeks 30-year water plan to fight drought
Reuters: Iraq is studying offers from three foreign companies on putting together a strategic 30-year plan for managing its water resources during a lingering and damaging drought, the water resources ministry said on Tuesday. Water resources director Oun Thiab Abdullah said 15 companies had originally been invited to make submissions for the $50 million project but only three -- a British, a Russian and an Italian consultancy -- showed interest. The finalist would be selected in a ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
Emissions from cerrado destruction in Brazil equal to emissions from Amazon deforestation
Mongabay: Damage to Brazil's vast cerrado grassland results in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those produced by destruction of the Amazon rainforest, said Carlos Minc, the country's Environment Minister. Speaking on National Cerrado Day on September 11, Minc said that 21,000 square kilometers of cerrado was destroyed per year between 2002 and 2008, twice the rate of the Amazon rainforest. Nearly half the cerrado has been converted for cattle ranches and mechanized soy farms. Many of ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
East Timor makes U.N. history with ozone treaty signing
Reuters: Tiny East Timor on Wednesday signed a U.N. treaty to protect the Earth's fragile ozone layer, making it the first environmental pact to achieve backing from all 196 member states, the United Nations said. The Montreal Protocol is designed to phase-out man-made chemicals that damage the planet's ozone layer, which shields life from harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun that can cause skin cancer, cataracts and reduce plant yields. The pact has been so successful that the ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
China to unveil new climate plans at UN summit
Reuters: China said on Tuesday it would unveil new plans for tackling global warming at a United Nations summit next week that will try to break deadlock between rich and poor nations on a new climate treaty. President Hu Jintao "will announce the next policies, measures and actions that China is going to take," senior climate negotiator Xie Zhenhua said of the September 22 summit in New York. Xie told reporters that China, which has overtaken the United States as the top greenhouse gas ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
US and Europe clash over Copenhagen deal
Guardian: Europe has clashed with the US Obama administration over climate change in a potentially damaging split that comes ahead of crucial political negotiations on a new global deal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. The Guardian understands that key differences have emerged between the US and Europe over the structure of a new worldwide treaty on global warming. Sources on the European side say the US approach could undermine the new treaty and weaken the world's ability to cut carbon ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
Birds may move if climate change occurs
United Press International: University of California-Berkeley biologists say they've discovered birds will move if climate change produces unfavorable conditions. The researchers found 48 of 53 bird species studied in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains adjusted to climate change during the last century by moving to new sites "In order to conserve biodiversity in the face of future climate change, we need to know how a species actually responds to a warming climate," said doctoral student Morgan Tingley, ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
Kerry Calls For China And US To Speed Up Climate Change Conversation
Talk Radio News Service: Sen John Kerry (D-Mass.), who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called upon the U.S. and China to escalate their efforts to prevent climate change Tuesday. "These conversations [about climate change] between the U.S. and China are at a critical stage... they need to speed up. They need to focus," Kerry said during a conference call. "The U.S. needs to lead, we [the U.S.] have an obligation to lead", Kerry added. However, Kerry stressed that this did not release China ... read more

16/09/2009 08:00 PM
EPA tightens limits on power plant water pollution
Associated Press: For the first time in nearly 30 years, the Environmental Protection Agency plans to limit the quantity of toxic metals that coal-fired power plants release into waterways. The agency said Tuesday that equipment required to reduce pollution in the air has increased harmful contaminants in water discharged by power plants, particularly heavy metals such as selenium, cadmium, mercury and lead. Current regulations do nothing to control metals and are not enough to protect water quality ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
Mobility key to climate change adaptation, say experts
IRIN: Specialists studying the likelihood of population movements due to climate change effects offer widely divergent predictions. But most agree policymakers must understand that migration is a vital coping mechanism for at-risk populations and must do more to help destination hubs prepare. "Migration and mobility are always seen as exceptions but they are the norm. Mobility helps people get out of poverty," said Cecelia Tacoli, senior researcher with London-based NGO the International ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
Mali: Technology Transfer So Slow "We'll Have to Copy Like China"
Inter Press Service: Cars and motorcycles are stuck because of the heavy rains that have drenched Mali's capital for the past few days. It is late afternoon and the water, mud and damaged fruit from nearby stalls make the journey for those heading home to celebrate Ramadan even more treacherous. These sudden floods are a direct consequence of climate change that is causing extreme changes of weather with shorter and more abrupt rainy seasons alternating with drought and desertification. "Since the ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
S.Africa won't compromise economic growth to cut carbon emissions
Agence France-Presse: South Africa will not sign any deal that would compromise the country's economic development chances at the upcoming climate change conference in Copenhagen, the environment minister said Tuesday. "All negotiators are there to pursue national interests ... and South Africa is no different in this regard. If a deal is going to compromise our national interest we are not going to support it 100 percent," Buyelwa Sonjica told journalist. In the lead up to the crucial climate ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
Canada: Shell halts mining as activists protest oil sands
Reuters: Royal Dutch Shell Plc has suspended production at its Canadian oil sands mine after environmental activists blockaded a massive dump truck and mining shovel to protest the impact of oil sands development, the company said on Tuesday. Greenpeace said 25 of its activists locked down the oil sands mining equipment at the Albian Sands Muskeg River mine in northern Alberta on Tuesday morning, a day before Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets U.S. President Barack Obama in ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
South Africa puts power security above clean energy
Reuters: South Africa, which relies on coal for 90 percent of its electricity, will need to first focus on ensuring sufficient power supply before moving full-scale to fight climate change, a minister said on Tuesday. South Africa, the continent's largest economy and the world's 12th largest carbon emitter, has been struggling to meet its fast-rising power demand and has chosen to invest in new coal-fired power plants to fill the power supply gap. The country plans to diversify its ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
United States: Schwarzenegger to sign order boosting clean power
Associated Press: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an executive order Tuesday giving California the nation's most aggressive alternative energy standards, requiring utilities to get a third of their power from renewable sources by 2020. Schwarzenegger said the order signed at a field of solar panels will reduce California's dependence on fossil fuels and help clean its air while creating a reliable power supply for a state with 38 million people. It also will ensure that California remains a ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
Canada: Protesters target oil sands before Harper meets Obama
Reuters: Environmentalists shut down a Canadian oil sands mine on Tuesday in a series of protests on the eve of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's visit with President Barack Obama, aimed at pressing their case that the projects undermine the fight against climate change. Green groups accused Harper's government of trying to hamper U.S. efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions by seeking protections for Canada's oil sands industry, a major supplier of crude oil to the United States. Harper ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
Obama administration wants more salmon protection
Associated press: Calling it an "insurance policy" for salmon, the Obama administration has offered up a tougher conservation plan for the Pacific Northwest that includes monitoring for climate change and possible dam removal. But a top official also said the original plan drafted during the previous Bush administration and completed last year was "biologically and legally sound" when combined with measures added by the Obama administration. Jane Lubchenco, chief of the National Oceanic and ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
Italy: Mafia 'sank nuclear waste ship'
BBC: A shipwreck that could contain nuclear waste is being investigated by authorities in Italy amid claims that it was deliberately sunk by the mafia. An informant told a judge the ship was one of a number he blew up as part of an illegal operation to bypass rules on the disposal of toxic waste. The sunken vessel has been found 30km (18 miles) off the south-west of Italy. Murky pictures taken by a robot camera show the vessel intact and alongside it are a number of yellow ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
Report Criticizes Canada's Climate Change Commitment
redOrbit: Canada's effort to expand extraction of oil from tar sands in the Alberta province was criticized by Greenpeace on Monday when the environmental group accused the country of contributing to a "global climate crisis," AFP reported. Canada, along with Japan, is seeking to block progress towards a new global climate change agreement to be finalized at a December summit in Copenhagen, according to the Greenpeace report entitled "Dirty Oil". Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper ... read more

14/09/2009 08:00 PM
Engineers find ways to combat climate change
Times of India: This year's theme of Engineer's Day- 'Engineering Solutions to Combat Climate Change'- fits perfectly with the technology being applied by Sankat Mochan Foundation (SMF) for cleaning the Ganga under the second phase of the Ganga Action Plan (GAP) in Varanasi. To commemorate the birthday of Bharat Ratna Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, many events are organised in the country every year on September 15. Considering global awareness on climate change and realising engineer's role in ... read more

14/09/2009 08:00 PM
A major price drop for solar panels
Christian Science Monitor: Solar power has hit Bill Mc­Eleney's pocketbook – but in a good way. Putting solar panels on his roof was an idea that "just rattled around" for years, says the Cranston, R.I., engineer, until he saw panel prices plummeting in December and decided to get off the fence. He got a bid for a rooftop solar power system, but was delayed eight months. Still, that delay worked to his advantage as solar-electric prices continued to fall – eventually cutting the cost of his 3.8-kilowatt ... read more

14/09/2009 08:00 PM
German campaign focusing on nuclear
United Press International: Energy is one of the few divisive issues in what has so far been a rather cozy German election campaign. When it comes to Germany's future energy mix, all parties agree on one thing: Renewables are to play a significant role. There is one energy source, however, that the country is at odds over -- and that's nuclear energy. The energy source is revived in most of Europe but remains highly controversial in Germany. It's one of the very few divisive issues in what has so far been ... read more

14/09/2009 08:00 PM
Australia leads world in carbon emissions
United Press International: Australia has surpassed the United States as the world's biggest per capita producer of carbon emissions, according to a report by a risk consultancy. The study by British-based Maplecroft released last week finds that Australia tops the CO2 energy emissions index, which measures how much carbon dioxide a country spews into the atmosphere relative to its population size. Carbon emissions are blamed for global warming. Coal-fired power stations, known for high CO2 emissions, ... read more

14/09/2009 08:00 PM
Will China's Planned Solar Field Lower the Cost of Alternative Energy?
PhysOrg.com: One of the biggest complaints that some have about solar power (and other forms of alternative energy) is that it is so much more expensive than the fossil fuels that are more commonly used today. However, this might change with China's ambitious plans to build a 2-gigawatt solar field in Inner Mogolia. The solar field will be built by the U.S. company First Solar, and it is not scheduled to be completed for another 10 years, in 2019. The massive undertaking, though, could help make ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
Australia: Pass ETS now: Garnaut
Australian Broadcasting Corporation: The Federal Government's former climate change adviser Ross Garnaut says Australia's credibility on the issue would be boosted if the Senate were to pass an emissions trading scheme. Professor Garnaut says the differences between the Government and Opposition over the scheme do not look good internationally. "With the 2020 target on the table, if the rest of the world is prepared to accomodate strong mitigation, I think our interests would be served by passing ETS," he ... read more

15/09/2009 08:00 PM
Expert says climate change impacting northern Minn. forests
Minnesota Public Radio: A University of Minnesota forestry expert says global warming and other stressors will dramatically change the state's northern forests, leaving much of the state a prairie. Lee Frelich said it's not just the higher temperatures and drought, it's also more straight-line wind storms, fires, the booming deer population, and plagues of pests both native and exotic. They'll all push the range of balsams and birches as much as 300 miles north. Frelich's predictions appear in the ... read more



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