Today’s Climate: February 2, 2010

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Australia Opposition Reveals $3.2 Billion ‘Climate Incentives’ Plan (Sydney Morning Herald)

Tony Abbott, Australia’s opposition leader, has announced a climate policy that would unleash $3.2 billion in incentives over four years to big polluters to reduce their carbon emissions.

Abbott Keeps Pulling Back Labor’s Lead (The Australian)

Abbott’s opposition to the Rudd government’s carbon trading scheme appears to have lifted the coalition to its best position since its 2007 election loss. Rudd’s personal support is at its lowest since he became prime minister.

Canada Target for Climate Change Too Weak, Groups (Bloomberg)

Canadian Environment Minister Jim Prentice, whose new target for greenhouse gas emissions is being criticized by green groups, said his country won’t fight climate change with "excessive haste."

UN Says Nations’ Greenhouse Gas Pledges Too Little (AP)

The greenhouse gas goals announced by the nations responsible for most emissions are insufficient against the disastrous effects of climate change, Janos Pasztor, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s top climate adviser, said.

China’s Wen Seeks Binding Climate Deal in Mexico (Reuters)

China supports the Copenhagen Accord and wants a binding global agreement from talks culminating in Mexico later this year, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said.

Climate Accord Gets Boost, But Where’s the Money? (AFP)

More than a month after the Copenhagen Accord, rich nations have yet to say when and how they will deliver the pledged $30 billion in "fast start" financing to poor nations, which is meant to cover the period 2010 to 2012.

Clean Tech Sector Seeks Long-Term Support from Obama (Reuters)

Cleantech companies welcomed nearly $2.4 billion for the sector in the Obama administration’s proposed budget released on Monday, but some industry watchers said it wasn’t enough for major changes in the emerging market.

UK: Payment for Homemade Power ‘Too Low to Help’ (Times Online)

New subsidies to encourage British families to install rooftop wind turbines and solar panels were unveiled by the government yesterday, but were criticized as too low to help to meet its targets for low-carbon energy production.

Prentice: Tar Sands Firms Must Help Canada Reach Climate Targets (The Canadian Press)

Canada risks becoming the international poster child of unsound resource development if it doesn’t do a better job of developing the oilsands, Environment Minister Jim Prentice said.

U.S. Wind Energy Job Growth Isn’t Blowing Anyone Away (Los Angeles Times)

Even though a record 10,000 MW of new wind generating capacity came on line in 2009 in the U.S., few jobs were created overall and wind power manufacturing employment fell.

China To Bring More Smart Meters To The Grid In 2010 (Dow Jones)

China will power up its plans for advanced metering grid infrastructure even as the central government takes steps to slow down broader energy and transmission spending, analysts say.

Study Finds a Tree Growth Spurt (New York Times)

Forests in the eastern U.S. appear to be growing faster in response to rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found.

Vermont Power Plant Continues to Leak Radiation (New York Times)

Technicians seeking the source of a leak of radioactive tritium at the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant have found concentrations in groundwater there that were three times higher than what was discovered last week.

Shell in $12 Billion Ethanol Deal (Reuters)

Royal Dutch Shell plans to make the biggest-ever foray into biofuels by an oil major, striking a deal with Brazil’s Cosan to form a $12 billion ethanol joint venture that will be the no. 3 fuel distributor in Latin America’s largest country.