Today’s Climate: June 2, 2009

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Bonn Climate Conference: Four Tough Nuts To Crack (IPS)

The world is on track to negotiate a solid climate deal in Copenhagen, Yvo de Boer told reporters as two weeks of negotiations got under way in Bonn. However, success will require "delivery on four political essential," and they are tough nuts to crack.

Democrats Weigh Climate Floor Debate by July 4 (New York Times)

Seeking to maintain momentum from last month’s markup, House Democrats are considering an aggressive push this month for floor passage of energy and global warming legislation.

Chu: Technology Key to Tar Sands Use (Reuters)

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu says he believes that technology can solve environmental problems associated with Canada’s tar sands and that the huge resource contributes to U.S. energy security.

Blogosphere Dust-up Over Waxman-Markey Debate (Financial Times)

The Waxman-Markey bill is creating unhappiness in the environmental blogosphere, where the Breakthrough Institute has accused Joe Romm of trying to “shut down the climate bill debate.”

Ad Firm Behind ‘Clean Coal’ Releases Brag Sheet (DeSmogBlog)

The advertising firm behind the heavily-aired "America’s Power" campaign, R & R Partners-Advertising, has come out with a brag-sheet detailing the ad work it did for the coal industry’s main front group, ACCCE.

UN Negotiators Grudgingly Accept Draft Climate Treaty (EurActiv)

Meeting in Bonn for climate talks, rich and poor countries criticised the initial negotiating text of a new United Nations climate treaty but grudgingly accepted it as the basis for six months of negotiations.

China to Invest $14.6 Billion in Wind Power by 2010 (Bloomberg)

China, the world’s second-biggest energy consumer, will invest about $14.6 billion to more than double its wind power capacity to 30,000 MW by 2010, an official says.

UK: Shipping Not Doing Enough to Curb CO2 (Reuters)

The United Nations’ shipping agency has not done enough to address carbon emissions from shipping, which account for about 3 percent of global CO2 emissions, a panel of British lawmakers says.

Home Depot Rejects Green Shareholder Resolution (Business Green)

The U.S. retailer reportedly signaled that it could be willing to discuss energy efficiency, despite the fact that investors last week voted down a shareholder resolution demanding energy use targets.

Coal Lobby’s Congressmen Upset with Permit ‘Backlog’ (Charleston Gazette)

Several coal state lawmakers are coming to the aide of the National Mining Association as the industry group objects to what it says is a backlog of new mining permits that haven’t been approved.

UP Utilities Turn from Coal to Biomass (Detroit Free Press)

In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a dormant 50-year-old coal plant smokestack is operating again. Instead of coal, the L’Anse Warden Electric Co. plant creates electricity and steam by burning biomass, such as old railroad ties and sawmill waste.

California Board Urges No New Offshore Drilling (Reuters)

The California State Lands Commission voted to urge the state legislature to reject Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposal to allow the state’s first offshore oil drilling lease since 1969.

California Bill Aims to Ensure Emissions Cuts are Local (Los Angeles Times)

Assembly members hope to use California’s global warming law to force industries to improve air quality in areas worst affected by pollution, which tend to be low-income and minority neighborhoods.

USGBC Seeks to Close Performance Gap for Buildings (CleanTech)

Reducing our built environment’s use of energy is reflected in LEED v3, the newest version of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building rating system, more than in any previous version.

Texas Kills Solar Bill (Wall Street Journal)

The sun isn’t shining in Texas this morning. A bill in the Texas legislature to create a $500 million rebate program for utility-scale and small-scale solar installations and jumpstart a Texas solar industry was killed with a procedural maneuver.

Green Chinese Skyscraper Goes Off-Grid (Business Green)

The 71-story Pearl River Tower in Guangzhou is being built with wind turbines, solar panels and fuel cells that are expected to provide enough power for the tower to operate entirely off-grid.