Today’s Climate: August 1-2, 2009

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India Rejects Emissions Cuts for a Decade (Financial Times)

India will not discuss signing up to legally binding obligations to make absolute cuts in CO2 emissions for at least 10 years, the country’s environment minister has said.

Utility Raises Cleanup Cost in Tennessee (New York Times)

The Tennessee Valley Authority has raised its estimate for cleaning up a huge coal ash spill to $1.2 billion and partly blamed the cleanup for its third-quarter loss of $167 million.

Judge Hears Arguments over Southwest Va Coal Plant (AP)

A Richmond judge plans to rule in the coming week after hearing arguments over air permits for a controversial coal plant under construction in southwest Virginia.

‘Clunkers’ $2 Billion Infusion Depends on U.S. Senate’s Vote (Bloomberg)

The future of the U.S. "cash for clunkers" program depends on the Senate backing a $2 billion infusion this week, as the Obama administration offered assurances that the discounts remain available.

Army Unveils Giant Solar Project (CNET News)

The U.S. Army on Friday detailed what it expects to be the Department of Defense’s largest solar energy project — a 500-MW solar thermal installation at the Fort Irwin base in the Mojave Desert in California.

Nissan Unveils Zero-Emission Hatchback "Leaf" (Reuters)

Nissan took the wraps off its much-awaited electric car on Sunday, naming the hatchback "Leaf" and taking a step toward its goal of leading the industry in the zero-emission field.

RGGI Carbon Price Hovers at Lows (Carbon Positive)

Carbon prices in America’s first mandatory emissions trading scheme are hovering around record lows amid oversupply of allowances and growing doubts over when and if a future federal cap-and-trade scheme will become law.

Senate Democrats Tie Climate Effort to National Security (ClimateWire)

Senate Democrats are increasingly relying on the connection between global warming and national security as they craft legislation to curb climate-changing emissions.

Carbon Capture Needs Decade of Subsidy, Harvard Researcher Says (Bloomberg)

Technology to remove and bury CO2 emissions from coal plants will require at least a decade of government subsidies before becoming economically viable, a Harvard University researcher has said.

SF Eyes UN Climate Center at Polluted Shipyard (AP)

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and the UN are eyeing a former naval shipyard contaminated by radiation, heavy metals and other toxins as the future site of a new green technology complex and climate change think tank.

British Insurers Prepare for ‘Worst Case’ Climate Impacts; Americans Mostly Don’t (ClimateWire)

British insurers are raising rates on homeowners to insulate themselves from increasing claims blamed on climate change, a justification that U.S. companies are hesitant — or unable — to embrace.

New Jersey Outshines 48 of Its Peers in Solar Power (Wall Street Journal)

New Jersey’s biggest utility is outfitting 200,000 utility poles with solar panels, part of the state’s embrace of a try-anything strategy that has made it the nation’s second-biggest producer of solar energy behind California.

Solar Users Are Freeloaders, Says Xcel Energy (Fast Company)

While countries in Europe and some U.S. states are trying to encourage the use of rooftop solar panels with feed-in tariffs, Colorado utility Xcel Energy may charge a fee to all residents who want to go solar.

Cyprus to Build Wind Park (AFP)

Cyprus has signed a deal with local company DK Windsupply to build one of the largest wind parks in the east Mediterranean, officials have said.

Australian Scientists Hit Back at Climate Skepticism (Sydney Morning Herald)

Fifteen Australian climate scientists have hit back at the resurgence of climate denial among the nation’s politicians, warning that the threat from climate change is urgent and approaching a series of "tipping points" where it will feed on itself.

Pakistan Follows India by Jumping on the Jatropha Biofuel Train (Cleantech Group)

Pakistan’s Zarai Taraqiati Bank is coordinating a deal between South Korea and Pakistan to use the latter’s arid deserts to grow the drought resistant plant for fuel.