Today’s Climate: July 3, 2009

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Emissions Must Peak by 2020, US Says in G8 Draft (Bloomberg)

The U.S. is joining other developed countries for the first time in saying global greenhouse gases should peak by 2020 and the average worldwide temperature shouldn’t rise more than 2 degrees Celsius, according to a draft from the Group of Eight industrialized nations.

Canada, Japan Blocking Copenhagen Progress? (Business Green)

Sir David King, former UK science adviser, accused Canada and Japan of blocking progress towards a meaningful international climate deal. "Copenhagen is faltering at the moment," he said.

EPA Allows TVA to Dump Coal Ash in Alabama (AP)

The nation’s largest utility can dump millions of tons of coal ash from a Tennessee spill into an Alabama landfill, federal regulators determined, despite criticism that the plan is unfair to one of Alabama’s poorest counties.

Kennedy: President Breaks Hearts in Appalachia (Washington Post)

“If ever an issue deserved President Obama’s promise of change, mountaintop mining is it,” Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. writes. “Mining syndicates are detonating 2,500 tons of explosives each day – the equivalent of a Hiroshima bomb weekly – to blow up Appalachia’s mountains.”

Carbon Chief Suspended Amid Reports of Dodgy Deals (Business Green)

Papua New Guinea’s Office of Climate Change director was suspended following reports that he issued unofficial carbon credits from forestry projects worth millions of dollars.

Sen. Boxer Sets Hearings Starting Next Week on Climate (National Journal)

Senate Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer has scheduled a four-pack of hearings in the next two weeks to draft climate legislation this summer and continue an ambitious Democratic push to get a plan through Congress this year.

Federal Cliffside Power Plant Expansion Lawsuit Dismissed (Charlotte Observer)

A judge dismissed a federal environmental lawsuit challenging Duke Energy’s construction of a $2.4 billion addition to its Cliffside coal-fired power plant, saying the same issues are being decided in state court.

Lessons from the Cello Energy Biofuel Fraud Case (Earth2Tech)

As far as speed bumps for cellulosic ethanol ventures go, this one’s a doozy: Jurors have ordered Cello Energy, a biofuel startup run by Alabama’s former ethics chairman and backed by a big Silicon Valley investor, to pay more than $10 million in a fraud case.

Planned US Nuclear Recycling Facility Faces the Ax (Nature)

The Obama administration has quietly cancelled plans for a large-scale facility to recycle nuclear fuel. The move may prove fatal to the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, set up by George W. Bush.

Renewable Energy Financing Rebounds – in Europe (Wall Street Journal)

Bankers are funding renewable energy projects again – at least in Europe, according to new second-quarter figures from New Energy Finance. But there is reason to believe the U.S. situation is better than the numbers indicate – and the European situation is worse.

Green Power Takes Root in the Chinese Desert (New York Times)

As the United States takes its first steps toward mandating that power companies generate more electricity from renewable sources, China already has a similar requirement and is investing billions to remake itself into a green energy superpower.

Santa Monica: Hide Solar Panels from View (Los Angeles Times)

Santa Monica has held itself up as a model of innovative energy policies, but the City Council now says equipment must be installed "in the location that is least visible from the street" on certain properties.

Coal Country: The Film Big Coal Does Not Want You to See (Huffington Post)

Coal Country, a hard-hitting documentary on the cradle-to-grave process of generating coal-fired electricity, hits theatres next week, and even though the film lets the industry tell its side of the story, Friends of Coal is preparing a show of protesters.