Today’s Climate: September 3, 2009

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Climate Talks’ Progress Like ‘Walking in Wet Sand’ (Reuters)

Talks on a U.N. climate pact have become bogged down like "walking in wet sand," but a U.N. summit this month could give impetus for a deal due in December, the head of a key UN negotiating group says.

India’s Greenhouse Gases to Quadruple by 2031 (Financial Times)

India expects its greenhouse gases to quadruple over the next 20 years, but it emphasizes that per capita emissions as its population booms will still be below those of developed countries.

India Seeks to Invest in Australian Coal (Wall Street Journal)

India’s coal minister and the chairman of the country’s biggest coal miner said today that India is considering securing coal properties in Australia to plug projected gaps in its supply.

DOE Cools on FutureGen’s Clean Coal Plant (VentureBeat)

The Department of Energy may have just handed out $27.6 million for clean coal projects, but it’s already looking to curtail its involvement, particularly in the large-scale Illinois clean-coal plant being built by the FutureGen Alliance.

Is Coal Front Group ACCCE About to Implode? (Huffington Post)

Duke Energy quit the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), the dirty coal front group lobbying against Congressional action on climate change. Will other corporate members of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership follow?

Treasury Dept. Pours $502M into Renewable Energy (VentureBeat)

The U.S. Treasury is joining the Department of Energy in backing renewable energy development, announcing the first wave of a dozen projects set to receive $502 million in cash grants instead of tax credits.

Spain’s Solar-Power Hopes Collapse After Subsidy Loss (Wall Street Journal)

Wind power giant Spain’s hopes of also becoming a world leader in solar power have collapsed since the Spanish government slammed the brakes on generous subsidies.

Japan Business Lobby to Oppose Climate Target (Reuters)

Japan’s biggest business group is set to lobby against greenhouse gas emissions targets pledged by the new ruling party, a Japanese newspaper reports.

ADB: Asia’s Poorest to be Worst Hit by Climate Change (AFP)

Climate change threatens to bring food and water shortages to 1.6 billion people in South Asia, with the region’s poorest likely to be worst hit, the Asian Development Bank says.

Drought-Stricken California Wants Changes in Federal Water Policy(Reuters)

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is asking the Obama Cabinet to rethink federal policy that would divert water to threatened fish instead of parched farms and cities suffering through a third year of drought.

AltaRock Suspends Geothermal Drilling at DOE-Backed Project (New York Times)

AltaRock’s $17 million Northern California energy project to demonstrate the feasibility of extracting vast amounts of heat from the earth’s bedrock has been suspended indefinitely after the drilling essentially snagged on surface rock formations.

Utah Coal-Fired Power Plant Plan Formally Cancelled (Salt Lake Tribune)

Utah air-quality officials have formally pulled the plug on the new coal-fired power plant planned by the Intermountain Power Agency.

In Maldives, Coconuts Used to Capture Carbon (BBC)

The Maldives aims to reduce its CO2 emissions by cutting imported fertilizer and switching to biochar, a charcoal made from bio-wastes such as coconut shells.

Scientists Seek Warning Signs for Catastrophic Tipping Points (Wired)

Tipping points are found in ecosystems, economies and even bodies. But they’re usually recognized in retrospect, when it’s too late for anything but regret. Now a growing body of research suggests there are telltale mathematical signals.