Today’s Climate: June 8, 2009

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Amid Conservative Wins in EU, Greens Gain Strength (Reuters)

Center-right parties made major gains in the EU elections, however a strong showing by Green parties, particularly in France, means legislation to fight climate change and promote clean energy will remain high on the EU agenda.

New EU Parliament Braced for Next Round of Climate Laws (EurActiv)

The newly-elected European Parliament faces a busy climate policy agenda, as Europe attempts to claw its way out of the recession by developing greener policies and convincing the world to agree on an ambitious climate deal.

China, U.S. Seek Truce on Greenhouse Gases (New York Times)

For months the United States and China, by far the world’s two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, have been warily circling each other in hopes of breaking a long impasse on global warming policy. Negotiators are meeting again this week.

U.S. Foresees a Thinner Cushion of Coal (Wall Street Journal)

The U.S. government is reconsidering how it calculates the nation’s coal supply after a USGS report determined that only a small fraction of coal is actually recoverable before the costs of recovery rise.

Peruvian Police Fire on Unarmed Tribes’ Oil, Gas Protest (Guardian)

Peru declared a curfew in the Amazon jungle after dozens of protesters died and hundreds were injured in bloody clashes between security forces and indigenous tribes protesting oil and mining projects.

Airlines Reject Carbon Tax, Commit to CO2-Neutral Growth by 2020 (Guardian)

The head of the International Air Transport Association says biofuels had the potential to reduce aviation’s carbon footprint by up to 80 percent, but he said governments needed to invest more in biofuels research and not further tax the industry.

Council: Emissions Limits a Catalyst for Midwest Growth (Chicago Tribune)

Nationwide limits on greenhouse-gas emissions are a key to the struggling region’s hope for economic rebirth, a Chicago Council on Global Affairs task force that includes several utility executives declares in a report to be released today.

UN Proposal Would Insure Farms Against Climate Crop Failure (Guardian)

UN negotiators at Bonn are considering micro-insurance schemes among several adaptation measures for Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Clean Tech Upstarts Team with Big Oil (San Jose Business Journal)

Cleantech’s initial attempts to take on incumbent industry giants such as oil companies are starting to give way to symbiotic partnerships.

Maldives Appeals to UN Space Agency for Climate Change Help (Business Mirror)

The Maldives, one of the nations most threatened by global warming, is appealing to the United Nations space agency for satellite imagery assistance that could help the island country plan its defenses against rising sea levels.

India May Open Commercial Coal Mining to Private Companies (Economic Times)

The Indian government may allow commercial coal mining by private companies as it looks to increase production and cut imports of what it considers a vital resource, according to an official in the coal ministry.

Test Traces Coal Bed Methane in Rivers (AP)

Researchers in Wyoming have developed a test to trace co-produced coal-bed methane water even after it flows into rivers and mixes with other water sources, allowing better tracking of pollutants.

Study Finds Large Water Footprint for Bioenergy (Green Car Congress)

The researchers found that bioelectricity is generally more water-efficient than first-generation biofuels, due largely to the ability to use the entire biomass to produce energy rather than just the starch or oil fraction.

Flexible Solar Shingles Transform Roofs to Energy Source (Science Daily)

A transparent thin film barrier used to protect flat panel TVs from moisture could become the basis for flexible solar panels that would be installed on roofs like shingles.

Outback Wind Farm to be Australia’s Biggest (Business Green)

The proposed wind farm would power more than 400,000 households and have a total installed capacity exceeding 1GW. The estimated annual output would be enough to supply 4.5% of the energy needs of Australia’s most populous state.

Pelosi: Climate Change Game-Changer for US-China Relations (Nancy Pelosi)

Climate change is an economic issue, a national security issue, an environmental health issue and a moral issue. It is also an opportunity for the U.S. and China to make progress together on behalf of our citizens, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi writes.

Yvo de Boer, Climate Butler (AFP)

Yvo de Boer, it could be argued, holds the fate of the planet in his hands. He does not have the power to impose an agreement to curb greenhouse gases, but he can’t fail in his role as executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.