Today’s Climate: July 8, 2009

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Top Polluting Nations Nix Goal of Halving CO2 by 2050 (Reuters)

The major polluting nations have failed to agree to a goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, according to a draft document prepared for Thursday’s talks. China and India opposed setting a target.

Unions Warn Senate to Keep Climate Bill Trade Protections (Roll Call)

Organized labor is warning Senate Democrats not to renege on trade protection included in House climate change legislation that would buffer domestic manufacturers from cheap products made in China and elsewhere.

Pickens Shelves His Texas Wind Farm Plan (Washington Post)

Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens has temporarily shelved plans to build the world’s biggest wind farm because of tight credit markets stymieing a transmission build out and low natural gas prices. Anyone need $2 billion worth of wind turbines?

Pew’s Diringer: Obama Must Engage GOP on Climate (Reuters)

Even with the new 60-seat Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate, President Obama needs to cross party lines to gather support for new climate change legislation, U.S. climate expert Elliot Diringer says.

Mumbai Faces Acute Water Shortage (BBC)

The authorities in Mumbai have reduced water supplies by 30 percent as the Indian megacity of 20 million people faces one of the worst water shortages in its history.

Studies See Dilemma for Forest Carbon Storage (AP)

Scientists conclude in two government-funded studies that forests in the Pacific Northwest have a huge potential to store more carbon to combat global warming, but not if they are heavily thinned to prevent wildfire.

G8 Risks Backtracking on Climate (Financial Times)

World leaders meeting at the G8 summit in Italy risk moving backward in the progress if they fail to agree on climate change emissions targets, activists said this morning.

NJ Gubernatorial Candidates Spar Over Greenness (AP)

The leading Republican candidate for governor of New Jersey is making green jobs a top issue, and he’s accusing Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine of not doing enough to help clean energy businesses thrive.

Blue Energy Canada Hauls in $500M for Tidal Power (Cleantech)

New Zealand’s World Energy Research has signed an agreement to fund the development of Blue Energy Canada’s first 200-megawatt commercial tidal power project.

San Francisco Public Housing Goes Solar (KGO)

Some of San Francisco’s public housing sites will soon be going solar. Mayor Gavin Newsom announced plans to install solar panels on three housing authority properties.

Coal Co.: Boycott States Unfriendly to Mountaintop Mining (NRDC)

An Arch Coal subsidiary is urging its employees to cancel vacations to Tennessee in apparent retaliation for testimony by a top state official on mountaintop mining in Washington. It also sent a warning letter to local Chambers of Commerce.

Let’s Not Go Backward on Biofuels (Huffington Post)

Done right, biofuels can be a real part of the solution to global warming. But biofuels can also be done wrong, and if the ACES provisions don’t get fixed, that is what will happen, with production threatening forests and even increase global warming, writes NRDC’s Frances Beinecke.

Gore: More Public Pressure Needed to Secure Climate Deal (Reuters)

The only way to force politicians to act at Copenhagen is to raise global public awareness about the danger of climate change much higher than it is now, former Vice President Al Gore says.

Waxman: GOP Is Rooting Against America (Politico)

Climate bill author Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) tells NPR: “It appears that the Republican Party leadership in the Congress has made a decision that they want to deny President Obama success, which means, in my mind, they are rooting against the country, as well.”