Today’s Climate: June 10, 2009

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Sweden Will Call for CO2 Tax as Next EU President (AP)

When Sweden takes over the European Union presidency in July, it will urge its EU counterparts to impose a carbon tax as a way to meet targets to reduce emissions across Europe, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt says.

Japan to Cut CO2 Emissions 15% By 2020 (Kyodo News Agency)

Prime Minister Taro Aso announced today that Japan will cut carbon emissions 15 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels, a target environmental groups say is not bold enough and could undermine climate talks.

US Senate Panel OKs Florida Off-Shore Drilling, Tar Sands (Reuters)

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee adopted an amendment that would allow drilling within 45 miles of Florida’s Gulf coast and clarify that federal agencies are not barred from purchasing fuel developed from Canadian tar sands.

Alberta Says Ottawa Must Consult It On Climate Pact (Reuters)

Alberta’s government has moderated demands for a direct role in US-Canada negotiations on climate change but it wants the federal government to consult with the provinces before reaching any deal.

Water Stress, Ocean Rise to Unleash ‘Climate Exodus’ (AFP)

Tens of millions of people will be displaced by climate change in coming years, posing social, political and security problems of an unprecedented dimension, a UN study released today says.

Amazon Oil Protest Leader Seeks Asylum (Guardian)

A Peruvian indigenous leader has sought asylum in Nicaragua’s embassy to escape sedition charges over drilling protests he has been leading in the Amazon.

Court OKs Massey Coal Silo Near West Virginia School (Coal Tattoo)

The West Virginia Supreme Court just ruled that, in effect, Massey Energy’s plans for another coal silo adjacent to Marsh Fork Elementary School in Raleigh County is OK. Justice Benjamin recused himself.

House GOP Drafts Nuclear-Heavy Energy Bill (New York Times)

Republicans plan to introduce their own energy bill today that would lean heavily on nuclear power, setting a goal of building 100 reactors over the next 20 years, and would create incentives for more oil and gas drilling on public lands and offshore.

Green Boost in EU Elections May Trigger Nuclear Fight (Nature)

Green parties celebrating their success in last week’s European Parliament election are gearing up for a fight over nuclear power.

Oil Groups Ask EPA to Delay Fuels Standard 1 Year (Oil & Gas Journal)

Two leading oil industry trade associations told the EPA they needed more time to review the proposed rules and asked the agency to hold off implementing the standards until at least 2011.

Study Finds Hardy Jatropha Sucks Up Water (Cleantech)

A Netherlands university study shows jatropha offers low amounts of oil production without sufficient water, calling into question its suitability for biodiesel.

Counting Lifecycle Emissions, Aircraft Can Do Better than Rail (Green Car Congress)

A new comprehensive lifecycle energy, greenhouse gas emissions, and selected criteria air pollutant emissions inventory finds that non-operational components often dominate total emissions and that passenger occupancy makes a difference.

House Approves Cash for Clunkers Plan (Washington Post)

The House approved a plan to give vouchers of up to $4,500 to consumers who trade in their gas-guzzling clunkers for more fuel-efficient models.

Venture Capitalists Pin Growth Hopes on Green Tech (CNet)

The annual Global Trends survey of 725 venture capitalists finds venture capitalists expect the green technology area to grow faster than traditional areas of venture capital investment in the coming years.

Solar Showdown Looms in California (New York Times)

Solar installations could grind to a halt in California, industry advocates say, unless a proposal to expand net metering passes. Utilities can now only accept up to 2.5 percent of their electricity from net-metering customers, and PG&E is nearing the limit.

UN Warns of Rise in Climate Change Refugees (EurActiv)

Some 23.5 million people could be displaced by climate change in the densely-populated Ganges, Mekong and Nile River deltas if sea level rise by a meter, according to new research by UN institutes.

Climate Change Blamed for Caribbean Coral Deaths (Reuters)

Climate change has contributed to a flattening of the complex, multi-layered architecture of Caribbean coral reefs, compromising their role as a nursery for fish stocks and a buffer against tropical storms, an analysis shows.