Today’s Climate: July 10, 2009

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Rift Remains Between Rich, Poor on CO2 Cuts (Washington Post)

The 17 major polluting countries promised to take verifiable steps to cut carbon emissions and cooperate on funding research to develop clean-energy technologies, but they would not set long-term goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions or timetables.

Africa Asks G8 to Honor Farm Aid Pledges (Reuters)

G8 leaders pledged $20 billion in farm aid today to help poor nations feed themselves, surpassing expectations on the final day of a summit that has yielded little progress on climate change and trade.

US Climate Bill Action Punted Deeper into Fall (Politico)

Senate Democrats have punted climate change deeper into the fall, a delay that underscores the steep climb the White House faces in convincing Congress — and the world — to dramatically slash emissions.

Stern Appointment Boosts CCS, and Rudd Government (Financial Times)

Respected UK economist Nicolas Stern has joined the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute, a win for the carbon capture movement and also something of a coup for Australia’s prime minister, Kevin Rudd.

DOD Enlists GE to Make Military Base a Smart Microgrid Model (GreenBiz)

General Electric, the world’s largest industrial company, will work with the Department of Defense in a $2 million project to transform the Twentynine Palms facility, the world’s largest Marine Corps base, into a model smart microgrid system.

Nanopillars Promise Cheap, Efficient, Flexible Solar Cells (Science Daily)

Researchers have demonstrated a way to fabricate efficient solar cells from low-cost and flexible materials. The new design grows optically active semiconductors in arrays of nanoscale pillars, each a single crystal, with dimensions measured in billionths of a meter.

Obama: U.S. Will Lead the Way on Climate Change (Los Angeles Times)

President Obama praised efforts by industrialized and developing nations to set guidelines in the battle to control climate change and said today that the United States will increase its role in that fight.

Canada Won’t Match G-8 Emission Cuts (Bloomberg)

Canadian Environment Minister Jim Prentice said his country won’t be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as other developed nations, citing Canada’s cold climate and reliance on energy production such as the carbon-intensive tar sands.

Russians Plan Floating Nuclear Plants (New York Times)

The United Industrial Corporation, a Russian manufacturer, says the world’s first floating nuclear power plant will go into operation on Russia’s eastern coast by the end of 2012.

Taiwan Opens Doors to Global Solar Market (Cleantech)

New legislation that paves the way for renewable energy adoption in Taiwan is poised to create a booming domestic market for solar. The island will need the expertise of other countries to meet its goal.

Huge Solar PV Plant Planned for Washington State (Yakima Herald)

A patch of previously logged timberland in Washington state could sprout one of the world’s largest PV solar projects by late 2011. The proposed 75 MW project would have 400,000 panels manufactured on-site, creating hundreds of jobs.

Tokyo Subway Converts Foot Traffic into Electricity (Business Green)

One of Tokyo’s busiest subway stations is running an experiment with special flooring that converts the pressure and vibration of commuter footsteps into electricity, which is used to power the station’s lights.

Funding Rules to Aid Renewables Unveiled (New York Times)

The Treasury and the Energy Department unveiled long-awaited new rules under which the government will pay up to 30 percent of the cost of renewable energy projects. Many projects have been on hold as investors waited to apply for the grants.

‘Solar Energy Zone’ Concept Laudable but Flawed, Critics Say (New York Times)

A new federal program to identify lands that are best suited for solar-power projects is being hailed by environmentalists and industry observers as an unprecedented effort to ensure renewable energy projects are developed in a way that protects wildlife.

Lubchenco on Restoring
 Science to Climate Policy (Yale Environment 360)

Marine biologist Jane Lubchenco, head of NOAA, discusses the central role her agency is playing in understanding the twin threats of global warming and ocean acidification.

Google vs. Yahoo: 2 Routes Toward Carbon Neutral (Earth2Tech)

Tech companies are looking at two models for going carbon neutral: Google, which is sticking with carbon offsets to buy its way to carbon neutrality, and Yahoo!, which will ditch offsets and instead focus on energy efficiency.