Today’s Climate: February 11, 2010

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Japan, Australia Beat EU With Carbon Targets, Point Carbon Says (Bloomberg)

Climate targets for 2020 in Japan and Australia are more ambitious compared with current levels than what the EU proposed, Point Carbon said, citing analysis of pledges under the 2009 Copenhagen Accord.

Two Major U.S. Retailers Say They’ll Shun Fuel Produced from Oilsands (Canadian Press)

Whole Foods and Bed, Bath and Beyond are believed to be the first major private-sector companies to tell their fuel suppliers they don’t want gasoline refined from crude oil coming from the Alberta oilsands.

House Bill Would Force Kentucky to Use More Renewables (Louisville Courier-Journal)

Utility companies in Kentucky would be required to get as much as 12.5 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020 under a bill filed this week in the state assembly.

UN Climate Panel Reforms Urged to Boost Trust (Reuters)

The IPCC should be split up or even turned into an online encyclopaedia to help restore trust after mistakes like an erroneous forecast on the melting of Himalayan glaciers, five leading climatologists suggested.

Philippines Sets Consultations on Copenhagen Accord (Inquirer)

The Philippines will be conducting consultations with concerned local sectors before officially associating itself with the controversial UN’s Copenhagen Accord.

Emissions to Rise More Slowly Through 2011, DOE Says (Bloomberg)

Carbon dioxide emissions fell further in 2009 than first thought and may not rise as quickly as the economy grows, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Climate and Energy Issues Send Hordes to K Street (ClimateWire)

More than 1,700 groups and businesses turned to K Street in 2009 for lobbying help on energy, climate and nuclear issues, a jump from 1,331 in 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Group Urges Texas to Promote More Solar Power Use (AP)

A coalition of environmentalists, politicians and more than 80 businesses held events around the state to release a letter urging Gov. Rick Perry and the Texas Public Utility Commission to promote solar power use.

Longview Power to Study CCS for New W.Va. Plant (Coal Tattoo)

Longview Power has announced that it has hired Siemens Energy to study the "applicability" of carbon capture and storage technology to its new 695-MW coal plant outside of Morgantown, W.Virginia.

NV Energy to Buy Power From Geothermal Power Plant (AP)

Utility NV Energy said that it has signed a 20-year deal to buy power from a geothermal power plant being developed by Ram Power Corp. in central Nevada.

U.S. Solar Startup Aims to Match First Solar’s Cost (Reuters)

Solar thin-film start-up MiaSole is aiming to be a viable competitor to industry leader First Solar by lowering manufacturing costs of its panels as it ramps up production and opens a new U.S. plant.

IBM’s New Thin-film Solar Cell is 40% More Efficient (Environmental Leader)

A new solar cell under development from IBM boasts an efficiency of 9.6 percent, which is 40 percent higher than previous incarnations.

Voluntary CO2 Offset Buying Slow As Investors Get Picky (Reuters)

Buying activity in the voluntary carbon market has been quite slow recently as buyers favor very specific types of offset credits and it is difficult to source such clean energy projects.

U.K. Boosts Flood Defense Spending 7% to 745 Million Pounds (Bloomberg)

The UK Environment Agency said it will boost spending on measures to reduce flooding and coastal erosion by 7 percent to $1.2 billion for the year through March 2011, as part of its plan to protect against the impacts of climate change.

New Game Show in India to Reward ‘Green’ Projects (CNN)

A new Indian TV program, modeled after the game show in the blockbuster film "Slumdog Millionaire," will reward rural institutions that are leading sustainable development, officials said.