Today’s Climate: December 15, 2009

Share this article

Canada Weighs Weaker Emissions Targets for Oil, Gas industries (CBC)

The new proposals raises questions about how the Tories could cut overall greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020 — a target they insist they can reach — while weakening the targets in the oil and gas sector.

Copenhagen Loopholes Could Mean Rise in Emissions, FOE Warns (Guardian)

The climate summit must close those loopholes or greenhouse gases could increase by 10% in 2020 compared with 1990 levels, a report from Friends of the Earth warns.

Reports: Japan to Up Climate Funding Offer to $10B (Business Green)

Japanese media report that Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama will announce increased funding commitment to the Copenhagen Summit on Friday.

China, US at Impasse over Monitoring (New York Times)

The impasse is over how compliance with any treaty could be monitored and verified. China, which recently announced its first target reducing greenhouse gas emissions, is refusing to accept any kind of international monitoring.

Exxon Invest $41B in Natural Gas Company (Washington Post)

Exxon Mobil announced a $41 billion agreement to acquire XTO Energy, a bet on the future of shale oil and a future demand for natural gas as the nation looks for energy sources with lower greenhouse-gas emission levels than coal and oil.

Underused Gas Drilling Practices Could Avoid Pollution (ProPublica)

The energy industry has developed innovative ways to make it easier to exploit natural gas reserves without polluting air and drinking water. Yet these environmental safeguards are used only intermittently in states where natural gas is drilled.

Black Lung on Rise in Mines, Reversing Trend (Wall Street Journal)

Rates of black-lung disease are growing, reversing decades of progress and prompting more federal scrutiny and calls to lower exposure to coal dust. Mine safety officials attributed the increase in part to longer work shifts and companies’ uneven dust-mitigation practices.

US Unlikely to Change Emissions Goal or Funding, Official Says (Bloomberg)

The U.S. is unlikely to boost its emissions-cut goal at the Copenhagen climate talks or disclose how much it’s willing to give poorer countries to help cope with global warming beyond 2012, an official close to the talks tells Bloomberg.

China to Establish New National Energy Commission (Economic Observer)

China will officially announce the establishment of a new government agency to take charge of the country’s energy policy. In a sign of its authority, a vice premier or state councilor will head the commission and high-level officials will be deputies.

The London Array: Can Offshore Wind Power Europe? (VentureBeat)

By 2012, the London Array should be powering 750,000 homes in the London metro area, the U.K. says, hinting at the potential to generate and sell massive amounts of clean electricity to continental Europe in coming years.

Robinson Warns of Civil Unrest Without Climate Action (EurActiv)

Civil unrest and human rights litigation cases are likely to increase unless heads of state and government show political leadership to stop climate change, says Mary Robinson, a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and former Irish president.

Where the Forest Ends (Living on Earth)

The plantations spreading over Sumatra aren’t taking up empty land. The arrival of the pulpwood industry in Teluk Kabung has devastated the cash crop of coconuts and left villagers with little hope for the future.

Pope: Rich Nations Must Assume Environmental Duties (Reuters)

The pope’s call for more environmental commitments came in his message for the Roman Catholic Church’s annual World Day of Peace, whose theme is "If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation."