Today’s Climate: February 17, 2009

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Gore, Ban: Green Growth Essential to Any Stimulus (Financial Times)

President Obama plans to sign a $787 billion stimulus plan today that includes billions for clean, efficient energy and green transportation. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Al Gore are calling for more global economic stimulus efforts to put countries on the low-carbon path to green growth.

Study: Canada Will Suffer if Tar Sands Get Emissions Deal (Canadian Press)

A new environmental study warns that other regions of Canada would suffer if a national cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions made allowances for Alberta’s tar sands. The issue likely will come up at a meeting today of Canada’s environment ministers ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit on Thursday.

UK Coal Authority Approves First Underground Coal Gasification Plan (BBC)

The UK’s Coal Authority has granted the first license to use underground coal gasification to drill into coalfields and convert coal into combustible gas while it is still underground. Thornton New Energy boasts that it plans "a rebirth of coal in Scotland.”

NCF: European Cap-and-Trade System Reduced Emissions (The New York Times)

New Carbon Finance announced that its calculations show the largest cause of a reduction in emissions in the European Union last year was attributable to the trading system.

Logistics, Financing Slow US Alternative Energy Plans (Washington Post)

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 gave FERC the power to cut through layers of bureaucracy, but the effects have been limited. The planners of a new Green Power Express to link wind-abundant Minnesota, Iowa and the Dakotas to the cities in the Midwest are asking FERC to get to work.

Bill Clinton: Green Changes Coming to L.A. (Los Angeles Times)

Former President Clinton announced a plan to refit 140,000 Los Angeles street lights with energy-saving LEDs, a program projected to save $48 million over seven years in lower energy costs while removing the carbon dioxide equivalent of 6,700 cars a year from the road.

UK to Review Industry’s Ability to Handle Low-Carbon Economy (Business Green)

The British government announced plans for a major review of the UK’s engineering and construction sector with a view to retooling it for a low-carbon economy.

China Urged to Cut Use of Nitrogen Fertilizers (Reuters)

Excessive use of nitrogen fertilizers in China in the past few decades has polluted its groundwater, given rise to acid rain, soil acidification and increased greenhouse gas emissions, Chinese experts say.

US Calls for Treaty on Mercury (AP)

The new U.S. government abruptly reversed years of Bush administration policy by calling for a legally binding international treaty to reduce mercury pollution. Some 6,000 tons of mercury enter the environment each year, about a third generated by power stations and coal fires.

Indonesia’s Outlying Islands in Danger of Disappearing (Jakarta Post)

Indonesia’s outermost islands face a high risk of disappearing because of human-induced climate change, and will require special measures by the government to keep them on the map, an Indonesian Institute of Science researcher says. The government warns that a 1-meter rise in sea level could submerge 2,000 islands.

EU Carbon Exchanges Cash in Amid Slowdown (Reuters)

Carbon emissions exchanges are thriving, making as much as $2.5 million a week in revenues, Reuters data shows, just as European industry struggles to survive in the wake of the economic downturn. Here’s how.


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