Today’s Climate: August 17, 2009

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China Study Urges Greenhouse Gas Peak in 2030 (Reuters)

China should set firm targets to limit CO2 emissions so they peak around 2030, a new study by some of the nation’s top climate policy advisers has proposed ahead of key UN talks.

Canadian Government to Drop Intensity Targets, Follow US Lead (Climatico) 

The Canadian Government is adjusting its climate plans to more closely resemble cap-and-trade plans proposed in the U.S., including embracing hard emissions caps instead of previously announced intensity targets.

Old Coal-Fired Facilities Could Escape New Rules (Washington Post)

Climate legislation under debate in the U.S. Senate could give companies an incentive to squeeze even more power out of their oldest, most polluting coal plants, many of which are running well below capacity.

Analysts Assert Cap-and-Trade Is Still Alive (Des Moines Register)

A new report states that the Obama administration still is likely to get federal cap-and-trade enacted with its threat to regulate emissions unilaterally under the Clean Air Act.

Senator Pushes to Lift Ban on Drilling in Eastern Gulf of Mexico (The Times-Picayune)

Sensing a shifting attitude among Floridians who have historically opposed drilling off of the state’s coast, Sen. Mary Landrieu is again pushing to lift a ban on oil and gas development in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

Texas Drought Produces Long, Busy Fire Season (USA Today)

A withering, two-year drought in central and southern Texas has sparked a wildfire season that has already destroyed the most structures in state history.

Australian Senate to Debate Renewable Energy After Bill Failure (Reuters)

Australian laws to require 20% of energy to come from renewable sources by 2020 are set to pass through parliament today, less than a week after broader cap-and-trade legislation was rejected.

Study Links Drought with Rising Emissions (Sydney Morning Herald)

A three-year collaboration between Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology and a top science organization has confirmed that the drought is not just a natural dry stretch but a shift related to climate change.

Scotland Eyes Carbon Capture for North Sea (Financial Times)

Scotland-based companies and the government hope proximity to the rapidly depleting oil and gas fields of the North Sea will put the country at the forefront of a potentially lucrative new industry – storing carbon dioxide.

Wind-Turbine Maker Moving to Denver (AP) 

Wind-turbine maker REPower, lured by Colorado’s tax incentives, will relocate it headquarters to Denver from Portland, Oregon, Gov. Bill Ritter and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper have announced.

Canada Loses Out as U.S. Ups "Green" Ante (Reuters)

The Obama administration’s titanic $60 billion spending plan for the U.S. clean energy sector is luring investors away from "green" businesses in Canada, threatening the industry’s growth there.

Solar Energy Loses Some Shine (Wall Street Journal)

Solar energy companies are feeling the pinch of the global downturn, leading investors to dump what had become popular growth stocks.

Alberta Oilsands Causing Acid Rain in Saskatchewan (Canadian Press)

Environmentalists want Ottawa to set caps on emissions from Alberta’s oilsands that are likely responsible for acid rain falling over northern Saskatchewan’s pristine rivers and lakes.

States Weigh Benefits, Risks of Drilling in Parks (AP)

State parks in America are increasingly being used for oil and gas drilling as budget-strapped states seek new sources of revenue.