Today’s Climate: September 18, 2009

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Sarkozy, Merkel Call for Carbon Tax on Imports (AFP)

The leaders of France and Germany today called for the United Nations to support a carbon tax on imports from countries that fail to back international efforts to fight global warming.

Murkowski Seeks to Thwart EPA on Greenhouse Gases (Independent)

Sen. Lisa Murkowski wants to put the brakes on the EPA’s efforts to curb climate change by barring the agency from spending any funds on regulating CO2. In a proposed amendment, she’s asking for a one-year “timeout” so Congress can pass a bill.

Brazil Eyes Limits on Growing Sugar Cane in Amazon (AFP)

The Brazilian government presented new legislation intended to protect the Amazon from deforestation by banning any new planting of sugar cane, widely cultivated for ethanol production.

EU Urges G20 to Give Poor Nations Billions in ‘Fast-Start’ Money (AFP)

EU leaders are pressuring the U.S. and other rich nations to provide at least 5 billion euros of "fast-start" money next year to help poor nations deal with climate change.

California Gubernatorial Contenders Talk Nuclear Power (Chronicle)

The top contenders for California governor interjected an unexpected issue into the 2010 campaign this week: Most of them said they will at least consider expanding nuclear power to meet the state’s growing energy needs and reduce carbon emissions.

Low-Carbon Industries Now Top Defense in Revenue (Financial Times)

Businesses selling low-carbon goods and services now generate more revenue than the aerospace and defence sectors combined, making the sector one of the new linchpins of the global economy, new research shows.

EU Companies: Cap & Trade Has Not Hurt Competitiveness (Business Green)

The EU’s high profile emission trading scheme (ETS) has had "minimal" impact on businesses competitiveness and in some cases has delivered commercial benefits, according to nine of the largest companies affected by cap-and-trade scheme.

BrightSource Scraps Mojave Desert Solar Project (Los Angeles Times)

Ending a bitter feud with environmentalists, BrightSource Energy said it was scrapping a plan to build a solar power facility in the eastern Mojave Desert wilderness that U.S.Sen. Dianne Feinstein wants to transform into a national monument.

India’s Gujarat Plans World’s Largest Solar Project (Bloomberg)

India will award contracts in January to build the world’s largest solar power facility in India’s Gujarat state, valued at $10 billion and backed by former U.S. President Bill Clinton, a state government official said.

FERC Pressured to Encourage Efficiency Over New Power (CleanTech)

EnerNOC eyes potential with utilities being incented to spend more on energy efficiency, so the company and some competitors filed a protest with FERC for new market rules to make energy efficiency more appealing to utilities than building new power generation.

Arctic Sea Ice Cover at Third Lowest Level (Telegraph)

Sea ice cover in the Arctic Ocean reached the third lowest level on record, according to the latest NASA statistics.

Impact of Global Warming on Volcanoes ‘Poorly Understood’ (Nature)

Geologists are desperately trying to gather data in an attempt to understand how global warming will affect violent geological activity.

Volkswagen Says ‘No’ to Battery Swapping, ‘Yes’ to Electrics (Greentech)

The Volkswagen group is coming out with electric cars, but says battery swaps don’t work for customers or manufacturers.

New Climate Registry Reporting System Due in 2010 (Business Green)

Hundreds of organizations that report their greenhouse gas emissions to The Climate Registry will have an upgraded online system next year that will to make it easier for firms to report on carbon emissions in line with international standards

Thin-film Producer Global Solar Reaches PV Milestone (Arizona Daily Star)

Global Solar Energy set a benchmark of 15.45 percent efficiency for the thin-film photovoltaic material it produces, and the company says it is consistently manufacturing with efficiency of 11.7 percent — making it competitive with traditional silicon panels.

San Francisco Airport Kiosks Now Sell Carbon Offsets (Chronicle)

Travelers flying out of San Francisco International Airport can now be the first in the nation to use airport kiosks to quickly calculate their travel emissions and purchase certified carbon offsets.

Maldives Aims for Action Behind Words on Climate Change (AFP)

White sand and crystal clear water that laps around the Maldives draw thousands to the islands every year, but in the waves lie the seeds of the country’s possible destruction.