Today’s Climate: January 19, 2010

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German Minister: 16%-17% Solar Subsidy Cut Realistic (Dow Jones)

Economics Minister Rainer Bruederle stressed today that Germany must position itself as a leader in renewable energy. Solar, he said, is only one facet of a broader program to encourage investment in renewable energy.

World Leaders Call for Sustainable Energy in First Post-Copenhagen Forum (Khaleej Times)

Disappointments from the Copenhagen summit on climate change should not dampen efforts to reduce increases in global temperatures, world leaders said at the start of the four-day World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.

Sparks Fly as Senate Aides Try to Untangle a Power Lines Dispute (ClimateWire)

U.S. Senate aides and staff for the governors of five Western states are trying to to mend a dispute over transmission policy for renewable power that has provoked a sharp exchange of letters over the past month.

India Unveils Rules to Boost Green Power Investment (Reuters)

India has crafted rules for trading of certificates aimed at rewarding producers of clean energy, a move expected to boost the share of electricity from renewable sources in one of the world’s top carbon polluters.

Hedegaard Eyes Tougher EU Emission Cuts from Transportation (EurActiv)

Connie Hedegaard, the EU’s incoming climate policy chief, pledged to tackle transport emissions during a confirmation hearing in the European Parliament, saying she would table an integrated legislative package on climate and transport during her mandate.

Miliband: Tories Could Hurt British Climate Clout (Reuters)

Britain might lose its influence in global climate negotiations if the opposition Conservatives win upcoming elections and pull back from Europe, Environment Minister Ed Miliband warned.

Fisker: Enough Private Funding to Access $528M in Federal Funds (Los Angeles Times)

Electric-car maker Fisker Automotive says it had raised an additional $115.3 million in private equity funding to develop plug-in hybrid cars, allowing it to satisfy a U.S. Department of Energy condition to gain access to $528.7 million in federal loans.

Serious Materials Clears the Air of Accusations by Fox, et al (Greentech Media)

The Freedom Foundation of Minnesota is making claims about an alleged conflict of interest between a high-ranking Obama administration official and Serious Material’s receipt of recovery act funds.

Coal Rise Set to Hit China Power Producers’ Profits (MarketWatch)

Coal prices are likely to remain strong this year, translating into higher cost risks and potential losses for some of China’s major power producers

BP, Sinopec In China Shale Gas Talks (Financial Times)

Sinopec, the Chinese oil and gas group, said it is in talks with BP over potential collaboration in the exploration and development of shale gas. The move underlines growing international interest in China’s shale gas fields.

Masdar’s First Carbon Capture Effort in Abu Dhabi to Start in 2012 (Reuters)

The first CCS project would capture emissions from a new UAE steel plant by 2012 and pump it into old oil reservoirs by 2015 to help increase oil recovery.

Arctic Tundra Being Lost
 as Far North Warms (Yale Environment 360)

The tundra’s treeless ecosystem of mosses, lichens, and berry plants is giving way to shrub land and boreal forest. As scientists study the transformation, they are discovering that major warming-related events are leading to the loss of tundra in the Arctic.

A Search for Rules Before Climate-Changing Experiments Begin (ClimateWire)

Responding to renewed interest in geoengineering schemes to combat global warming, scientists and policymakers are beginning several efforts that could set new ground rules for research, including large-scale field experiments.