Today’s Climate: September 19-20, 2009

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Report: U.S. Climate Bill Costs Could Be Modest (AP)

The long-term economic costs of a climate bill being considered in Congress would be "comparatively modest" in light of expected overall economic growth over the next 40 years, according to a CBO report released Friday.

Fossil Fuels’ Subsidies Far Outpace Renewables’ (Houston Chronicle)

The U.S. government delivered more than twice as many federal dollars to programs benefiting fossil fuels than it supplied to renewable energy from 2002 to 2008, according to a new report.

World’s Oceans Warmest on Record This Summer (AP)

Sea-surface temperatures worldwide were 1 degree higher than usual over the last three months, the hottest on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Japan Eyes Mandatory Cap-and-Trade by 2012 (Reuters) 

Japan’s new government wants to introduce a compulsory cap-and-trade system for CO2 emissions as early as this year to March 2012, the Nikkei business daily has reported.

Canada Criticized as a Leading Industrial Polluter (CanWest News Service)

Canada, used to facing international scorn over its climate-unfriendly oil sands industry, is now being criticized by the IEA for having one of the world’s least carbon-efficient manufacturing industries.

G20 Climate Finance Deal Unlikely (Reuters)

G20 leaders are unlikely to agree at a summit this week on how much money rich countries should pay poorer ones as part of talks aimed at reaching a global climate pact, G20 sources have said.

German Cabinet Approves Massive Expansion of Offshore Wind Farms (Der Spiegel)

Germany’s cabinet has approved plans to dedicate special zones off its northern coast to house up to 40 offshore wind farms that could provide electricity to over 8 million households and create 30,000 jobs.

Scotland Unveils World’s First Carbon Budget (Guardian)

The Scottish government has estimated that its spending next year on £33 billion worth of core services will lead to the release of 11.5 million tons of CO2, the equivalent of 4 coal-fired plants.

U.S. Climate Legislation May Wait to 2011: Duke CEO (Reuters)

Climate change legislation is unlikely to pass the U.S. Congress until the first half of 2010, and maybe not until 2011, Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers has said.

Global Dairy Industry to Pledge Emissions Cuts (Environmental Leader)

Seven international dairy industry associations are poised to promise emissions cuts with the coming signing of the Global Dairy Agenda for Action during the World Dairy Summit in Berlin.

California Proposes Plan to Ban Sale of High-Energy TVs (TIME)

Following a vote by the state energy commission in November, California’s first-in-the-nation TV efficiency standards would go into effect in January 2011 and require televisions sold in the state to use 50% less energy by January 2013.

California Green Building Standards to Serve as Model for the World (ClimateBiz)

California’s green building code, the first of its kind in the nation, will be used as a resource in the development of a proposed international green code for commercial buildings.

Biotechnology Could Cut C02 Sharply: Report (Reuters)

Industrial biotechnology has the potential to save the planet up to 2.5 billion tons of CO2 emissions per year and support building a sustainable future, a new WWF report found.

DOE Finalizes $5.9B Loan to Ford (SustainableBusiness)

The DOE has announced that it has closed on its loan of $5.9 billion to Ford to transform factories across Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio to produce more fuel-efficient models.

BYD Auto Sells Less Than 100 EVs in 8 Months (Gasgoo) 

Chinese automaker BYD is reported to have sold less than 100 F3DM electric cars by the end of August. Morgan Stanley projects that actual sales will fall far behind the company’s goal of 3,000 to 4,000 units.