Today’s Climate: October 20, 2009

Share this article

Nations Leave 91% of Green Stimulus Funds Unspent (Bloomberg)

The United States, China and other major economies haven’t spent about 91% of the $177 billion in stimulus money promised for clean-energy development because projects haven’t been evaluated, a report shows.

Concession Raises Hopes for Climate Deal (Financial Times)

Developed countries may be willing to relent on their demand that developing countries agree to long-term cuts in greenhouse gas emissions in a concession that could form the basis of a global deal on climate change.

Number of Senate Fence-Sitters on Climate Bill Swells (Climatewire)

The number of senators unwilling to commit to comprehensive climate and energy legislation has grown to two dozen up for grabs as Democratic leaders push for 60 votes.

Interior Approves Off-Shore Drilling in Alaska (Washington Post)

The Interior Department has given Shell approval to drill oil exploration wells in two leaseholds in the Beaufort Sea, which could lead to the first drilling in more than a decade in this area off the north coast of Alaska.

UK Landfill Sites May Be Used to Dump Nuclear Waste (Guardian)

The British government is poised to allow nuclear power generators to use ordinary landfill sites for dumping "hundreds of thousands of tons" of waste to cut the cost of decommissioning old reactors.

Indian Minister Backs Down on Climate Shift (The Hindu)

Under criticism for a new proposal that suggests a shift in India’s climate change policy, the environment minister backed away from the idea, saying: “India’s interests alone should drive the negotiations.”

Brazil Seeks Climate Target for All Amazon Nations (Reuters)

Brazil’s president wants to forge a common position among all Amazon basin countries for a global climate summit later this year. It is considering freezing its own greenhouse gas emissions at 2005 levels.

Courts Issue 2 More Important Greenhouse Gas Rulings (Greenwire)

Together, the rulings “represent mounting legal authority that the Constitution is not a barrier to climate tort litigation," said Bruce Myers of the Environmental Law Institute.

Energy Regulators Embrace Climate Role (Euractiv)

The climate change imperative has radically changed the energy regulation environment, regulators meeting in Athens say. While regulation was previously aimed at securing competitive markets, the challenge now is to cut emissions.

EPA Orders Indiana to Rewrite Refinery Air Permit (Chicago Tribune)

In last months of the Bush’s administration, the EPA approved the project to upgrade and expand northwest Indiana BP site, one of the largest polluters in the Chicago area. The Obama EPA is ordering a rewrite.

Michigan Orders 90% Cut In Power Plant Mercury Emissions (AP)

New Michigan environmental rules will require coal-fired power to drastically cut their mercury emissions. The rules follow a policy set by the governor to cut power plant mercury 90 percent from 1999 levels by 2015.

Exxon Liable for $105M for Contaminating NYC Water (New York Times)

A federal jury found Exxon Mobil liable for contaminating groundwater in New York City and awarded the city $104.7 million in compensatory damages.

Arctic Lake Undergoing Unprecedented Changes Due to Warming (Mongabay)

A sediment core taken from an Arctic lake reveals the lake’s ecology and chemistry have been transformed by unnatural warming beginning in the 1950s. The sediment core shows the changes are unprecedented in 200,000 years.

Canada’s Carbon Trading Market Pays Off for Farmers (Calgary Herald)

For a growing number of Alberta farmers, less carbon is quickly becoming more money in the Canadian province’s fledgling carbon trading market.

Nudging Recycling From Less Waste to None (New York Times)

Across the nation, an anti-garbage strategy known as “zero waste” is moving from the fringes to the mainstream, taking hold in school cafeterias, national parks, restaurants, stadiums and corporations.

ABC’s ‘V’ is for Vastly Polluting PR Stunt (Washington Post)

The next time ABC and its parent company Disney start thumping their chests about how they’re "going green," please spit in their eye.