Today’s Climate: February 25, 2009

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Polar Research Reveals Worse Than Expected Ice Melt (AFP)

Ice caps at the North and South Poles are melting faster and in a more widespread manner than expected, raising sea levels and fuelling climate change, a major scientific survey released today shows.

Global Green Stimulus Tops $200B (Reuters)

Governments worldwide have committed more than $200 billion toward technologies to cut dependence on fossil fuels, which should help keep green development moving in a struggling economy, an analyst for Deutsche Bank says.

Germany: Green Jobs Will Shorten Recession (Reuters)

Strong growth in Germany’s renewable energy sector along with increased state spending for environment protection could help shorten the country’s worst post-war recession, the government says.

Obama Calls for Carbon Cap, Makes Energy Top Priority (SolveClimate)

In his first address to a joint session of Congress, President Obama called on lawmakers to create a market-based cap for carbon emissions and to commit to a future built on renewable energy.

PG&E: We’ll be Solar’s ‘Green Knight’ (Fortune)

PG&E’s move to take a direct role in obtaining the renewable energy it needs to comply with California’s global warming laws could be big business for solar module panel makers and installers. The move was prompted in part by a change in the tax laws that lets utilities claim a 30% investment tax credit for solar projects.

Searching for the Steve Jobs of Clean Tech (Politico)

With new economic stimulus funding expected to spur nearly $100 billion in clean energy projects, President Barack Obama is hoping to draw out entrepreneurs capable of changing the green world. Here are a few of the leaders.

Washington Emissions Cap Faces Challenges (Post-Intelligencer)

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire’s proposal to regulate greenhouse gases emissions is facing serious challenges in the Legislature. A Senate committee has passed a version that gutted the heart of the plan by making it voluntary for businesses to participate.

UK Considering Stringent Coal Measures (Guardian)

Options under consideration include requiring CCS technology and increasing funding for more "demonstration plants." Such a policy would be in line with Conservative proposals to impose CCS via a cap on emissions and to fund three or more plants to be fitted with the equipment.

Warnings Over Delays in British CCS Plans (Financial Times)

Companies competing to build Britain’s first carbon-capture-and-storage power station say the project risks missing its target start date because of government delays.

Manhattan Towers Gather Heat for Power (New York Times)

A small but growing number of commercial landlords in New York are installing energy-efficient power stations in their buildings.

New Project’s Goal: Plug-in Ready Communities (CNet)

Project Get Ready, dedicated to paving the way for plug-in electric cars, is spearheaded by the Rocky Mountain Institute and includes a few municipalities, utilities, and nonprofits as members – and automakers and tech companies as advisers.

German Villagers Control Street Lights by Cell Phone (BBC)

A village in Germany is pioneering a method of saving energy and reducing carbon emissions by switching off the street lights at night – and giving residents the power to turn them on as needed using cell phones.