Today’s Climate: July 25-26, 2009

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EU: Delayed U.S. Climate Action Increases Risks (Reuters)

A U.S. proposal to cut global warming emissions slowly at first before making deeper cuts after 2020 will increase the risks of irreversible climate damage, a report by the EU has said.

California Kills Offshore Oil Lease Project (Reuters)

The California state assembly killed a chance on Friday for the state’s first new offshore oil drilling lease since 1969 by a vote of 43-30, after the idea narrowly passed the senate earlier in the day.

Carbon Capture to Cost $3B a Year to Succeed (Calgary Herald) 

The Canadian government will have to provide as much as $3 billion a year for an undetermined length of time to develop and deploy "clean coal," a new report has revealed.

Companies to Decide on SD Coal-Fired Power Plant (AP)

Five power companies will decide this fall whether to move forward on a proposed $1.6 billion coal plant that would serve more than 1 million customers in Minnesota, the Dakotas, Montana and Iowa.

Key Senators Push Back on Palin Climate Claims (Reuters)

Key U.S. lawmakers defended their plans to establish a cap-and-trade system, disputing attacks from Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin that climate legislation would destroy jobs and hurt the economy.

Sierra Club Launches Online Guide to Cash for Clunkers Program (TreeHugger)

The Sierra Club has launched a new online calculator to help drivers understand the benefits of making the right vehicle purchasing decisions under the federal government’s new ‘cash for clunkers’ bill. 

A Jump-Start for New Battery Plants (Washington Post) 

The Energy Department is getting ready to hand out some $2 billion in grants to create a domestic industry for electric-car batteries, and 122 companies are scrambling to get pieces.

U.S. Energy Efficiency Incentives Likely to Grow (Los Angeles Times)

An unprecedented push by the U.S. government to widen rewards for energy-conscious homeowners is underway, including loans offering 5% larger mortgages to buyers who plan on making efficiency improvements.

SunPower Closer to Power Cost Parity (San Francisco Business Times)

San Jose-based SunPower has said it expects to push the cost of its solar modules to below $2 per watt by the fourth quarter, and below $1 a watt by 2014.

India Minister Accuses West over Glaciers (Financial Times)

Days after clashing with Hillary Clinton over carbon emissions curbs, India’s environment minister has accused the developed world of needlessly raising alarm over melting Himalayan glaciers.

EU Environment Ministers Unite on Climate Action (Deutsche Welle)

The EU will use all its influence to get the international community to cut CO2 emissions by 30 percent during talks on a new climate deal at the end of the year, Sweden’s Environment Minister has announced.

EU Considers Billions For Poor Before Climate Talks (Reuters)

Rich countries should immediately mobilize billions of dollars in development aid to the poorest nations to win their trust in the run-up to global climate talks in Copenhagen, a draft EU report has said.

British PM Criticized over Climate Change (BBC)

Gordon Brown’s outgoing adviser on sustainable development has accused him of "hindering" work on climate change.

Massive Glacier in Sub-Antarctic Island Shrinks by a Fifth (AFP)

The Cook glacier on Kerguelen Island, one of the biggest glaciers in the southern hemisphere, has shriveled by a fifth in just 40 years, French scientists have said.

MENA Could Earn $90 Billion Annually from Desertec Solar Project (Khaleej Times)

The nations of the Middle East and North Africa stand to earn $90 billion each year from the sale of electricity in contracts to Europe expected to be drawn up under the ambitious $560 billion Desertec solar energy project.

Italy to Get World’s Largest Rooftop Solar Power Plant (CleanTechnica)

Italian company Solon SE has announced plans to install the world’s largest rooftop solar PV plant, with an energy capacity equivalent to the power needs of 5,000 households.

Cheaper Geothermal (MIT Technology Review)

Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory say they’ve developed a new type of heat-extracting fluid that could dramatically improve the economics of producing renewable power from geothermal resources.