Today’s Climate: January 27, 2010

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Japan Sticks to 25 Percent Carbon Cut Target (Reuters)

Japan has stuck to its offer to cut GHG emissions by 25% by 2020 for the UN "Copenhagen Accord" on condition major emitters agree on an ambitious climate deal, a statement from the foreign ministry showed.

U.S. Advocates of Climate Bill Scale Down Their Goals (New York Times)

Advocates of cap-and-trade legislation are turning their sights to a more modest package of job-creating energy projects and efficiency measures that they believe has a better chance of clearing Congress this year.

W.Va. Gov Slams Federal ‘Cap and Trade’ Bill (AP)

A day after meeting with environmentalists concerned about surface mining, Gov. Joe Manchin asked the Legislature to approve a symbolic resolution affirming that coal is still king in West Virginia.

Australia’s Govt to Reintroduce Carbon Plan Next Week (Bloomberg)

Australia’s ruling Labor Party, seeking to pass a cap-and-trade scheme, will reintroduce its already-rejected climate proposal to the House of Representatives when parliament returns next week.

Australia Keeps 5 to 25 Pct CO2 Cut Range for Accord (Reuters)

Australia will stick to its 5 to 25% emissions cut range as part of the Copenhagen Accord, the government said on Wednesday.

On New Environmental Scoreboard, U.S. and China Plummet While Iceland Leads (New York Times)

A new ranking of the world’s nations by environmental performance puts some of the globe’s largest economies far down the list, with the U.S. sinking to 61st and China to 121st.

U.S. Govt Pushes Any Drilling Off Virginia Past 2011 (Reuters)

The federal government’s controversial plan to allow oil and gas drilling off Virginia’s coast will be delayed, frustrating energy companies who for years have pushed for access to more offshore areas.

SEC Weighs Climate-Change Disclosure Standards for Companies (Bloomberg)

Companies may get guidance from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as soon as today on whether and how they should disclose the risks that climate change poses to their businesses.

Global Warming Last, Economy First Among Public’s Top Priorities: Pew Poll (The Hill)

A new poll by the Pew Research Center finds that over 80% of adults list jobs and the economy as top priorities in 2010. Global warming ranked at the bottom, with 28% saying it should be a top priority.

Ted Turner Gets Back Into Solar (Greentech Media)

Billionaire Ted Turner has joined forces with Southern Company, an Atlanta-based utility with 42 GW of capacity, to seek out large-scale solar projects in the southwest.

German CSU Wants Delays in Solar Incentive Cuts (Reuters)

The Christian Social Union, Bavarian sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, wants to delay cuts in incentives for solar power planned for April 1 to July for rooftop installations and September for open-field ones.

Greenpeace Calls for Moratorium on Industrial Activity in Arctic (AFP)

Greenpeace has called for a moratorium on industrial activity on the Arctic, a region said to be rich in natural resources but particularly fragile.

Multinationals Call on EU to Raise Emissions Targets (Business Green)

Eighteen of the EU’s largest companies, including Shell and Vodafone, have called for the bloc to raise its CO2 reduction target for 2020 from 20% to 30% below 1990 levels. The EU is poised to submit its formal target this week under the Copenhagen Accord.

Ministry of Justice Lists Eco-Activists Alongside Terrorists (Guardian)

Government officials have labeled environmental campaigners extremists and listed them alongside dissident Irish republican groups and terrorists inspired by al-Qaida, according to documents seen by the Guardian.

Ford Will Use DOE Cash to Make Explorer More Fuel-Efficient (Greenwire)

Ford Motor Co. will use nearly $400 million in Energy Department loans to boost the fuel economy of one of its most popular sport utility vehicles.