Today’s Climate: March 27, 2009

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Flick the Switch for Earth Hour (AFP)

Millions of people around the globe will kill their lights at 8:30 p.m. local time Saturday for one hour in what Earth Hour organizers hope will be a resounding call for tough action on climate change.

Obama: Automakers to Get Aid But Must Restructure (Reuters)

The president didn’t provide details, but he said Detroit must drastically overhaul a business model that is unsustainable. “I’m not willing to have taxpayer money chase after bad money," Obama said.

Solar Stocks Jump After China Offers Energy Subsidy (Wall Street Journal)

Chinese solar stocks jumped after China, the world’s biggest greenhouse-gas emitter, introduced a subsidy on par with California’s solar rebate program to promote the use of alternative energy.

Recession Dampens Obama Negotiators’ Climate Debut (Reuters)

President Obama’s negotiators make their debut at U.N. climate talks on Sunday, but U.S. promises of tougher action are unlikely to brighten prospects for strong treaty now overshadowed by recession.

Markey: CO2 Must Not Spur Trade War (Reuters)

As world leaders begin meeting this weekend to try to forge a new global climate treaty, care must be taken not to spark trade conflicts between rich and developing countries, U.S. Rep. Ed Markey says.

U.S. Energy Chief Seeks Global Flow of Ideas (New York Times)

Energy Secretary Steven Chu suggested that dropping intellectual property protection and sharing clean technology among nations isn’t a bad idea. GE begs to differ.

UK Plans Crackdown on Greenwashing (Business Green)

UK advertising regulators released new codes of practice today that, if adopted, will significantly tighten the rules governing firms environmental claims.

Australia Auctions Undersea Areas for CCS (Reuters)

Australia, a leading coal exporter, opened bidding today for 10 offshore areas intended to be used to store carbon dioxide.

UK Fails to Plug Renewables Funding Gap (Business Green)

Renewable energy companies in Britain are upset with the government’s failure to come up with expected package to support industry until the introduction of feed-in tariffs next year. Many fear they could go under.

Ethanol Investors Try to Derail Calif. Emissions Plan (Los Angeles Times)

Ethanol investors met with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in an effort to derail California’s far-reaching proposal to slash CO2 emissions from transportation. They say it would cripple the biofuels industry.

Tesla’s Electric Sedan, Awaiting Federal Aid (New York Times)

Tesla Motors unveiled its Model S, an all-electric sedan it hails as the beginning of a generation of fossil-fuel-free cars and a profitable company, but it says it needs funding to begin production.

NYC Adds Incentives for Hybrid Taxis (New York Times)

A New York City commission gave taxi fleet owners two incentives to promote hybrid cabs. It is allowing them to charge drivers more to drive hybrids and also reducing how much they can charge to lease more-polluting cabs.

Michigan Lawmakers Ask Governor to Reconsider Coal Policy (Detroit News)

Seventy-two Michigan lawmakers, almost half of them Democrats, are asking Gov. Jennifer Granholm to reconsider an order slowing down the approval of proposed coal-fired electric plants.

2009: New Mexico’s Year of Renewable Energy (New Mexico Independent)

Solar energy incentives and green jobs bills made this the year New Mexico got on board the renewable energy bandwagon. “Our legislators are not just talking the talk — they’re walking the walk.”