Today’s Climate: April 27, 2009

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Washington Forum Draws Worst Greenhouse Polluters (Reuters)

Diplomats from the world’s biggest greenhouse gas polluters including the United States, China and India are set to take part in a forum starting today in Washington aimed at getting a U.N. agreement to curb global warming. Each has different goals.

UK Business Interests Get Rival ‘Energy and Climate Change Unit’ (Guardian)

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform has launched a section to "help create the conditions for UK business success through key energy and climate change policies."

Study: SE Asia Will Be Hit Hard by Climate Change (AP)

Southeast Asia will be hit particularly hard by climate change, causing the region’s agriculture-dependent economies to contract by as much as 6.7 percent annually by the end of the century, according to a study released today.

Water Shortages Are a Global Security Problem (Guardian)

Co-operative Financial Services and WWF-UK are launching a campaign to legally require oil giants involved in the tar sands, including Shell and BP, to disclose their future carbon liabilities.

Rise in UK Wind Speed Boosts Offshore Developers (Guardian)

Atmos Consulting made the findings using software that relies on NASA images to measure capillary waves on the ocean surface, which indicate the strength of the wind.

Power and Pitfalls of a Smart Grid (Los Angeles Times)

The economic stimulus package set aside $4.5 billion for smart grid investments, and that’s just a down payment, says the Department of Energy. There’s a lot of work to be done.

Seeking Deep Pockets: The Latest Alternative-Energy Deals (Dow Jones)

Amid tight credit and tough market conditions, clean-technology companies without large backers are looking to better-capitalized suitors. This trend became apparent in the solar-power industry over the past few weeks.

Business Group Calls for Energy Cuts in Buildings (AP)

Proponents of green buildings say new rules and government subsidies for energy efficient construction are urgent because buildings, like power stations, usually stay in operation for several decades

Gulf Drilling Lobby Hits Resistance in Florida (St. Petersburg Times)

Dangling the promise of millions for the state’s dwindling budget, a group of mostly unidentified oil and gas companies is bankrolling a last-minute fight to bring offshore drilling to Florida’s coastline.

Missouri Governor Orders Cut in Energy Use (Columbia Tribune)

Gov. Jay Nixon’s executive order requires state agencies to reduce their energy consumption by at least 2 percent a year for the next decade. Doing so is expected to save more than $1 million annually.

Weatherizing Contractors In Short Supply (North Country Public Radio)

The federal stimulus plan is giving states $5 billion to make leaky homes more energy efficient. But there’s a shortage of qualified contractors to do the work, and trainers are scrambling to get more builders up to speed on weatherization.

Galapagos Penguins Need ‘Condos’ With Global Warming (Bloomberg)

The Galapagos Islands, renowned for rare animals that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, may have to create special shelters to save species from global warming and rising sea levels.

Police Caught on Tape Trying to Recruit Protester as Spy (Guardian)

Undercover police are running a network of informants inside protest organizations secretly recorded videos show. An assistant chief constable tells the Guardian the force has "a responsibility to gather intelligence."