Today’s Climate: June 27-28, 2009

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Obama Implores Senate to Pass Climate Bill (AP)

Pres. Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday to make an urgent plea to senators to pass the ACES climate bill, which narrowly won approval in the House Friday night.

China Welcomes U.S. Climate Bill, Says More Needed (Reuters)

China’s top climate change official welcomed the House global warming bill but said it still did not meet international expectations for U.S. action.

Australian PM Hails U.S. Greenhouse Bill Passage (Reuters)

Australian PM Kevin Rudd hailed as an example to Australia the House passage of climate legislation, as he struggles to get his own carbon trading scheme approved by parliament.

Lobbying Cash Paved Climate Bill’s Road to House Floor (Greenwire)

Industries and companies with a stake in the ACES bill poured money into lobbying early this year, many at a pace that could shatter previous spending records.

Peabody Energy Downplays Exodus of 2 Companies in FutureGen (AP)

Peabody Energy, a leading player in efforts to build the experimental FutureGen "clean coal" plant in Illinois, said the recent defections of utilities AEP and Southern Co. won’t slow the project.

Rhode Island Law Mandates Renewable Energy Use (Reuters)

Rhode Island’s governor has signed a law that requires the state’s largest electric utility to buy power from clean energy producers, a move intended to smooth the way for what could be America’s first offshore wind farm.

India Seeks More Talks on Contentious Climate Draft (Reuters)

Indian negotiators have played down a proposal for major economies to consider setting a goal of halving CO2 emissions by 2050, saying there was no consensus over the draft text.

Gordon Brown Puts $100 Billion Price Tag on Climate Adaptation (Guardian)

British PM Gordon Brown Friday called on rich countries to hand over $100 billion each year by 2020 to help the developing world cope with the effects of global warming.

Growth of Global CO2 Emissions Halved in 2008, Say Dutch Researchers (Business Green)

The growth of CO2 emissions fell by half in 2008, according to data released by a Dutch agency. The recession and high oil prices were the main drivers behind the drop, while the increase in renewable energy was only partly responsible.

GE to Build $100M Energy, Smart Grid Innovation Center in Michigan (Earth2Tech)

GE announced a new $100-million center to develop advanced manufacturing technology, including tech for the smart grid. The facility will create 1,200 jobs over the next few years.

U.S. May Become Largest Green Market (Reuters)

The U.S. may become the largest market for renewables for E.ON, the world’s largest utility by sales, within six years, the head of the company’s green energy unit said.

Brazil Approves Controversial Land Tenure Law (AP)

Brazilian Pres. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has approved a law that could legalize landholdings by some 1 million squatters occupying a Texas-sized chunk of the Amazon rain forest, despite fears it will accelerate deforestation.

Biofuels Could Clean up Chernobyl ‘Badlands’ (New Scientist)

Belarus, the country affected by much of the Chernobyl fallout, is planning to grow biofuel crops on the contaminated land to suck up the radioactive isotopes and make the soil fit to grow food again.

Spreading Desertification Affecting Mediterranean (ANSA)

The Sahara Desert is crossing the Mediterranean, according to Italian environmental group Legambiente, which warns that the livelihoods of 6.5 million people living along its shores could be at risk.

Ozone Hole Trims Polar Water’s CO2-Absorbing Power (Science News)

A new scientific study has found that oceans surrounding Antarctica aren’t absorbing nearly as much planet-warming CO2 from the atmosphere as they did in previous decades.