Today’s Climate: April 29, 2009

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Draft Climate Proposals Reveal International Split (Reuters)

A gulf needs to be bridged if the world is to sign a new climate treaty by a December deadline, according to proposals from more than 30 countries posted on a U.N. web site

What Will Specter’s Defection Mean for Climate Action? (Wall Street Journal)

Getting 60 votes in the Senate is crucial for all sorts of big-ticket legislation—especially climate change. But Arlen Specter’s support won’t come free. He supports coal and worries about trade.

Little Consensus on Trade Risks from Climate Bill (New York Times)

Across the political spectrum, House lawmakers remain divided over how to protect America from losing a competitive edge to China and other nations under climate change legislation.

Study: Low-Carbon Path for China Will Be Hard but Doable (Reuters)

Britain’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research finds China can transform into a "low-carbon economy" with the right mix of clean energy, carbon storage technology and development policies.

States Retooling Laws to Bury CO2 (Stateline)

Several state governments are considering new rules to promote carbon capture and storage so they can continuing burning coal.

Potential Breakthrough in Harnessing Sun’s Energy (Yale Environment 360)

New solar thermal technology is overcoming a major challenge facing solar power – how to store the sun’s heat for use at night or on a rainy day.

No Change: Obama DOJ Backs Pro-Coal Court Ruling (Coal Tattoo)

Folks hoping Obama would reverse government policies backing mountaintop mining just got evidence to the contrary. The Justice Department opposed further consideration of a ruling that would have more closely regulated MTR.

Philippines to Slash Coal Use (AFP)

The Philippines plans to reduce its energy dependence on coal from more than 20 percent of its mix now to 10-15 percent over the next five years to lessen carbon emissions, a top energy official says.

Blast Disrupts Promising Australian Geothermal Project (Sydney Morning Herald)

An explosion and leak at an Australian geothermal site are a blow to Geodynamics, which considers itself to be "at the cutting edge" of geothermal development.

Court Orders Canada to Report Pollution Data for Mines (ENS)

The Federal Court of Canada has ruled that the Canadian government must stop withholding data on one of the country’s largest sources of pollution – millions of metric tonnes of toxic mine tailings and waste rock from mining operations.

Thin Film Crowd Prompts Merger: Sunfilm with Q-Cells Subsidiary (CleanTech)

The two German solar module makers said today they plan to merge to create one of the world’s largest producers of thin film silicon solar modules in order to compete in the crowded market.

US Adds Wind Projects in 15 States in Q1 (New Energy Network)

The U.S. added more than 2,800MW of new wind generating capacity in the first quarter of 2009, with new projects completed in 15 states, the AWEA reports. The total U.S. wind generating capacity is now enough to serve over 8 million homes.

Vestas to Cut Jobs after ‘Losing Faith’ in UK Market (New Energy Focus)

The world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer is set to axe up to 1,900 jobs, 625 of them in its UK operations, despite rising profits.

Indigenous Wisdom on Climate Change (ISP)

Over millennia, indigenous peoples have developed a large arsenal of practices that are of potential benefit today for coping with climate change, including some holistic and refreshingly practical ideas.