Today’s Climate: September 29, 2009

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Copenhagen Draft Loaded with Brackets for Negotiation (Financial Times)

With the Copenhagen climate talks in December now just 69 days away (and counting), the latest version of the negotiating text being thrashed out by officials in Bangkok this week gives a vivid sense of just how far there is to go.

EU Mulls Carbon Tax to Curb Global Warming (EurActiv)

The European Commission is considering imposing an EU-wide tax on CO2 emissions on sectors such as transport and agriculture, which are currently not covered by the bloc’s cap-and-trade scheme for carbon dioxide.

EU, US Woo China with Import Tax Cut Option on Green Goods (Business Green)

The U.S. and European Union are hoping to forge a deal with China that would cut import duties on green goods as part of a bid to secure Beijing’s signature on any climate change treaty at Copenhagen.

Indian PM: Atomic Future Will Fight Climate Change (AFP)

India’s prime minister, at Bangkok talks, vows that a massive increase in nuclear power generation over the next four decades will allow the booming country to reduce its impact on global warming.

WWF: Climate Pact Must Include Forest Credits (AFP)

WWF International urged delegates at UN climate talks in Bangkok to include plans to reward nations for saving their forests in any deal on global warming. It released a survey showing "significant support" among investors for a carbon market mechanism.

San Francisco Weighs Urban Wind Power (Chronicle)

Wind turbines could soon rise from popular locations across San Franciso as demonstration sites for how urban wind farms could help power the city. The recommendations are part of a report due to be released today after a yearlong study.

Uniting Drylands Research Could Soften Blow of Climate Crisis (SciDev)

The imminent convergence of desertification, climate change and crises in food, biodiversity and population is creating a "perfect storm", and scientists urgently need to agree on universal criteria for monitoring the land degradation.

Iraq’s Drought: Eden Drying Out (BBC)

The Garden of Eden is in danger of turning into a dustbowl. The legendary Eden was in Mesopotamia, the land between two rivers. For hundreds of miles between their lower reaches is fabulously fertile farmland. But it’s hardly rained in more than two years.

Arkansas Lawmaker Wants to Block Power Plant Challenges (AP)

An Arkansas lawmaker is circulating a resolution calling for a law to keep utilities from facing legal challenges after they have received permits to build new power plants.

Bingaman: Don’t Add Polluter Subsidies To Clean-Energy Bill (Wonk Room)

Sen. Jeff Bingaman, the influential chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, opposes efforts to add coal and nuclear subsidies to win votes for climate legislation.

German Election: Trouble Ahead but Nearterm Boom for Solar? (Greentech)

Germany’s newly elected center-right coalition could decide to cut the country’s solar incentive, causing a 2010 solar boom as developers hurry to complete their projects before a new policy is in place.

BioFuelBox Sells out of Biodiesel from First Plant (Cleantech)

BioFuelBox’s technology turns waste fat, oil and grease (FOG) from wastewater into what it says is a clean burning, low sulfur premium biodiesel that meets industry standards for road use. Its first plant is expected to produce 1 million gallons per year.

‘CO2 is Green’: The TV Ad Making Viewers Choke (Guardian)

A TV ad paid for by an oil industry lobbyist telling Americans "more CO2 results in a greener earth" would be almost funny if it weren’t so depressing.

What Makes Europe
 Greener than the US? (Yale Environment 360)

The average American produces three times the amount of CO2 emissions as a person in France. A U.S. journalist now living in Europe explains how she learned to love her clothesline and sweating in summer.