Today’s Climate: April 30, 2009

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EU Proposes Carbon Market for Developing Countries (Bloomberg)

The European Union proposed a new carbon-trading market for developing countries such as China and India to give them financial incentives to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions that add to global warming.

Biggest Polluter in Europe to Make First Carbon Permit Payments (Bloomberg)

The biggest polluter in Europe, a Polish power plant built by the former communist government, will start paying for its greenhouse gas emission as more than 11,000 utilities and factories face a deadline for settling their carbon accounts.

Alaska Drilling Debate Moves Offshore (Tribune)

A federal appeals court’s decision to put the brakes on a plan to lease more than 78 million acres of the Arctic to oil and gas developers could be little more than a speed bump in the rush to commercialize the region.

Canada Takes Aim at Coal-Fire Power Plants (Globe and Mail)

The Canadian government is planning sweeping new climate-change regulations that will require any new coal plants will have to include highly expensive – and unproven – CCS technology, Environment Minister Jim Prentice says.

EPA vs. Corps: Mountaintop Removal Fight Heats Up (Coal Tattoo)

Remember those first couple of Corps’ Clean Water Act permits that EPA announced two months ago it wanted to take a closer look at? One company tried to move forward anyway, and the Corps was about to approve it when the EPA took over for real.

Five to Watch in the Business of Green (Reuters)

With government money flowing and traditional industries fading, 2009 is set to be a watershed year for green business. Reuters News and Venture Capital Journal profile five decisionmakers who will help decide the course the future.

Calif. Takes Closer Look at ‘Indirect Land Use’ in Fuel Calculation (Capitol Weekly)

A critical piece of California’s new law cutting carbon emissions from transportation fuels is getting a another look, with state air-quality regulators likely to vote by December on the issue known as “indirect land use.”

Scientists Speak Out in Journal Issue Devoted to Climate (Nature)

An uplifting read the latest issue of Nature is not. Gavin Schmidt and David Archer get to the heart of it: “Dangerous climate change, even loosely defined, is going to be hard to avoid.” Scientists begin to reframe the issue for a slow-moving world.

Watchdog: UK to Miss Green Purchasing Targets (Business Green)

The National Audit Office found that despite a 2005 pledge to establish the UK as a European leader in sustainable procurement, the government is yet to set quantifiable green purchasing targets for departments.

Analysts warn capital-intensive clean tech face funding squeeze (Business Green)

Clean tech innovations that enhance, rather than replace, existing infrastructures and firms that can deliver a quick return on investment will receive most interest from investors, compared to capital-intensive projects, says analyst CleanTech group.

First Solar results outshine rivals (Reuters)

First Solar outshined rivals in the struggling solar power industry on Wednesday with earnings and revenue that blew past Wall Street estimates and sent its shares up more than 13 percent.

Shell Committed to Tar Sands Despite $42M Losses (Guardian)

Shell has pledged to continue with its controversial Canadian tar sands projects but has been forced to consider far-reaching cost cuts to keep the operations going after they lost $42 million in the last three months.

Coal Giant, Profits up 25%, Plans Wage Cuts (Charleston Gazette)

Massey Energy reported that "strong coal sales" increased its revenues by 25 percent in the first three months of 2009, a record first-quarter increase. Yet Massey also plans to cut wages and benefits for its workers starting tomorrow.

Florida Forever Land-Buying Program on Shaky Ground (Herald-Tribune)

Funding for Florida Forever, the nation’s largest public land acquisition, was put in jeopardy when the House rejected the Senate effort to support the program by closing a tax loophole.

Rainforest Residents, Texaco Face Off In Ecuador (NPR)

A judge is preparing to render a decision in a long-running, multibillion-dollar lawsuit filed by residents of Ecuador’s Amazonian rainforest against Texaco for fouling their land.