Today’s Climate: July 30, 2009

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Analysis: Green States See Fewer Rewards in Climate Bill (Reuters)

The U.S. climate bill would give states that are heavily reliant on greenhouse-gas emitting fuels, like coal, more carbon credits on a per capita basis than those that use clean fuels, an analysis from the Georgetown Climate Center and World Resources Institute says.

McKinsey: $520B Invested in Efficiency Could Save $1.2T (New York Times)

A new McKinsey report on energy efficiency finds the United States could save $1.2 trillion through 2020, by investing $520 billion in improvements like sealing leaky building ducts and replacing inefficient household appliances with new, energy-saving models.

Senate Passes Energy Spending Bill, Supports Closing Yucca Mtn (AP)

The Senate passed a $34.3 billion energy spending bill that backs up President Obama’s promise to close the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste facility in Nevada.

Beijing Closing Thousands of Coal Plants in Environmental Move (AP)

China has taken advantage of a drop in electricity demand to speed up a campaign to close small coal-fired power plants and improve its battered environment, an official said today. Authorities have closed power plants with a total of 7,467 generating units.

Sub-Arctic Timebomb: Warming Speeds CO2 Release from Soil (AFP)

Climate change is speeding up the release of carbon dioxide from frigid peatlands in the sub-Arctic, fueling a vicious circle of global warming, according to a study released today. A 1 degree Celsius increase would more than double the CO2 escaping.

UK Considers Tying University Funding to Emissions Reductions (BBC)

Under new proposals, the funding universities in England receive could be linked to their reductions in carbon emissions from 2011.

UN’s Ban: China Wants Climate Deal This Year (Reuters)

China’s leaders told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that Beijing wants to reach a new agreement on combating climate change in Copenhagen in December.

Sen. Kerry: Climate Bill Will Have Tough Market Controls (Reuters)

Sen. John Kerry says the Senate’s climate bill will have tough controls to stop abusive financial market speculation on pollution permits that will be traded among companies.

Study Finds Amazon Deforestation Emissions Increasing (Nature)

Carbon dioxide emissions from deforestation in the Amazon are increasing as loggers and land developers move deeper into dense regions of the forest, a new study suggests.

EU Mulls Extending Land-Use Criteria Beyond Biofuels (EurActiv)

The European Commission is considering the greenhouse gases from indirect land-use change caused by agro-fuel production and floating the idea that such criteria could be applied more generally to a range of other agricultural commodities.

Indonesia’s Pace on Renewables Could Cause Energy Shortage (Jakarta Post)

Indonesia’s lack of commitment to develop renewable energy will cause an energy shortage in less than 25 years, an official says. While the country’s gas supply should last 40 years, oil supplies will be depleted within 17 years.

Vattenfall’s CCS Demo Hits Wall in Germany (Guardian)

It was meant to be the world’s first demonstration of a technology to capture emissions from a coal-fired power station and store it underground. But the German project has ended with CO2 being pumped directly into the atmosphere amid local opposition.

Australian coal-fired plant sued for carbon emissions (Business Green)

The green group Rising Tide lodged a civil court action against the government-owned Bayswater power station, one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters in New South Wales. The action could result in stricter emission laws nationwide.

Pakistan Island Puts Wind Power to Work (AFP)

A tiny island of fishermen is light years ahead of the rest of Pakistan, powering homes and businesses with wind turbines – protecting the environment and improving the quality of life.

U.S. Pushes for Law of the Sea Ratification (ClimateWire)

The Obama administration is in talks with the Senate to craft a plan to ratify the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, which has inspired an Arctic land grab by signers seeking to claim energy reserves.

Iraq in Throes of Environmental Catastrophe (Los Angeles Times)

Iraq is in the throes of what some officials are calling an environmental catastrophe. Decades of war and mismanagement, compounded by two years of drought, are wreaking havoc on Iraq’s ecosystem, drying up riverbeds and marshes, turning arable land into desert, killing trees and plants, and generally transforming what was once the region’s most fertile area into a wasteland.