Today’s Climate: September 30, 2009

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Sens. Boxer, Kerry Unveil Climate Bill Draft (Greenwire)

The Senate draft starts with a mandate by 2020 to curb the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent from 2005 levels. It omits many details, leaving negotiations with Democrats and Republican moderates to fill in the blanks. US CAN has video and reaction.

EU Targets Carbon Trading Fraud with VAT Overhaul (Guardian)

The European commission announced an overhaul of the EU’s VAT system in its latest attempt to prevent its much-vaunted carbon trading system being riddled by multimillion-pound fraud.

ADB: Asia-Pacific at Risk if Climate Change Ignored (Reuters)

The Asia-Pacific region will suffer major social and economic changes if countries fail to adopt new practices, from liberalizing trade to introducing better quality seeds, according to reports by the Asian Development Bank on agriculture, migration and energy.

Insiders Predict China Could Beat US to Cap-and-Trade (Business Green)

The director of climate exchange BlueNext expects the U.S. to have a national cap-and-trade system up and running in the next two years, but says China could beat it to the punch: "They have the money, the resources and the will to do it."

US, Italy Sign Pact to Build Nuclear Plants (Reuters)

The United States and Italy signed a nuclear cooperation deal that would enlist U.S. companies to help build a string of nuclear power stations across Italy, ending a 22-year ban by the Italian government.

DOE Stimulus Spending: $17B So Far, $30B by Year’s End (Greentech)

The money, from $90 billion the department is responsible for under the stimulus package, is benefiting an array of programs, from renewable energy tax credits, grants and loan guarantees to cash infusions for electric car makers, battery makers, smart grid and CCS.

EU to Declare War on Business Trips (EurActiv)

The European Commission next week will propose recommendations to encourage teleconferencing in place of business travel to cut greenhouse gases emissions. Just a 20% shift could save more than 22 million tons of CO2 a year, the commission says.

Adopt-a-Negotiator: Tracking the Americans at Bangkok (Huffington Post)

I’ve been in Bangkok for a scant 36 hours, and already the shame is sickening. I’m tracking the American position at these international negotiations where America stands clumsy and tall as the biggest obstacle to an effective agreement, writes OnEarth’s Ben Jervey.

Philippines: Typhoon Shows Need to Act on Climate (Reuters)

The Philippines urged rich nations at U.N. climate talks today to toughen emissions cuts, saying the typhoon that hit the country this week was a taste of future effects of climate change on poor nations.

EPA Studying Potential Environmental Impact of Nanomaterials (New York Times)

The EPA detailed its plans for research into the possible health and environmental risks of nanomaterials, tiny substances that are finding growing use in products like sunscreens and industrial adhesives.

Chinese Dam May Be a Methane Menace (Nature)

Marshland created when China’s Three Gorges Reservoir is partially drained during the summer may be a significant source of the powerful greenhouse gas methane, researchers say.

Rep. Cantor Pushes for Virginia Off-Coast Drilling; Gov. Opposed (Star Exponent)

Rep. Eric Cantor is asking the U.S. Department of the Interior to include Virginia in its five-year plan for offshore oil- and gas-drilling prospects, even though the governor is against it.

Coal Baron Blankenship’s Crazy Talk on Climate Change (NRDC)

What shines through in Forbes’ interview with coal baron Don Blankenship, CEO of Massey and one of the scariest polluters in America, is Blankenship’s extreme anti-environmental worldview.

Sacks: We Need Action, Not Kyoto II (Guardian)

Earth Institute Director Jeffery Sacks writes, climate is too complex an issue to get in one gulp. If Copenhagen can pave the way for practical steps, an agreement can wait.