Today’s Climate: October 30, 2009

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Sen. Boxer Aims to Pass Climate Bill as Early as Next Week (Reuters)

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will advance climate-change legislation quickly, aiming to pass a bill as early as next week, despite threats of a boycott by GOP members.

Britain Declares Breakthrough in EU Climate Financing Talks (UKPA)

The EU has agreed to make a conditional offer on climate financing to the rest of the world at global environment negotiations in Copenhagen, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced today.

NASA: Dust, Black Carbon Increase Methane’s Global Warming Power (Nature)

The complicated influence on our climate of aerosols like dust and black carbon just got more threatening: They could make methane a more potent greenhouse gas than previously realized, climate modelers say.

Arctic Expedition Finds Multiyear Arctic Ice Effectively Gone (Reuters)

The multiyear ice covering the Arctic Ocean has effectively vanished, a startling development that will make it easier to open up polar shipping routes, an Arctic expert says after returning from an expedition.

Canada Can Meet Climate Goals, But West Will Pay (Globe & Mail)

Canada will have to massively restructure its economy, with wealth flowing from the West to the rest of the country, if it is to meet its climate-change targets, a report concludes.

China Plans 4th Generation Nuclear Plant (Wall Street Journal)

China will start building its first large nuclear-power reactor with home-developed "fourth generation" technology in 2012-13, a senior engineer says.

US Wind Turbine Financing Goes Overseas (Financial Times)

A study by non-profit group the Investigative Reporting Workshop found that 84 percent of the $1.05 billion handed out by the U.S. government since Sept. 1 has gone to foreign companies, mostly European.

China-US Group Plans to Build Texas Wind Farm (New York Times)

A consortium of Chinese and American companies announced a joint venture to build a 600-megawatt wind farm in West Texas, using turbines made in China.

US Issues $2.2B in Green Bonds to Fuel Renewables (Business Green)

The Treasury released $2.2 billion in financial instruments called Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs), which will function as low-interest loans to renewable project owners, providing them with an alternative to traditional sources of finance.

FPL’s Change of Heart on Cap and Trade (ClimateBiz)

Lew Hay, whose FPL Group is the leading U.S. provider of renewable energy, has become a pragmatist on carbon taxes. “Frankly, every economist you talk to supports a carbon tax," the problem is that it isn’t politically acceptable, he says.

New Mass-Market UN Carbon Offset Program Finds Favor in India (Reuters)

A new type of UN carbon offset is spreading clean energy technology across India, promising to cut emissions and help investors earn valuable carbon credits through mass rollouts of identical projects.

Enviro Groups’ Lawsuit Seeks Pika Protection in California (Greenwire)

Environmental groups have sued a California agency for failing to protect the pika, a tiny alpine mammal that may be an early casualty of climate change.

West Texas Town Recasts Itself as Wind Power Hub (Wall Street Journal)

Wind-power development around tiny West Texas towns like Roscoe could be a model for revitalizing rural America, if the windy Great Plains are linked to the power-hungry East and West coasts.