Today’s Climate: March 31, 2009

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Climate Experts Call on G20 to Commit (Guardian)

A last-ditch effort is under way to insert clearer green commitments into a global economic recovery plan at the G20 summit amid fears it could miss a unique opportunity to prevent the world from being locked into irreversible climate change.

Waxman Preparing 2020 Carbon Goal, Renewable Energy Standards (Reuters)

Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of a key environment committee, plans to propose climate change legislation that would set midterm greenhouse gas reduction targets that are somewhat more aggressive than Obama’s, sources say.

China Tops 500 CDM Projects (Reuters)

China now has nearly one-third of the world’s U.N.-approved clean energy projects, which yield tradeable carbon credits for investors in wind farms, solar power, small hydro, biomass or cleaning up planet-warming industrial gases.

Think Tank: UK Failing to Harness Stimulus for Environment (BBC)

An analysis by the New Economics Foundation criticizes the UK for spending just over £100m – 0.0083% of its GDP – on genuinely new and additional measures to benefit the environment.

Heartland Institute Sends ‘Skeptic Handbook’ to Schools (DeSmog Blog)

In a disturbing assault on science, the Exxon-funded group is printing 150,000 copies of anti-climate propaganda paid for by an “anonymous donor” and plans to distribute them to 26,000 schools, as well as to journalists and politicians.

Trouble Brews for Florida’s Energy Reform (Herald-Tribune)

Florida’s governor champions energy reform, but the state Senate begins debate today a proposal that classifies nuclear and some coal plants that capture greenhouse gases as "clean energy."

Crackdown on Ship Exhaust Could Help Clear the Air (Seattle Times)

The U.S. and Canada are asking an international shipping regulator to require large oceangoing ships entering their waters to burn much cleaner fuel.

Rain Forest-Saving Credits May Tank Carbon Prices (Bloomberg)

Including permits for not cutting down trees in carbon markets could push prices 76 percent lower by 2020, removing an incentive to invest in renewable energy, a study for Greenpeace finds.

Stern: ‘Kingsnorth Should be Shelved’ (Independent)

British economist Lord Stern spoke out against coal for the first time, saying his government’s plans for a new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth cannot be justified until CCS technology is ready, and that’s well more than a decade away.

Japan Inks Deal for Czech Carbon Credits (AFP)

Japan signed a deal with the Czech Republic to buy permits to emit 40 million tons of CO2. Czech Environment Minister Martin Bursik declined to elaborate on the value of the deal but said he expects $476 million for this and similar deals this year.

Obama Picks Cathy Zoi for EERE (Joe Romm)

Cathy Zoi, CEO of Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection, is a good pick to be assistant secretary for Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE), writes Joe Romm, who once held the job.

Concrete Remixed with Environment in Mind (New York Times)

The manufacturing of Portland cement is responsible for about 5 percent of human-caused emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. “The new twist over the last 10 years has been to try to avoid materials that generate CO2.”

2010 Games Plan to Offset Carbon Emissions (Canadian Press)

Olympic organizers are turning to the private sector to help offset carbon emissions during the 2010 Winter Games. They’re hoping sponsors will invest in green technology and programs to counterbalance emissions created by the Games.