December 23, 2010

Australia: Green Scheme Axing Risks Thousands of Jobs

The successor to the Australian government's disastrous "Green Loans" scheme has been scrapped just days before it was due to begin, putting thousands of jobs at risk.

EU Report Offers Path to Emissions Policy

A combination of technological innovations and market-based programs could be applied in the shipping sector to cut its emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants, a report by the European Commission Joint Research Center concludes.

US DOE Soliciting Fuel Cell R&D Projects for Up to $74M in New Funding

The DOE is soliciting applications for a total of up to $74 million to support the research and development of fuel cells for stationary and transportation applications.

Africa Poised for Solar Lighting Boom

As many as 120 million households in Africa will be living off-grid by 2015, creating one of the world's largest markets for portable solar lighting in the next five years, according to a report.

December 22, 2010

Governments Vow to Overhaul Environmental Monitoring of Oil Sands

The federal and provincial governments are vowing to establish a "gold standard" of environmental monitoring of the oil sands after reports suggested regulators are flying blind.

U.S. Renewable Energy Tax Grants Extended for 1 Year

The renewable energy industry cheered the passage of the U.S. tax bill, which included a provision to extend a generous grant program for projects in the fast-growing sector.

State of Alaska to Sue Over Polar Bears

The state of Alaska says it intends to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over protections recently put in place to help polar bears faced with the effects of climate change.

House Dems to Interior: More Science Needed Before Shell Can Drill Off Alaska

More than 35 House Dems are urging the Interior Department not to approve Royal Dutch Shell's request to drill in waters off Alaska's coast until more scientific information is available.

EPA to Double Down on Climate

The Obama administration is expected to roll out a major greenhouse gas policy as soon as Wednesday, signaling it won't back off its push to fight climate change.

EPA Stalls Collection of Sensitive GHG Data 'Trade Secrets'

Some companies claimed that data to be collected under the EPA's GHG Reporting Program was sensitive business information that threatened their competitiveness if disclosed publicly.

Fracking for Natural Gas Is No Longer Obscure

Nearly 3 in 5 Americans -- 57% -- have at least some awareness of the once obscure drilling practice of hydraulic fracturing, according to a poll released by the Civil Society Institute.

Blowout Well Fracking No Worry to Wyoming Regulators

The state's top gas regulator doubts there is any chance that fracking inside a Wyoming gas well that blew out four years ago could have worsened a plume of groundwater pollution.

Brazil Eyes Energy and Farms for Future Emission Cuts

After winning global praise for protecting its Amazon forests, Brazil now faces another tricky obstacle to cutting its carbon emissions -- the gases produced by its booming economy.

Global Rivers Emit 3 Times IPCC Estimates of Greenhouse Gas Nitrous Oxide

Scientists report this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences PNAS, river and stream networks are the source of at least 10% of human-caused emissions. That's three times the amount estimated by the IPCC.

Cost of U.S. Solar PV Systems Declining

Average installed costs for PV systems in the U.S. declined from $10.80 per watt in 1998 to $7.50 a watt in 2009, according to a study by DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

Abengoa Solar Receives $1.45 Billion Financing for Solana Solar Plant

Abengoa Solar's Solana parabolic trough concentrating solar plant is set to be the largest CSP power plant in the world. The company announced that it has closed its financing with $1.45 billion going towards the $2 billion project.

Japan Party Proposal Clouds Carbon Trading Plan

Japan's government will decide by the end of the year its stance on introducing a national carbon emissions trading system for companies, a government official said on Tuesday, amid concerns the scheme has been shelved.

Emission Market Talks Between EU, Switzerland to Start Early Next Year

EU governments authorized the start of talks to link the emissions-trading systems of the 27-nation bloc and Switzerland.

Temperature Rising: A Scientist, His Work and a Climate Reckoning

As the political debate over global warming drags on, the Mauna Loa Observatory shows carbon dioxide levels rising relentlessly, and accelerating.

Court Rejects Refiners' Challenge to EPA Biodiesel Blending Rules

An appeals court rejected a challenge by petroleum industry groups to U.S. EPA's biodiesel blending requirements, in a move affirming the agency's implementation of the renewable fuel standard (RFS2).

December 21, 2010

Napolitano Says DHS to Begin Battling Climate Change as Homeland Security Issue

Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano announced that her department is creating a task force to battle the effects of climate change on domestic security operations.

House Republican Promises to Scrutinize Administration's Policy on Science

The incoming chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee's oversight panel promised to scrutinize the Obama administration's scientific integrity standards next year.

Global Warming Linked to Harsh Winters

The cold spell northern Europe has been experiencing may be the result of global warming, rather than evidence it is not happening, according to the most recent scientific research.

Chinese Endure Power Shortages as Coal Runs Short

Communities in central and northern China are facing power cuts and rationing as winter coal supplies fall short of surging demand.

EPA Touts Cap-and-Trade Success

The EPA released a report showing a 20-year-old cap-and-trade program aimed at acid rain has dramatically reduced pollution. 

Environmental Community Shifts Focus Away from Washington with 'Think Local' Strategies

As 2010 comes to a close, the American environmental movement is engaged in a round of soul searching, and looking for a new battle plan in a hostile political environment.

Texas, Home to Big Oil, Takes Shine to Solar Power

The college town of Austin is vying to become the epicenter of a potentially giant market for carbon-free electricity generated by the hot Texas sun.

UN to Create Panel of Biodiversity Experts

The UN General Assembly agreed to form a panel of international experts on biodiversity in a resolution approved on Monday.


UN Warning on Severe Weather Due to Climate Change

The UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) says the experience of Europe's big cities this winter shows that the world may be under-prepared to deal with less predictable climate patterns.

Automakers Group Files Appeal Over EPA's Approval of E15

An automakers collective filed an appeal regarding the EPA's decision allow the sale of gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol for 2007 model year and newer cars and light trucks.

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