Calif. standard could lead way on fuel economy

Detroit Free Press: Future federal fuel-economy standards would have to match the global-warming gas reductions of California’s controversial limits on cars and trucks under a draft energy and climate-change bill unveiled Monday by House Democrats. The bill, spearheaded by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., would also preserve California’s power to set new standards on vehicle emissions — a key contention for automakers and dealers pressing for a single national …

United Kingdom: Tesco invites customers to dump unnecessary packaging

Business Green: Tesco has today announced plans for a trial scheme that will effectively encourage customers to leave unwanted and excessive packaging at the check out. Mirroring the high profile Women’s Institute campaign launched back in 2005, which asked shoppers to leave packaging they regarded as unnecessary in store, the pilot scheme will be undertaken for six weeks at Tesco Extra stores in Guildford and Ilminster. Tesco said the trial would form part of a wider research project designed …

Airlines fear failure of global climate talks

Agence France-Presse: Major airlines warned on Wednesday that failure to agree a global approach to emissions trading in climate change talks could hurt their industry by leading to increased taxes and regulation. "I think Copenhagen is very important for the airline industry, we must play our part," British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh said at a conference in Geneva, referring to the UN’s climate change talks in Copenhagen in December. "If we don’t see progress at Copenhagen, I think the …

6,000 Rare Dolphins Found in South Asia

LiveScience: A huge population of rare dolphins threatened by climate change and fishing nets has been discovered in South Asia. Researchers with the Wildlife Conservation Society estimate that nearly 6,000 Irrawaddy dolphins, marine mammals that are related to orcas or killer whales, were found living in freshwater regions of Bangladesh’s Sundarbans mangrove forest and adjacent waters of the Bay of Bengal. There has been hardly any marine mammal research done in this area up to this …

Democrats up ante with draft US climate bill

Business Green: The race to develop a US climate change bill entered a new phase yesterday with the release of a discussion draft bill from the House Energy and Commerce Committee that would set even more ambitious emission reduction targets than those being proposed by Barack Obama. The American Clean Energy and Security Act, which has been put forward by senior House Democrats Henry A. Waxman and Edward J. Markey, sets out plans for a nationwide cap-and-trade scheme designed to deliver cuts in …

U.S. court upholds power plant cooling water rule

Reuters: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can compare costs with benefits to determine the technology that must be used at power plant water-cooling structures, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday in a setback for those seeking greater protection for aquatic life. By a 6-3 vote, the high court handed a victory to the EPA, Entergy Corp, units of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc and the Utility Water Act Group, which consists of individual energy companies that operate power …

U.S. needs another year to test higher ethanol blend

Reuters: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Wednesday it will take another year to complete government testing on whether higher levels of ethanol can be blended into gasoline without harming engines. Ethanol is now approved to make up 10 percent of gasoline in cars and trucks. Producers are pushing the government to allow higher ethanol blend levels, as more ethanol will be required each year under federal law. Congress required 9 billion gallons of ethanol and other …

Study finds 6,000 rare Irrawaddy dolphins off Bangladesh

Independent: Thousands of rare Irrawaddy dolphins have been found in Bangladeshi waters, a wildlife advocacy group said today, a hopeful sign for a vulnerable species found only in small numbers elsewhere. However, the newly discovered population is already threatened by climate change and fishing nets, the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society said. Nearly 6,000 Irrawaddy dolphins, which are related to orcas or killer whales, were found living in freshwater regions of Bangladesh’s …

Brazilian forest conservationist Silva wins Norway prize

Reuters: Brazilian senator and former environment minister Marina Silva won Norway’s $100,000 Sophie Prize for her work to protect the Amazon rainforest, the prize foundation announced on Wednesday. The Sophie Prize is awarded annually for environmental protection and sustainable development. It was set up in 1997 by Norwegian author Jostein Gaarder and is named after the main character of his book "Sophie’s World." Silva, who was environment minister in 2003-2008, clamped down on …

Europe will suffer despite climate measures: EU

Agence France-Presse: Europe must prepare both for more floods and drought caused by climate change, regardless of the measures taken to combat it, EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas warned Wednesday. "Even if we have zero emissions it is simply impossible to reverse climate change overnight," Dimas warned, as he unveiled a new report on what Europe should do to deal with its effects. "Urgent action is therefore necessary to make our people… resilient to the inevitable impact of climate …