Blair to focus final effort in power on climate change: Tony Blair last night staked his legacy on achieving a post-Kyoto climate change agreement, saying he would do “as much as I can” in the few remaining months of his leadership to deal with what was a “greater challenge” than solving the crisis in the Middle East. Guardian
Staffing shortage holds up world’s first cellulose ethanol plant: All that’s standing between the United States and the world’s first cellulose ethanol plant is an obscure Washington office staffed by one federal contractor. The office in the US Department of Energy opened last summer to provide federal loan guarantees for producing clean energy and innovative technologies. However, its sole employee hasn’t been able to do more than open the mail. McClatchy Washington Bureau
Industry can gag research: CSIRO: The CSIRO has confirmed coal industry bodies have the power to suppress a new report questioning the cost and efficiency of clean-coal carbon capture technologies because they partly funded the research. Dr David Brockway, chief of CSIRO’s division of energy technology, told a Senate Estimates committee hearing yesterday it was “not necessarily unusual” for private-industry partners investing in research programs – such as Cooperative Research Centres – to request reports be withheld from public release if findings were deemed to be not in their best interests. Canberra Times
Suit filed to protect polar bears and walrus: Polar bears and walrus are facing a serious threat in the Arctic from expanding oil and gas exploration because federal regulations don’t assess the combined risks posed by such activity and global warming, according to a suit filed yesterday in federal court by environmental groups. E-wire
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EU climate ambitions too low: The European Parliament has said that the greenhouse gas cuts recently proposed by the European Commission are insufficient, while also taking the green side in the controversy on car emissions.