A round-up of the top climate and energy news. Please post additional links below.
The gap between the emissions cuts needed to contain global warming and actual reductions by 2020 is at risk of widening as countries including the U.S., Brazil and Mexico fail to meet pledges, Climate Action Tracker said. [Businessweek]
At best, commitments would lead to emissions 9 gigatons (9 billion tons) higher than the 44 gigatons needed in 2020 to stop the planet warming more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) since industrialization, the project said in Bonn, where two weeks of United Nations talks end tomorrow.
A temperature increase of at least 3.5 degrees Celsius on the current greenhouse-gas trajectory may accelerate because nations are indicating they will miss 2020 pledges, Climate Action Tracker said after analyzing presentations made by countries at the meeting.
Obama will hold a grass-roots campaign event in Iowa Thursday evening. Earlier in the day, Obama will be seeking support for an election-year agenda to encourage renewable energy along with a more immediate prize: the state’s up-for-grabs voters. [Washington Post]
Killer heat fueled by climate change could cause an additional 150,000 deaths this century in the biggest U.S. cities if no steps are taken to curb carbon emissions and improve emergency services, according to a new report. [Chicago Tribune]
Already this spring, several large fires have charred the southwestern landscape, and an expanding drought suggests that this summer is going to be a busy one for the nation’s 2,000 elite hotshot crew members who are specially trained to fight Mother Nature’s most fearsome blazes. [Climate Central]
The Obama administration announced that BP North America Inc. has agreed to pay an $8-million fine and install more than $400 million in equipment to cut air pollution from an oil refinery in Whiting, Ind., as part of a settlement over alleged violations of the Clean Air Act. [Los Angeles Times]
Business secretary Vince Cable, responsible for the UK’s Green investment bank (GIB), visits the German development bank KfW today, a day after the law establishing the GIB was published. It will be an interesting visit. [Guardian]
The German government will more closely oversee the country’s move from nuclear power to renewable energy, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday — a mammoth 10-year project for Europe’s biggest economy that has been going slowly so far. [Washington Post]