October 11 News: Could China’s Emerging Carbon Market Spark A Global Trading System?

China, the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases linked to climate change, may create the impetus for a global carbon market as it begins pilot trading programs, according to the Climate Institute. [Businessweek]

The world’s second-biggest economy is scheduled to start emissions trading in seven manufacturing regions next year, and it may introduce a national system by 2015. Shanghai and Guangdong plan to require producers of steel, petrochemicals and electricity and others with annual emissions of more than 20,000 metric tons to buy tradable permits. The other regions in China’s pilot program are Beijing, Tianjin, Chongqing, Shenzhen and Hubei….

“Though covering a fraction of China’s total emissions, these pilots are expected to cover 700 million tons of CO2 emissions by 2014, compared with 382 million tons in Australia, 165 million tons in California and 2.1 billion tons in Europe,” [Climate Institute CEO John] Connor said.

Climate change skeptics have seized on the Antarctic ice to argue that the globe isn’t warming and that scientists are ignoring the southern continent because it’s not convenient. But scientists say the skeptics are misinterpreting what’s happening and why. [Associated Press]

Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday requested an accounting of federal spending for energy technology, citing concerns over the amount of subsidies given to the energy sector. [The Hill]

Falling prices for natural gas made it far more economical to burn natural gas instead of coal in the country’s power plants over the last few years. Environmental regulations — a favourite target of Romney — had little to do with the switch. [Guardian]

The Commerce Department issued its final ruling Wednesday in a long-simmering trade dispute with China, imposing tariffs ranging from about 24 to nearly 36 percent on most solar panels imported from the country. [New York Times]

China demanded Thursday that Washington repeal steep tariffs on solar panels that Chinese producers fear will shut their equipment out of the American market. [Washington Post]

The bankruptcy of a California poultry producer is showing in detail how the Midwestern drought is still rippling through the U.S. economy. [Wall Street Journal]

Now, apart from longstanding concern about harmful chemicals in the water that will be used to make that snow — piped directly from the sewage treatment system of the nearby town of Flagstaff — new research indicates that the wastewater system is a breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant genes. [New York Times]

A repeat of this year’s washout summer is the last thing most people want from the English weather — but more of the same could be on the way, and could become the norm, a new study has warned, thanks to human activities warming the climate. [Guardian]

David Cameron has today highlighted the success of the UK’s offshore wind and tidal energy industry, hailing them as “number one in the world” and an example of British enterprise and dynamism. [BusinessGreen]