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Climate Policy Watch

HUMAN RIGHTS FINDING ON CLIMATE CHANGE COULD SPUR ACTIVIST LAWSUITS

A recent human rights petition accusing the United States of inaction on global warming could encourage future lawsuits from environmentalists against government agencies or corporations by establishing for the first time an obligation under international law for the United States to address climate change, activists tracking the petition say.

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STUDY ON FORESTS' RISKS MAY HOBBLE POLICIES ON 'SINKS' FOR CO2 EMISSIONS

A recently published study detailing potential water and soil damage caused by planting trees to capture and store carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions -- which are known as carbon "sinks" -- could complicate EPA and other groups' policies to encourage the practice as a way to slow global warming, according to one of the study's authors.

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Study On Forests' Risks May Hobble Policies On 'Sinks' For CO2 Emissions

A recently published study detailing potential water and soil damage caused by planting trees to capture and store carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions --- which are known as carbon "sinks" -- could complicate EPA and other groups' policies to encourage the practice as a way to slow global warming, according to one of the study's authors.

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SEC RULING ON GE PLAN MAY SHAPE FIGHT OVER CORPORATE GREEN STRATEGIES

The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) may influence the extent to which companies must disclose the nature of their sustainability efforts when it rules on a resolution demanding that General Electric (GE) justify its highly publicized "ecomagination" campaign to its shareholders.

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CARBON TRADING GROWTH PREDICTED, DESPITE MODEST MONTREAL OUTCOME

Although recent international negotiations in Montreal over the future of greenhouse gas reductions produced only a modest agreement on how to proceed with climate change actions, markets for trading carbon reduction credits are growing and will continue to strengthen in the coming years, according to a number of experts, who cite continuing momentum among states as a sign that emissions trading can be attractive to both regulators and businesses.

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BOXER WIN ON SUPERFUND DATA MAY REVIVE PUSH FOR RENEWED INDUSTRY TAX

Sen. Barbara Boxer's recent success obtaining long-sought U.S. EPA data on the Superfund program -- and an agreement from Republicans to hold a rare oversight hearing on the program -- could provide the lawmaker with a key opportunity to make renewing the expired Superfund taxes an issue for Democrats heading into this year's midterm elections, sources said.

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SEC Ruling Sought On Challenge To GE 'Climate Change Policy'

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been asked to rule on whether General Electric (GE) must justify its highly publicized "Ecomagination" campaign to its shareholders. The request for an SEC decision comes from a free-market investment group that owns stock in the energy company giant, arguing that the campaign is merely an attempt to appease environmental activists and makes little business sense.

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STATE LAWMAKERS MAY FORCE MASSACHUSETTS TO REJOIN CLIMATE PACT

Massachusetts state lawmakers may pursue legislation next month forcing the state to join a regional greenhouse gas initiative, in order to overturn the decision by Gov. Mitt Romney (R) not to take part in the plan because of its cost, state officials say.

Democrats who back the plan believe they likely have the votes to override a gubernatorial veto.

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DOD ORDER UPDATES INSTALLATION CLEAN ENERGY, GREENHOUSE GAS GOALS

The Defense Department is updating Clinton-era goals for military installations to increase use of renewable energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions to reflect new energy law requirements, a development that energy efficiency advocates say could result in the military significantly reducing its environmental impacts if it is able to meet the revised goals.

Military officials say the updated goals could help them reduce energy usage and cut greenhouse gases as a way to lessen military dependence on foreign oil.

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LAWMAKERS MAY FORCE MASSACHUSETTS TO REJOIN NORTHEAST CLIMATE PACT

Massachusetts state lawmakers may pursue legislation next month forcing the state to join a regional greenhouse gas initiative (RGGI), in order to overturn Gov. Mitt Romney's (R) decision not to take part in the plan because of its cost, state officials say.

Democrats who back the plan believe they likely have the votes to override any gubernatorial veto.

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