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Climate Policy Watch

Climate Change May Force Shift In Sewer Management, Expert Says

New research from the United Kingdom showing changes in rainfall frequency and intensity due to climate change could force revisions to predicting and preventing sewer overflows from wet weather events because traditional approaches may not be adequate in the future, according to an expert with a major international engineering firm.

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NORTHEAST TO PURSUE CLIMATE PLAN DESPITE MASSACHUSETTS' CONCERNS

Northeast states have committed to moving forward with a regional climate plan even though Massachusetts appears reluctant to participate, a development that could lead to a scaled-back plan that is weaker as a national model for mandatory greenhouse gas reductions.

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MONTREAL TALKS EYE POST-BUSH PLAN FOR SETTING EMISSIONS TARGETS

Delegates from nearly 190 countries meeting in Montreal on climate change may extend for at least one year, until 2009 or later, the deadline for reaching an agreement on a new round of greenhouse gas reductions after the Kyoto Protocol. The extension, if adopted, would delay a decision until after the Bush administration leaves office amid allegations that the United States has been attempting to derail the talks.

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LLOYD ARGUES FOR CLIMATE CHANGE SHIFT FROM COSTS TO PROFITS

Cal/EPA Secretary Alan Lloyd this week aimed to steer international discussion over climate change emission reductions from potential costs to possible cost-savings and profits, in part through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Brazilian state São Paulo. At this week's U.N. climate change convention in Montreal, Lloyd touted the MOU and a related report as providing invaluable potential for California and São Paulo to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while bolstering their economies.

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CAL/EPA CLIMATE ACTION TEAM TO RECOMMEND MANDATORY INDUSTRY REPORTING

The Cal/EPA-led Climate Action Team (CAT) was expected at press time to recommend in a draft report to the governor that greenhouse gas (GHG)-emitting industrial facilities be required to report their emissions to the state. The report is expected to argue that this reporting could help lay the foundation for a future carbon cap-and-trade program, according to sources. Mandatory reporting of GHG emissions is just one key policy that is expected to be widely debated in the Legislature next year.

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Northeast Region To Proceed With Climate Plan Despite Massachusetts Concerns

Northeast states have committed to move forward with a regional climate plan even though the key state of Massachusetts appears reluctant to participate, but some observers say a scaled-back plan may be weaker as a national model for mandatory greenhouse gas reductions.

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EPA-CANADA STUDY MAY OFFER CROSS-BORDER BOOST FOR 'CLEAR SKIES'

A joint EPA-Canada study affirming the feasibility of a cross-border emissions trading program could bring new attention to the Bush administration's stalled Clear Skies proposal, which has languished in Congress for several years.

The study says a Clear Skies-type program that employs a cap-and-trade approach to reducing acid rain and ground-level ozone would achieve greater air quality benefits throughout both countries at a lower cost than alternative approaches. The study is available on InsideEPA.com.

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ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS LAY OUT KEY ISSUES FOR 2006 GOVERNOR'S RACE

As California's two front-running Democratic candidates for governor scramble for early environmental organization endorsements for the 2006 race, several environmental issues are expected to play a big part in their campaigns, activists say. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger also remains in the running for these endorsements, sources say, despite the release this month of a somewhat critical Sierra Club report on his performance.

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FORMER EPA CHIEF REILLY URGES INVESTMENTS IN RENEWABLE ENERGY

Former EPA Administrator William Reilly in a major speech to international investors asserted that the market for renewable energy -- such as wind and solar power -- is strong and will continue to grow, rejecting claims by some that interest in renewables will be short-lived and that such energy sources will remain insignificant for the foreseeable future.

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SIERRA CLUB PLANS BROADER GRASSROOTS PUSH ON CLEAN ENERGY, CLIMATE

The Sierra Club -- one of the nation's leading environmental groups -- is poised to make global warming and energy issues its main priorities, which the group has traditionally ranked at a lower level of importance than issues such as protecting public lands and fighting urban sprawl, sources with the group say.

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