First Takes: EU Tries to Salvage Kyoto Protocol, Taking Green Scissors to the US Budget, & More

First Takes: EU Tries to Salvage Kyoto Protocol, Taking Green Scissors to the US Budget, & More

EU's End Run: Fears that the Kyoto Protocol may lapse in 2012 have reportedly prompted the European Union to craft a compromise that is designed to break the deadlock between industrialized and developing nations over the international protocol to fight climate change.

Although the United Kingdom's Department of Energy and Climate Change isn't talking about the back-and-forth of EU negotiations, BusinessGreen sets out the details that are available in an article this morning.

Slashing the US Budget with Green Scissors:
Hundreds of billions of dollars in "wasteful and harmful" subsidies could be cut from the bloated U.S. spending plan, going a long way to lessen the country's budget woes, according to a report from the Friends of the Earth, Taxpayers for Common Sense, consumer watchdog group Public Citizen and The Heartland Institute, a free-market think tank.

The organizations release their report, called Green Scissors 2011, in a news conference today.

Smart Grid Cyber Security:
Growth of a smart grid will require robust measures and technology to make sure the data that links our increasingly connected world -- a concept GreenBiz Group calls VERGE -- is secure. Pike Research forecasts that such investments by utilities will total $4.1 billion between now and 2018.

Expect investments in industrial control systems to grow from $309 million this year 2011 to $692 million annually by 2018, as utilities try to stave off security risks as the grid grows smarter, Pike says.

Fuel Cell Wars:
Watch out Bloom Box, startup ClearEdge Power is looking to get the edge on the fuel cell market. The Oregon-based firm just secured $73.5 million in Round E funding led by Artis Capital Management and investors that include Austria's Güssing Renewable Energy, Southern California Gas Company, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, and Kohlberg Ventures. Greentech Media says ClearEdge could well become the first profitable fuel cell firm. Ouch.

A New Tool for Measuring Greenhouse Gases: Major emitters now have a way to file GHG pollution data. The online tool enables 7,000 large industrial GHG emitters in 28 industrial sectors to submit their 2010 pollution data online to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under its Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program.

Head-Scratcher: Millions of chopsticks made from poplar and sweet gum trees from Georgia are being sent to China, according to the Daily Mail. This may seem like a U.S. twist on the idea of carrying coals to Newcastle and unnecessary production of greenhouse gases due to shipping as well, but the Daily Mail contends there is a shortage of good chopstick wood in China and the business is helping to provide jobs in a Southern town where unemployment has reached 12 percent.

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