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China may hit energy use target for 1st time in 08

KUNMING (Reuters) - China could meet its own annual targets for energy efficiency for the first time this year, but will still have problems meeting its goals of reducing emissions, according to a state-backed think tank. China in 2006 set a goal of cutting energy intensity, or the amount of energy needed to produce $1 in economic growth, by 20 percent by 2010. But after it failed to meet the annual target in 2006, the first year of the campaign, it has not published the annual goals for subsequent years. >> Read the Full Article

Australia says carbon emissions keep growing

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australia's carbon emissions would continue to grow due to a heavy reliance on coal for electricity, a government report said on Monday, although the country would meet its Kyoto emissions targets by 2012. Climate Change Minister Penny Wong said emissions would grow by 108 percent of 1990 levels from 2008 to 2012, meeting commitments under the Kyoto Protocol which sets binding Greenhouse gas targets for developed nations. >> Read the Full Article

Amazon nuts help fuel first biofuel flight

LONDON (Reuters) - Nuts picked from Amazon rainforests helped fuel the world's first commercial airline flight powered by renewable energy on Sunday. A Virgin Atlantic jumbo jet flew from London to Amsterdam with one of its fuel tanks filled with a bio-jet blend including babassu oil and coconut oil. >> Read the Full Article

Mining sets off earthquake in west Germany

BERLIN (Reuters) - A mild earthquake caused by coal mining shook the western German state of Saarland on Saturday, causing damage to buildings but no injuries. A police spokesman in the Saarlouis region on the French border said the earthquake measured 4.0 on the Richter scale, the strongest on record in the area, and had knocked over chimneys and caused electricity outages. >> Read the Full Article

Kenyan wildlife park bush fire rages for second day

NAKURU, Kenya (Reuters) - Using branches to beat back flames, Kenyan rangers and residents struggled for a second day on Saturday to control bush fires that have engulfed a third of one of the nation's best-known wildlife parks. At least 100 local citizens joined wildlife officials to help put out the fire, which was accidentally started in a nearby village and has already destroyed large patches of the 188 square km Lake Nakuru National Park. >> Read the Full Article

GM exec stands by calling global warming a "crock"

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Corp Vice Chairman Bob Lutz has defended remarks he made dismissing global warming as a "total crock of s---," saying his views had no bearing on GM's commitment to build environmentally friendly vehicles. Lutz, GM's outspoken product development chief, has been under fire from Internet bloggers since last month when he was quoted as making the remark to reporters in Texas. >> Read the Full Article

Can Japan Convince International Community to Support “Sustainable” Whaling?

The International Whaling Commission’s 78 members are meeting in London next month in an effort to reach agreement on whale conservation rules. Meanwhile, global whale hunting continues to increase. The March 6–8 gathering, titled “The Future of the IWC,” will prepare IWC member states for their annual meeting in Chile this June. Delegates at the June conference will likely face considerable pressure to produce an agreement on the future of whaling, particularly in light of rising catches by Japan and other countries. >> Read the Full Article

Japan launches experimental Internet satellite

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan launched an experimental communications satellite on Saturday as part of an ambitious space program that could help ensure super high-speed Internet access in remote parts of Japan and elsewhere in Asia. The H-2A rocket carrying the 2.7 tonne "KIZUNA" (WINDS) communications satellite took off into over the tiny island of Tanegashima, about 1,000 km (620 miles) south of Tokyo, at 5.55 p.m. (0855 GMT). >> Read the Full Article

Jakarta hit by scheduled blackouts to save power

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Jakarta's commercial and residential districts were hit by scheduled power cuts for several hours on Saturday as part of a desperate attempt by Indonesia's state electricity firm to save dwindling supplies. Java, Indonesia's most heavily populated island, and Bali, the neighboring resort island, were hit by serious outages last week as bad weather hampered coal deliveries and left two big power plants on Java with only enough coal stocks to last a day or so. >> Read the Full Article

Traces of unapproved GMO trait found in U.S. corn

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Traces of an unapproved genetically modified trait were found in U.S. corn planted in 2006 and 2007 but the grain poses no threat to food or feed safety, said the U.S Agriculture Department on Friday. The 2008 corn crop will not be affected when it is planted this spring across the United States, the world's largest corn exporter. >> Read the Full Article