E2 Round-up: White House launches conservation overhaul, Obama presses China on climate change, BP turns back oil sands critics, and more.

* Obama says China shouldn’t ‘wait’ on climate change.

The President, in an interview with Australian television, said China should not wait until its living standards improve before tackling climate change, AFP reports.

From their piece Thursday:

Obama, speaking in an Australian TV interview, said China knew the dangers of global warming but appeared to lack urgency about dealing with the problem.

"Right now their understandable impulse is to say, 'Well let's let the developed countries, the Australias, and the Americas deal with this problem first and we'll get to it when we've caught up a little bit in terms of our standard of living," he told public broadcaster ABC.

"The point we've tried to make is we can't, we can't allow China to wait.

"We have to take responsibility and do what needs to be done, but if emerging countries not just China but also India, Brazil and others are pursuing a path in which they replace us as the largest carbon emitters, that's not a sustainable practical approach.

"So we're going to have to have everybody moving on the same track at the same time."

* Oil giant BP turns back oil sands critics.

Shareholder resolutions pressing oil companies to steer clear of oil sands projects on environmental grounds have become a common tool for green investing activists.

But while they can draw attention to the issue, they haven’t yet forced oil companies to abandon the Canadian projects.

The Wall Street Journal reports that BP’s board “board looks set to win backing from shareholders on two contentious votes—executive pay and the development of an oil sands project in Canada—at its annual general meeting, according to figures provided by the company Thursday.”

“More than 90% of votes cast ahead of the annual general meeting approved the remuneration package for executive directors and rejected a resolution calling for BP to launch an investigation into whether the Sunrise oil sands project is viable on economic and environmental grounds, a BP spokeswoman said,” the story adds.

On the oil sands issue, “A group of activist investors, led by the group FairPensions, sponsored a resolution requiring BP's audit committee or risk committee to investigate the impact of future carbon prices, oil price volatility and legal and reputational risks arising from local environmental damage on the proposed Sunrise oil sands project with Husky Energy Inc.”

* Climate change will be very unhealthy – and annoying – a new report finds.

USA Today reports on a new study by the National Wildlife Federation which concludes that climate change will mean more allergies and asthma attacks.

“With spring arriving 10 to 14 days earlier than 20 years ago, pollination is starting sooner, according to the report, which shows projected changes in habitat.  Tree pollen is the most common trigger for spring hay fever,” the story notes.

* The U.S. is increasing its focus on sustainable energy in the Caribbean, Central America and South America.

On Thursday I blogged about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s vow to promote development of shale gas in the region despite environmental concerns.

AFP looks at her other remarks at the Energy and Climate Ministerial of the Americas in Washington, focusing on Clinton’s pledge to help several countries become less reliant on oil imports.

A State Department summary of the initiatives can be found here.