Today’s Climate: December 1, 2009

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India Rejects Danish Climate Proposal (AFP)

India today rejected a Danish draft proposal on climate change which seeks to cap emissions, widening the gulf between rich and poor nations ahead of next week’s Copenhagen talks.

‘Mad Monk’ Australia Opposition Head to Fight CO2 Laws (Reuters)

Australia’s new conservative opposition leader, Tony Abbott, is a socially conservative Catholic who considered seminary and has changed his position on the carbon trade scheme three times in recent months but says he believes humans have contributed to global warming.

Chu: US Falling Behind in Clean Energy Race (Reuters)

The United States is falling behind in the race for clean, renewable energy and risks losing its prominence in high-tech manufacturing, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu says.

Warming Turns Parts of Antarctica Green (Sydney Morning Herald)

A report out today finds winter temperatures in west Antarctica have increased by as much as 5 degrees Celsius, turning summer snow into rain, allowing cushion plants and grasses to thrive and increasing the threat from rising oceans.

New CO2 Auction Plan Creates EU Stir (EurActiv)

The European Commission is leaning towards spot auctioning for emission allowances for the next trading period, due to start in 2013, prompting complaints from the electricity industry.

New Faces in Top European Climate, Environment and Energy Posts (New York Times)

The guard is changing at the European Commission in Brussels where, President Jose Manuel Barroso has named his new 27-member team — including a newly created post for climate action to be filled by Denmark’s Connie Hedegaard.

Europeans Could Save Planet for $3 a Day (Reuters)

Europeans could help cut climate warming emissions to much safer levels for just 2 euros ($3) each per day, but they would also have to cut back on driving and meat eating, a report from Friends of the Earth says.

New York Brings Renewable Energy Direct to Consumers (Business Green)

New York City has teamed up with the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Alliance for Clean Energy New York to create a new web site designed to make it easier for consumers and businesses to directly purchase renewable energy certificates.

Spain Turns Down Air Conditioning to Reduce Power Use (London Times)

The Spanish Cabinet agreed to reduce energy consumption by limiting the use of air conditioning with minimum and maximum temperatures for public buildings.

Google to Fund Clean Power Plants (Greentech)

Tech-heavy Google is getting into one of the least scientific, but most important, segments of the green business: putting up the money to build power plants.

Vibrating Kettles: Counter Top Power Stations (Business Green)

A team at Bristol University hopes to harvest kinetic energy from vibrating household appliances and vehicles in order to use it as a clean source of commercial electricity within five years.

Sense of Déjà Vu in Denmark (Yale Environment 360)

Twelve years ago in Kyoto, the world was poised to act on a climate treaty but looked for a clear signal from the United States. Now, with the Copenhagen talks set to begin, the outcome once again hinges on what the U.S. is prepared to do, writes Bill McKibben.