Today’s Climate: January 4, 2010

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UK Prime Minister: Climate Change Deal Still Possible (Reuters)

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown says he has an idea for moving forward with a global agreement to combat climate change in spite of the limited results of last month’s Copenhagen meeting.

Sun, Wind, Wave: EU Unites on Renewable Energy Grid (Guardian)

Europe’s first electricity grid dedicated to renewable power will become a political reality this month, as nine countries formally draw up plans to link their clean energy projects around the North Sea.

Environmental Refugees Unable to Return Home (New York Times)

Natural calamities have plagued humanity for generations. Now, with the prospect of worsening climate conditions over the next few decades, experts on migration say tens of millions more people in the developing world could be on the move because of disasters.

China Oil Spill Threatens Source of Drinking Water for Millions (Time)

An estimated 40,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled from a China National Petroleum Corp. pipeline, some of it reaching two tributaries of the Yellow River, a drinking water source for millions.

TVA Eyes Natural Gas Over Coal for Power (Tennessean)

TVA chief executive Tom Kilgore says the federal power producer is ready to start using more natural gas as it gets away from burning so much carbon-producing coal to make electricity.

Use of Potentially Harmful Chemicals Kept Secret by Law (Washington Post)

The policy was designed to protect trade secrets in a highly competitive industry. But critics say the secrecy has made it impossible for regulators to control dangers or for consumers to know which toxic substances they might be exposed to.

Chesapeake, Total in $2.25B Shale Gas Deal (The Street)

Chesapeake Energy says a U.S. unit of France’s Total will acquire a 25% interest in Chesapeake’s upstream Barnett Shale assets in a $2.25 billion joint venture.

Taiwan Tower, Once World’s Tallest, Seeks to be Greenest (Reuters)

Outdone by a tower extending over 800 meters in Dubai, the world’s former tallest building, Taipei 101, wants to become the highest green structure, a spokesman says.

Canadian Poll Shows Regional Split Over Climate Concern (Toronto Sun)

More than half of Canadians believe greenhouse gases produced by human activity are a key factor spurring climate change, and they say the planet is in peril if significant action isn’t taken soon. But the survey’s regional results, particularly in tar sands country, highlight a dilemma for policymakers.

New Hawaii Law Requires Solar Hot Water Heaters (KITV)

A new state law in Hawaii requires new homes to have solar hot water heaters. "Currently, one in four homes use solar. We need that number to 100 percent," says Blue Planet Foundation.

Efficient TVs to Electric Cars: Major Trade Shows Highlight Efficiency (Greentech)

Two of the biggest technology trade shows — CES and the North American International Auto Show — take place later this month, and energy efficiency and green will be lurking themes at both.

Sharp, Enel, STMicro to Jointly Make Solar Cells (Reuters)

Japan’s Sharp said it will set up a joint venture with Enel and STMicroelectronics to make solar cells in Italy, in a bid to further tap the strong growth potential of renewable energy sources.

10 Former Politicians with Connections to Green Tech (Earth2Tech)

Former cabinet members back to the Reagan administration have joined the boards of green tech startups in recent years, particularly former Department of Energy secretaries.

Pope’s Peace Message Focuses on Environment (CNN)

Pope Benedict XVI championed the environment in the Vatican’s annual World Day of Peace message at the start of the new year titled "If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation."

‘Climate Pilots’ Model Lower-Carbon Lifestyles (Washington Post)

If Americans really take the plunge and enter a carbon-constrained world, it might look a little like the homes of three Virginia “climate pilots,” participants in a Swedish experiment aimed at helping U.S. citizens understand that a lifestyle that curbs greenhouse-gas emissions is not necessarily oppressive, just different.