Today’s Climate: November 10, 2009

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IEA: Fossil Fuel Use Must Peak by 2020 (Financial Times)

The International Energy Agency warned as it released its Energy Outlook report today that the world’s use of fossil fuels will have to peak by 2020 if it is to escape a dangerous spike in global temperatures.

Climate Breakthrough Unlikely in US-China Talks (Financial Times)

Barack Obama and Hu Jintao are set to unveil a clean energy co-operation agreement in Beijing next week. But the agreement, which will include joint research on CCS and electric cars, is unlikely to include a breakthrough for Copenhagen, officials say.

Obama Says: I Will Go to Copenhagen If It Will Clinch a Deal (Reuters)

President Obama tells Reuters that he would travel to Copenhagen next month if a climate summit is on the verge of a framework deal and his presence there will make a difference in clinching it.

Cost of Extra Year’s Climate Inaction: $500 Billion (Reuters)

The world will have to spend an extra $500 billion to cut carbon emissions for each year it delays implementing a major assault on global warming, the International Energy Agency warned in its annual World Energy Outlook report.

New Zealand Court Nixes Hemisphere’s Largest Wind Farm (Business Green)

New Zealand’s Environment Court ruled against a 176-turbine wind farm on the grounds that it would ruin the surrounding landscape. The wind industry fears that controversial decision could set worrying precedent for future wind energy projects.

Massachusetts Rethinks Biomass Power Plant Plans (AP)

Environmental criticism that biomass power plants could end up with clear-cutting of forests while pumping out CO2 has ramped up. The state has already invested $1 million to launch four proposed plants.

Veterans Join Front Lines of Climate Fight (Politico)

Veterans groups have become a key weapon for environmentalists in their bid to win over swing votes on climate change legislation, but selling the military community on the importance of climate change was not automatic.

UN Chief Heads to Washington to Talk Climate (COP15)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon heads to Washington today to ensure that the United States is on board with a climate deal next month at Copenhagen.

Recession Boosts Blue Chips’ Green Investment (Business Green)

Far from quelling interest in cleantech, the recession has piqued blue chip firms’ interest in low carbon technologies and business models as they seek to identify opportunities to boost operational efficiency and reduce costs, an Ernst & Young survey finds.

Pachauri: India ‘Arrogant’ to Deny Warming Link to Glaciers (Guardian)

IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri accused the Indian environment ministry of ‘arrogance’ for its report claiming there is no evidence that climate change has shrunk Himalayan glaciers.

Forests Quickly Disappearing on Sumatra, Indonesian Borneo (Mongabay)

Forty percent of lowland forests in Sumatra and Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) were cleared in a six-year span, a high resolution assessment of land cover change in Indonesia finds.

EPA Lawyers Warned Over Video on Climate Policy (New York Times)

The EPA told lawyers Laurie Williams and Allan Zabel to make minor changes to the YouTube video, such as removing an EPA logo, to comply with federal policy.

Energy Star Homes Reach 1 Million Mark (Los Angeles Times)

One million energy-efficient homes qualifying for the Energy Star rating have been built in the U.S. since the program was launched in 1995, the Environmental Protection Agency said. Two Texas cities lead the list.

California’s Recycled Paper Trail Not so Green for Climate (Sacramento Bee)

California is a leader on climate change issues, but a newspaper investigation questions some of its choices – such as failing to evaluate environmental costs of printer ink cartridge recycling and allowing its employees to travel on the dime of energy companies.

Sea Floor Fossils Provide Clues on Climate Change (Renssalaer)

A look at how scientists are studying tiny deep-sea fossils called foraminifera to reconstruct the climates of Earth up to 250 million years ago.