Today’s Climate: August 14, 2009

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China Says Rich Up Pressure on Poor over Climate (Reuters)

China has accused rich nations at UN climate talks of increasing pressure on the poor to do more to combat global warming while shirking their own responsibility to lead.

India Blames Kyoto Failure for Climate Standoff (AFP)

India has said it was committed to fighting climate change but called developed nations’ failure to implement the Kyoto Protocol the "single biggest issue" facing multilateral talks.

GM to Invest $43 Million in Volt Battery Plant (Detroit Free Press)

GM officially announced Thursday it was investing $43 million into a 160,000-square-foot facility that will be used to assemble lithium-ion battery packs for the Volt and other cars.

Why ‘Clunkers’ Program Won’t Take Some of the Most Polluting Cars (Los Angeles Times)

Nearly 5 million of the nation’s most polluting vehicles were quietly excluded from the "cash for clunkers" program after lobbyists for antique auto parts suppliers persuaded the government to shut out cars built before 1984.

US Marines in Afghanistan Launch Energy Efficiency Audit (Guardian)

The US Marines Corps ordered the first ever energy audit in a war zone today to try to reduce the enormous fuel costs of keeping troops on the ground in Afghanistan.

Climate Change Measure Should Be Set Aside, U.S. Senators Say (Bloomberg)

The U.S. Senate should abandon efforts to pass legislation curbing CO2 emissions this year and concentrate on a narrower bill to require use of renewable energy, four Democratic lawmakers have said.

Crist Axes Climate Summit (GreenWire)

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has indefinitely postponed a third high-profile climate summit to avoid potential blowback from Republican supporters over the event’s price tag.

Climate Change Fueling Forest Fires in Europe: Greenpeace (AFP)

Greenpeace has warned of an imminent "global emergency" as climate change fuels forest fires that have already destroyed tens of thousands of hectares in southern Europe this year.

Australia PM Says No Intention to Call Snap Poll (Reuters)

Australian PM Kevin Rudd has said he has no intention of calling a snap election, despite parliament’s rejection of his government’s promised plan for an emissions trading scheme.

Japan Election Tests Opposition’s Green Resolve (Reuters)

Japan’s main opposition party will push for tougher climate policies if it wins power in an election this month, as polls suggest it will, but some campaign promises have thrown doubt over the group’s resolve for dramatic change.

Honda Prefers Hydrogen as U.S. Pushes Battery Autos (Bloomberg)

Honda is backing hydrogen power for the cars of the future, a stance at odds with the Obama administration’s decision to drop fuel-cell technology in favor of battery-run vehicles.

Q-Cells to Cut 500 Solar Jobs (Financial Times)

Q-Cells, the world’s biggest manufacturer of solar cells, has announced it would sack almost 20 percent of its workforce in response to a slump in demand and a sharp drop in the price for solar components.

California Utility Expands Rebates for Power Efficiency (IDG News Service)

Pacific Gas & Electric is expanding a program that provides financial incentives for data centers to cut their energy use, but other utilities around the U.S. have been slow to introduce similar schemes.

Study Finds Big Storms on a 1,000-Year Rise (ClimateWire)

The North Atlantic Ocean has spawned more hurricanes and tropical storms over the last decade than it has since a similarly stormy period 1,000 years ago, according to a new study.

Norway Oil Fund Expands "Green Activist" Role (Reuters)

Norway’s $380 billion oil fund is seeking more influence over how thousands of companies in which it holds stock tackle climate change, with the goal of molding a blueprint for ‘green’ activism by institutional investors.