Today’s Climate: July 15, 2009

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US, China Announce Clean Energy Research Center (AP)

The U.S. and China, the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters, announced plans today for a joint clean energy research center as the American commerce secretary appealed to Beijing to avoid imposing trade barriers on green technology.

Chu, Locke Have Their Work Cut Out for Them in China (Los Angeles Times)

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke have their work cut out for them as try to open Chinese markets to cleantech products and lay a framework for cooperation ahead of President Obama’s visit to China later this year.

UN: Non-Green Asset Managers Could Be Sued (Reuters)

Investment advisors and asset managers could be sued for negligence if they do not consider the environment and other social issues when making investment decisions, a United Nations report says.

Study: Past Warming Took More than CO2 (Reuters)

A dramatic warming of the planet 55 million years ago cannot be solely explained by a surge in carbon dioxide levels, a study shows, highlighting gaps in scientists’ understanding of impacts from rapid climate change.

Largest U.S. Onion Processor Unveils Biogas Plant (Cleantech)

Southern California Gas plans to award Gills Onions with $2.7 million this week for an anaerobic digester system that will convert onion waste to cattle feed and enough electricity to power two 300-kilowatt fuel cells.

GE: Smart Grid Yields Net-Zero Energy Home (CNet)

General Electric unveiled a project that will let homeowners cut annual energy consumption to zero by 2015, creating "net-zero energy homes" by combining on-site power generation with energy-efficient appliances and on-site storage.

DOE’s New Baby Bell Labs on Budget Chopping Block (Wired)

The Department of Energy will lose a major new energy research and development program developed by the Obama Administration, if cuts to the agency’s budget by Congressional committees made last week become law.

UK Energy Secretary Unveiling Carbon Budgets (Guardian)

UK Energy Secretary Ed Milliband plans today to unveil the world’s first legally binding carbon budgets, which will eventually commit the UK to cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Dutch Act on VAT Fraud in CO2 Market (Reuters)

There are "clear indications" of fraudulent activity in the Dutch carbon emissions market, the Dutch ministry of finance said regarding its decision to take steps to prevent value-added tax (VAT) fraud.

Thailand Getting $700M in Loans for Clean Energy (Business Green)

Thailand will today receive $700m in loan financing from the World Bank and its private investment arm International Finance Corp (IFC) to help fund renewable power and energy efficiency projects expected to cut 10 million tons of CO2 per year.

Goodbye Spark Plugs: Lasers to Spark Fuel Efficient Cars (Business Green)

Engineers at the University of Liverpool are currently working on a new vehicle technology that promises to slash carbon emissions and improve fuel efficiency by integrating lasers into the humble car ignition system.

Reva: The Anti-Nano? (Financial Times)

The world’s biggest electric vehicle factory is being built in India, according to the Reva Electric Car Company. But will the clutchless, gearless Reva be much of a rival to internal combustion-based Tata Nano, much feted as the world’s cheapest car?

Six Global Warming Solutions for San Francisco (Mercury News)

A giant submerged curtain anchored under the Golden Gate Bridge that rises to hold back storm waves, and vast networks of new wetlands, some at bay-front warehouse sites, were among the winners of a design competition for protecting San Francisco from rising sea levels.

Sen. Kerry: What Sarah Palin Forgot (Huffington Post)

In her op-ed, Sarah Palin wrote about the climate action in Congress without considering the reason for it. "It’s like complaining about the cost of repairing a roof without factoring in the leaks destroying your home,” Sen. John Kerry writes. The leaks are obvious already in some of Alaska’s villages.