Today’s Climate: December 16, 2009

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Key Decisions Still Unresolved at Climate Talks (Washington Post)

It’s unclear how to fund a deal that could involve the transfer of billions of dollars from industrialized countries to the developing world; delegates remain at loggerheads over which mechanisms should be employed to reduce emissions; and there is continuing debate about how to monitor compliance with a treaty.

Climate Deal in Balance Over Aid (Financial Times)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon concedes that a Copenhagen deal on climate change might not include promised financial aid for developing countries, an admission that will infuriate poorer nations and potentially scupper a broad agreement.

CCS Ruled Out for Clean Projects List in Copenhagen Draft (EurActiv)

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) will not be added to the list of technologies that industrial countries can invest in to offset their emissions, after some countries expressed reservations at Copenhagen, according to a draft text.

Danish PM Rasmussen to Become President of UN Climate Talks (Reuters)

Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen will replace Danish minister Connie Hedegaard as president of the U.N. climate talks for a final summit session, the United Nations said on Wednesday. Hedegaard described it as a procedural move with heads of state arriving.

Australia Accused of Cooking Carbon Books (ABC)

The Australian government has been accused of accounting fraud in the reporting of its carbon emissions. By ignoring a massive rise in polluting gases from agricultural and forestry, Australia has made its overall emissions seem much lower than they actually are.

Two Lawsuits Challenge Alaska Offshore Drilling (AP)

A coalition of environmental groups and Arctic communities has filed a second lawsuit aimed at blocking a Shell Oil subsidiary from drilling in the Beaufort Sea. The group sued on Tuesday, hours after a group that helps manage Eskimo whaling in Alaska filed a similar lawsuit.

Portions of Arctic Coastline Swiftly Eroding With Drop in Sea Ice (PysOrg)

A new study indicates part of the northern Alaska coastline is eroding by up to 45 feet annually due to declining sea ice, warming seawater and increased wave activity.

Canada Weighs Weaker Emissions Targets for Oil, Gas industries (CBC)

The Canadian government has not ruled out giving special breaks to tar sands companies when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, Environment Minister Jim Prentice acknowledged.

Trade Discord Fuels U.S.-China Tension in Copenhagen (Bloomberg)

China is demanding that a global agreement to reduce greenhouse gases prohibit nations from imposing trade sanctions, further pitting the world’s No. 1 emitter against U.S. lawmakers.

Sen. Murkowski Tries Again to Limit EPA Action (Anchorage Daily News)

Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski announced plans to file a "disapproval resolution" to block the EPA’s endangerment finding. It’s a rare move that could prohibit rules written by executive branch agencies from taking effect. EPA published its finding in the Federal Register on Tuesday.

China Exports Seen Helping Green Growth, Climate (Reuters)

China can become a powerful force to help developing nations fight both climate change and poverty with low-cost exports of wind or solar technologies, the head of the U.N. Development Program (UNDP) said.

China’s Booming Clean Tech Sector Drives Stellar Growth for GE (Business Green)

As US and Chinese diplomats face off in Copenhagen, one company is serving to highlight the huge environmental and economic benefits that could accrue from improved collaboration between the two economic giants.

LA Utility Shelves Plans for Solar Farm Near Salton Sea (Los Angeles Times)

The Department of Water and Power’s top executive says he is troubled by the costs of the 970-acre project. The City Council considers creating a ratepayer advocate.

NASA Releases New CO2 Data (Greentech)

Analyses of a set of NASA data shows that water vapor greatly amplifies global warming, and carbon dioxide doesn’t mix in the atmosphere as quickly as assumed.

Envoy Expects India Emission Offer to Help Drive Hard Bargain (Bloomberg)

For Jairam Ramesh, India’s environment minister, United Nations climate-change talks in Copenhagen are as much about easing poverty in his country as preventing the world from overheating.

Todd Stern Feels the Heat from All Angles (Politico)

The lack of Senate action in 2009 has hamstrung and sometimes humbled Stern and his team, leaving them unable to fully commit to specific numerical targets. And that’s given China and India major leverage during talks on emissions, funding and monitoring.

Creating a Green Fund (Financial Times)

How would financing for the developed world to mitigate and deal with climate change – should it ever be agreed upon – actually work? Norway and Mexico have combined their ideas into a plan.