Today’s Climate: December 17, 2009

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China: We’re Not Giving Up on Climate Deal Yet (Reuters)

China’s climate ambassador said today that China had not given up hope of reaching a strong climate agreement at Copenhagen talks. He rejected comments from other delegations that it had.

Clinton: $100B Possible, but Transparency a Deal Breaker (Globe & Mail)

The United States finally showed its hand today: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a conditional pledge to help raise $100 billion a year to help fight climate change in the developing world, but transparency is a deal-breaker.

White House Promotes $5B for Clean Tech Manufacturing (Greentech)

The White House is seeking congressional and public support for $5 billion in tax credits for U.S. manufacturers to build or expand factories to produce solar panels, wind turbines, electric cars and other renewable energy-related goods.

Exxon Can Void Gas Deal If ‘Fracking’ Is Restricted (Dallas Morning News)

Natural-gas producers who have been fighting an effort to increase regulation of the gas drilling technique hydraulic fracturing, blamed for water contamination, have a new ally in the fight: Exxon.

Towns Take Measures to Protect Water From Gas Drilling Technique (ProPublica)

Grand Junction and Palisade, Colo., tried to buy the mineral rights. They tried raising awareness. Finally, they decided if drilling had to go forward, they would define the terms and require the safest techniques to protect their water quality.

China In Talks for European Solar Projects (Dow Jones)

State-owned China Energy Conservation Investment Corp., the nation’s flagship developer of clean and renewable energy, is in talks to invest and operate solar utility projects in Spain, Italy and Germany, a company executive says.

Green Rush On In China (NPR)

A new gold rush in China is actually a green rush — an urgent drive to develop green technologies. One group of Western companies, the Cleantech Initiative, suggests China’s market for renewable energy could eventually be worth as much as $500 billion to $1 trillion a year.

Latin America Biodiversity Faces Climate Threat (AFP)

Up to 40 percent of the biodiversity of some Latin American nations could be wiped out by 2100 if climate talks in Copenhagen fail to seal a global warming deal, the UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean warns.

USGS Talks Strategy for Enhancing Soil, Forest Carbon Storage (Environmental Protection)

The first phase of a groundbreaking national assessment estimates U.S. forests and soils could remove additional quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere as a means to mitigate climate change — if agricultural land are optimized for sequestration.

Gov. Signs Massive Expansion of Florida Commuter Rail (Tallahassee Democrat)

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist signed a massive rail plan into law, calling it a major leap forward in transportation that will produce thousands of jobs and help protect Florida’s environment.

Rural Towns Lead Nepal’s Green Fight (AFP)

Nepal began handing forests over to local communities in the late 1970s in a desperate bid to stem illegal deforestation, which the government lacked the resources to halt.

Shell’s Greenwashing Ad Blitz (Guardian)

Shell has been splashing on the ads wherever green news can be found. It won’t be easy, the oil giant’s message says, "We’ll need to think the impossible is possible." Trouble is, in reality, Shell wants to think the possible is impossible.

Can Obama Stop America’s Gas-Guzzling Ways? (Spiegel)

Never before has a U.S. government been as serious in its warnings about climate change as the Obama administration. But Americans are divided: Half of them regard climate protection policies as socialist, and half want to save the world. Can Obama make America go green?