Today’s Climate: August 18, 2009

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Young Activists from 110 Countries Want Climate Action (AFP)

More than 800 young environmental activists from 110 countries on Monday began a UN-organized meeting described as the biggest-ever youth gathering on climate change.

U.S. Wind Capacity Targets to be Missed Amid Slowdown (Financial Times)

The American Wind Energy Association has said the industry had anticipated 10,000 MW of new capacity this year but it is likely to build only about half that because of limited financing.

Australia: Labor Concession over Climate Bill (The Age)

The Rudd government has given the Opposition one concession in its renewable energy target legislation: existing waste-coalmine-gas projects will be included as an energy source in the scheme.

CFTC Seeks to Boost Oversight of Carbon Trading (Reuters)

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has proposed increasing federal oversight of the Chicago Climate Exchange’s carbon spot contract to promote transparency as it prepares for national management of greenhouse gases.

Fla. Governor’s Moves Scrutinized for Clues to U.S. Climate Debate (Greenwire)

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is getting heat from his party’s right wing over his support of climate legislation, fueling speculation that the politician may move away from "pro-green" positions that have been praised by top Democrats.

Green Dollars Moving to Smart Grid, Energy Storage (Reuters)

Investment in the green tech sector is now shifting from capital-intensive energy technologies, such as solar and wind, to those associated with energy storage, transportation and efficiency.

UN Chief Warns of ‘Incalculable’ Suffering without Climate Deal (AFP)

UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned Tuesday of "incalculable" human suffering if the world fails to reach a deal at crucial climate talks this December.

As Arctic Ocean warms, Megatons of Methane Bubble Up (New Scientist)

Over 250 plumes of mainly methane gas have been discovered bubbling up from the Arctic sea floor to the west of the Svalbard archipelago, due to warming waters from climate change.

Milestone: Chinese Automaker Signs Up for BYD Batteries for Hybrids (Earth2Tech)

Chinese battery giant BYD has snagged a battery supply deal from an undisclosed but major China-based car manufacturer — the first domestic automaker to sign up for lithium-ion batteries from BYD.

German Firms Create New U.S. Solar Thermal Company (Reuters)

German solar thermal company Solar Millennium AG and plant builder MAN Ferrostaal AG have joined forces to capture a chunk of the growing U.S. market for concentrating solar power.

Trina Solar Q2 Profit at $19M, Cheap Silicon Grows Margins (JLM Pacific Epoch)

Trina Solar posted a net income of $18.9 million in the second quarter of ’09, as increased customer financing, European demand and government incentive programs pushed module shipments up 34.3% to 63.9 MW.

As State Eyes Wood Fuel, Some Activists See Red (AP)

In its push for renewable energy, Massachusetts is hoping to add wood-burning power plants, or "biomass energy," to the list of green power options. But a coalition of neighborhood groups is pushing back.

India to Go Toe-to-Toe with Cleantech VCs (Cleantech Group)

India’s government has announced plans to launch its own venture fund focused on green technology research.

U.S. Utilities Hatch Ambitious Plans to Own and Operate Large-scale PV Projects (Renewable Energy World)

A growing number of utilities, rather than depend on independent producers to build their PV installations, have launched massive initiatives to own and operate their own solar assets, most notably Duke Energy, one of America’s largest power companies.

Why GM’s ‘What Is 230’ Buzz Wasn’t Enough (Ad Age)

GM’s "What is 230?" campaign failed completely, say ad experts. It was ill-timed, targeted a group that is not likely to be the core Volt buyer and — most of all — didn’t offer enough clues to engage people.