Today’s Climate: November 18, 2009

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Senate to Put Off Climate Bill Until Spring (Wall Street Journal)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the Senate will put off debate on a big climate-change bill until “some time in the spring”, a sign of weakening political will to tackle a long-term environmental issue amid economic concerns.

Ministers Making Progress on ‘Political’ Agreement for Copenhagen (EurActiv)

After two days of talks, environment ministers are making progress towards a scaled-down climate deal in Copenhagen next month, with Washington under pressure to promise to make deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

South Korea Sets Greenhouse Gas Reduction Target (UPI)

South Korea says it will cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020, roughly equivalent to 4 percent below its 2005 levels. Without action, its emissions are forecast to grow 37 percent by 2020.

EPA Proposes Regulating SO2 on Hourly Basis (Reuters)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s existing rules average a source’s sulfur dioxide emissions over 24 hours, which allows high levels of SO2 emissions over short periods of time.

Scientists: Global Temperatures Could Rise 6C by End of Century (Guardian)

Global temperatures are on pace to rise 6 degrees Celsius by the end of the century as CO2 emissions increase and the Earth’s natural ability to absorb the gas declines, according to a major new study from the Global Carbon Project.

New Climate Model Sets Tough Targets (Nature)

Carbon dioxide emissions will have to be all but eliminated by the end of this century if the world is to avoid a temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius, a European research consortium led by the UK Met Office warns.

Vestas Seeks to Double Wind Turbines in India on Incentives (Bloomberg)

Vestas, the world’s largest maker of wind turbines, said it plans to almost double its capacity to produce wind-power equipment in India as the government offers new incentives for renewable energy.

Airline Wing Design Cuts Emissions (Business Green)

European aircraft manufacturer Airbus has this week announced plans to attach new wing tip devices to all its A320 aircraft as part of an initiative to curb fuel use by 3.5 per cent, resulting in an estimated annual saving of 700 tons of fuel for each aircraft.

Intel Sees Opportunities in Wind, Electric Car Tech (Reuters)

Technology giant Intel Corp is seeing big opportunities in wind forecasting for power generation, and in information management for electric vehicles.

Fired Kentucky Mine Official Say He Resisted Illegal Policy (Courier-Journal)

The former head of Kentucky’s mine-permitting agency says he was fired after refusing to go along with an illegal policy that primarily benefited a politically powerful coal company.

Coastal Habitats Stronger Carbon Sinks than Tropical Forests (Mongabay)

Highly endangered coastal habitats are incredibly effective in sequestering carbon and locking it away in soil, according to a new paper in a report by the IUCN.

Coal Stocks, Abundant Gas Pose UK Power Dilemma (Reuters)

Britain’s power generators face a coal-vs.-gas dilemma this winter that extends beyond fuel prices, with high coal stocks, limited coal-fired power plant lifespans, and carbon prices blurring decisions.

Greenpeace Chief Urges Obama to Use Political Capital on Climate (Guardian)

Kumi Naidoo, the first African to lead Greenpeace International, warns the U.S. president that he risks inflaming anti-American sentiment if the United States continues to drag its feet on climate change.

Paying More for Flights Eases Guilt, Not Necessarily Emissions (New York Times)

It’s difficult to monitor or quantify the emissions-reducing potential of the thousands of green projects financed by customers’ payments, and there are no industrywide standards.