Today’s Climate: November 20, 2009

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UN Climate Chief Seeks $10 Bln Pledge from Rich Nations (Reuters)

The UN climate chief has called on rich nations to pledge $10 billion a year for three years at next month’s Copenhagen summit to help poor states begin to tackle climate change.

Germany Calls for Binding Climate Deal in 2010 (AP)

German Chancellor Merkel has called for all nations to fix binding climate targets next year at the latest, saying that no such deal is likely at global talks in Copenhagen.

Australia’s Rudd Faces Showdown on Carbon Vote (Reuters)

Australia’s parliament votes next week on Prime Minister Rudd’s plan for a sweeping carbon trade scheme, with hopes it will finally win approval after two years of divisive debate.

AES Corp. Agrees to Pollution Disclosures (AP)

AES, which operates several coal plants in the U.S, is the latest power company to agree to give investors more information about its global warming pollution in financial disclosures.

Energy Leaders Back Climate Change Deal (AFP)

Energy industry leaders representing 93 nations have called for an international deal on climate change to tackle financial uncertainty and prevent catastrophic warming.

Approval Granted for US-Canada Wind Transmission (Recharge)

U.S. regulators have approved a transaction to finance construction of a 345-kilometer electricity transmission line connecting wind-rich markets in Montana and Alberta, Canada.

EPA Sends Ship Emission Rules to White House (Greenwire)

The U.S. EPA moved closer this week to finalizing new engine and fuel standards for the largest ocean-bound ships by sending the draft rules to the White House for review.

Suntech, Trina Solar See Demand Rising; Shares Up (Reuters)

Chinese solar firms Suntech Power and Trina Solar posted higher-than-expected earnings on Thursday and said demand for solar systems was rebounding after a dismal year.

Prince Charles Announces Funding Scheme to Protect Rainforests (Guardian)

The Prince of Wales announced a 35-nation funding scheme to reduce the destruction of rainforests over the next five years, with the U.S. pledging $275 million towards the effort.

PG&E Struggles Against Customer Anger Over Smart Meters (Dow Jones)

Utility PG&E is rushing to give customers a crash course in digital meters, as the company works to diffuse mounting anger over allegations that customer electricity bills jumped as a result of the utility’s rollout of "smart" meters.

Melting Sea Ice Dilutes Water, Endangers Sea Life (Reuters)

Melting of the Arctic sea ice due to warming is diluting surface waters, endangering species of shellfish that need minerals in the water to form their skeletons, according to new research published in Science.

Indiana Gets $4 Million Grant to Help Autoworkers (AP)

Indiana has won a $4 million federal grant to lead an effort with Michigan and Ohio to help laid-off autoworkers find jobs in the renewable energy industry.

Taiwan Tropical Isle Going Green with Vehicle Ban (Reuters)

Over the next three years, Taiwan plans to spend $9.3 million to $15.5 million on replacing all gas-powered scooters, cars and buses with electric models on the islet of Liuqiu.

Md. Regulators Approve Wind Farm (AP)

The Maryland Public Service Commission has approved an application to build a 50-MW wind farm atop Backbone Mountain in Garrett County, despite strong NIMBY opposition.

Gas Feud Escalates Between Russia and Ukraine (New York Times)

A dispute between Russia and Ukraine over natural gas supplies escalated on Thursday, with an aide to the Russian president calling Ukraine’s warnings of a possible gas crisis "political blackmail."

California Revamps Website Ranking Vehicles According to Emissions (Green Car Congress)

The California Air Resources Board unveiled its revamped website,, which offers a new system that ranks vehicles according to their emission characteristics and provides tools to compare models.