Today’s Climate: September 21, 2009

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UN Plans ‘Shock Therapy’ at Climate Summit (Guardian)

This week’s UN summit in New York will force heads of rich states to listen to those of third world nations in the hope that one-on-one meetings can kick-start radical action.

Sen. Lieberman Proposes Cash for Coal, Nuclear (Politico)

In an effort to resuscitate some version of the House climate change bill in the Senate, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) is trying to get Republicans and moderate Democrats on board by adding money for coal power and nuclear plants.

IEA: China Could Lead on Climate by 2020 (Financial Times)

China will be at the forefront of combating climate change by 2020 if it meets government targets on reducing greenhouse gas emissions set out in its five-year plan, the International Energy Agency suggests.

Seeing Opportunity in Carbon Emissions’ Decline Amid Financial Crisis (AFP)

Greenhouse gas emissions have fallen more this year than any year in the past four decades thanks to the global downturn. It hands the world a chance to move away from high-carbon growth, a report said today, citing an International Energy Agency study.

Obama Shifts Focus to Climate Change for the Week (Los Angeles Times)

As President Obama shifts his focus to climate change this week, a look at some hurdles facing the president and his international counterparts when it comes to climate action.

Sen. Boxer Prepares to Release Climate Bill Next Week (ClimateWire)

Sen. Barbara Boxer is widely expected to release her draft of a Senate climate bill next week and start legislative hearings during the week of Oct. 5, with a tentative markup penciled in for the week of Oct. 12.

Australia Plans Copenhagen Compromise (Reuters)

Developing economies shouldn’t be locked into carbon lowering targets under a new global climate pact, Australia said today, outlining a deal it hopes will avert failure at make-or-break talks in Copenhagen.

New Japanese PM To Propose Global Climate Funding Plan (Reuters)

Japans’ new prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, will unveil a plan to support developing countries in technology and funding to fight climate change at a UN meeting this week, Japan’s environment minister says.

Wyoming Crafts Plan for Carbon Sequestration (Billings Gazette)

A task force is helping Wyoming lawmakers craft a legal and regulatory framework for commercial-scale carbon sequestration following new state laws passed last year outlining aspects such as pore space ownership and mineral priorities.

New Social Network Aims to Save the Rainforests (Reuters)

Environmental activists plan to announce today the formation of "Team Earth," a social network that includes businesses, NGOs, students and politicians with the hope of battling tropical deforestation.

Oil Company Reaches Dumping Settlement with Ivory Coast (AP)

The oil-trading company Trafigura says it has reached a settlement to pay $1,546 per person in the Ivory Coast who became ill after a tanker in 2006 dumped hundreds of tons of waste. Plaintiffs’ lawyers say 30,000 people are involved in the case.

Nuclear Renaissance Would Mean More Uranium Mines (SA Current)

The Texas Mining & Reclamation Association estimates more than 76 million pounds of uranium have been produced in Texas, leaving huge, still radioactive holes in the ground. A nuclear rennaissance would mean a resumption in the demand — and the damage.

US Biodiesel Industry Facing Surplus (Cleantech)

American biodiesel producers are shifting gears after losing 80 percent of their customer base due to an EU trade ban.

Smart Grid Standards Road Map Coming this Week (Earth2Tech)

Producers of the GridWeek conference this week in Washington expect to unveil the smart grid standards road map that the National Institute of Standards has been working on for many months.

To Go Solar, Start Local (Washington Post)

Solar energy co-ops are forming across the Washington region as neighbors band together to save money, take a stand on greener living and help each other through the installation process, from roof assessments to a final hookup to the local utility’s power grid.

Maldives Leader: Climate Change Requires a Real Movement (Huffington Post)

No one in the Maldives is applauding the recent pledge of the G-8 nations to try and hold temperature increases to 2 degrees and the atmospheric CO2 to 450 ppm. A few years ago, those might have been laudable goals, but new science makes clear they’re out of date, writes the islands’ president.