Today’s Climate: September 25, 2009

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California Sets Biggest Energy Efficiency Plan (Reuters)

California has approved the most aggressive energy efficiency plan in the nation, earmarking $3.1 billion to retrofit homes and other programs that will cut power needs equivalent to three power plants.

Planned Emission Cuts Still Mean Far Hotter Earth (AP)

Earth’s temperature is likely to jump nearly 6 degrees between now and the end of the century even if every country cuts CO2 emissions as proposed, according to an updated UN report.

EU Says Rich States Must Pay Up to Save Climate Agreement (Guardian)

The EU has set aside diplomatic language and issued a bare-boned challenge to industrialized nations to come up with the cash developing countries need to deal with climate change.

G20 Agrees to Phase Out Fossil Fuel Subsidies: Draft (Reuters)

The Group of 20 nations will agree to phase out subsidies on oil and other fossil fuels in the "medium term," but will not set a firm timetable for the move, according to a draft statement.

China Launches Climate Project with Britain, Switzerland (AFP)

China has launched a $6.75 million project with Britain and Switzerland aimed at finding ways for the Asian giant to tackle climate change and mitigate its effects.

Duke, FPL to Switch to Hybrid, Electric Vehicles (AP)

Two of America’s largest power generators have said they plan to begin switching their company cars to plug-in hybrid or all-electric vehicles starting January 1.

A123’s Smash-Hit IPO Could Herald More Green Debuts (Reuters)

A 50% leap in the shares of lithium-ion battery maker A123 Systems on their first day of trading on Thursday looks likely to jumpstart the market for clean-tech share offerings.

New California Rules Allow Timber Firms to Sell Carbon Credits (Los Angeles Times)

The Schwarzenegger administration has pushed through rules that allow loggers to sell their carbon credits to industry while also clear-cutting their lands, sparking intense opposition from conservation groups.

Schwarzenegger Defends Legacy from Whitman Attack (AP)

At a third anniversary celebration of the state’s global warming law, Gov. Schwarzenegger found himself fending off barbs by a member of his own party — former eBay CEO and Republican candidate for governor Meg Whitman.

Houston to Get Largest Solar Plant in Texas (Dallas Morning News)

NRG Energy will build the state’s largest solar array in Houston, and sell all of the power it produces from the $40 million, 10-MW plant to the city.

New York: Painting the City White, Literally (The Epoch Times)

New York City Mayor Bloomberg and former VP Al Gore have launched a campaign to begin painting 100,000 square feet of rooftops in Queens with a white coating that will slash energy usage.

Build a Better Bulb for a $10 Million Prize (New York Times)

Dutch electronics giant Phillips has submitted the first entry for the "L Prize," the U.S. Energy Department contest that will award $10 million to the first group that creates an energy-efficient version of the popular 60-watt light bulb.

El Nino Comes in New Flavors, Thanks to Global Warming (Sydney Morning Herald)

Global warming may make a new breed of El Nino weather events, called El Nino Modoki, more common, increasing the risk of drought over larger parts of Australia, a study has found.

MRI, Solar Cells, Aging Work Lead Nobel Predictions (Reuters)

Scientists who discovered the secrets of how cells age, who made efficient solar cells possible and who figured out how to watch the brain work in real time are all leading contenders for Nobel prizes, according to predictions.