Today’s Climate: October 24-25, 2009

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Global Events Mark Magic Number on Climate Change (AP)

Activists held events around the world Saturday to mark the number they say the world needs to hit to prevent catastrophic climate change: 350 parts per million of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.

Senate Climate Bill Seeks to Cushion Impact on Industry (New York Times)

The Senate bill aimed at cutting climate pollution will initially grant billions of dollars of free emissions permits to utilities but will require the bulk of the money be returned to taxpayers, according to new details.

South Carolina’s Graham: Energy, Warming Policies Go Together (AP)

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, drawing fire from energy industry groups after saying he would seek bipartisan consensus on global warming, said Friday that reducing pollution and energy independence go together.

EPA Commits to Set Air Pollution Rules by 2011 (McClatchy Newspapers)

The EPA will put controls on the emissions of hazardous pollutants such as mercury from coal plants for the first time by November 2011, according to a new agreement announced to settle a lawsuit against the agency.

White House Confronts the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (Los Angeles Times)

The Obama White House is attempting to bypass the powerful Chamber of Commerce and develop independent ties to corporate America, due largely to the group’s opposition to climate action.

Rich-Poor Divide Could Be Copenhagen Climate ‘Deal-Breaker’ (AFP)

World leaders could fail to reach a climate deal at the UN Copenhagen summit if rich nations refuse to financially help developing nations tackle climate change, government and NGO officials said at a development conference.

Japan Calls on India to Make Climate Commitment (Reuters)

Japanese PM Yukio Hatoyama called on his Indian counterpart on Saturday to make an international commitment on climate change, saying it was vital for a UN deal due in Copenhagen in December.

President Obama Won’t Talk Climate Change in Copenhagen (The Times)

Pres. Obama will almost certainly not travel to the Copenhagen climate summit in December and may instead use his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in Oslo to set out U.S. environmental goals.

Chinese Company to Build Solar Power Plants in U.S. With Duke (Greentech Media)

China’s ENN, which makes thin-film solar panels, is teaming up with Duke Energy to bid on contracts for utility-scale solar farms in America.

Largest Solar Panel Plant in U.S. Rises in Fla. (AP)

The new Desoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center will power a small fraction of Florida Power & Light’s 4-million plus customer base. Nevertheless, at 25 MW, it will generate nearly twice as much energy as the second-largest PV facility in the U.S.

U.S. Solar Industry Preps Year’s First IPO as Results Reveal Upbeat Outlook (Business Green)

The brightening outlook for the U.S. solar industry was underlined last week, as two of the country’s top manufacturers reported better than anticipated sales and Connecticut-based STR Holdings confirmed plans for the sector’s first IPO in 15 months.

Province Freezes Great Lakes Energy Proposals (Toronto Star)

Ontario’s natural resources ministry has been so overwhelmed with applications to develop offshore wind projects in the Great Lakes that it has stopped accepting them – at least until March 2010.

Australia: New Hope for Viable Clean Coal Projects (The Australian)

An unpublished government study has raised hopes that Australia will be able to develop commercially viable "clean coal" projects because prospective underground storage sites are close to power generation plants.

Indian Carmaker Reva to Manufacture in NY (Cleantech Group)

Indian auto manufacturer Reva Electric Car has selected Syracuse, N.Y., to build its plug-in electric vehicles, with a manufacturing facility capable of pumping out more than 20,000 cars a year.

‘Stealth’ Wind Turbine Deployed (BBC News)

A stealth wind turbine blade that absorbs radar signals has been demonstrated at a wind farm in England. The technology may help many wind farm projects that are on hold because of so-called "radar clutter" concerns.

Biofuel for Commercial Flights by 2010: IATA (AFP)

The International Air Transport Association has said it would approve biofuels for commercial flights by 2010 in a bid to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.