Today’s Climate: November 26, 2009

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China Announces CO2 Targets Based on GDP (Guardian)

China announced plans today to reduce the world’s biggest carbon footprint per unit of gross domestic product 40-45% from 2005 levels by 2020. Because of its economic growth rate, China’s emissions will continue to rise rapidly, but the target aims to slow the speed of emissions growth.

Europe Casts Skeptical Eye on Obama’s Copenhagen Plans (New York Times)

European officials welcomed President Obama’s presence at Copenhagen as an important signal that the U.S. is finally getting serious about climate change, but many of them expressed disappointment that he would only spend one day at the conference.

Canada Backs Alberta Carbon Emissions Pipeline (Dow Jones)

The Canadian and Alberta governments have pledged a half billion dollars to build a 240 km pipeline that will transfer captured emissions from the energy industry to be pumped beneath old oil fields.

Report Finds Canada’s Roads, Pipelines in Danger from Warming (Reuters)

Roads, buildings and pipelines in Canada’s north are at risk from global warming and the government must do more to protect infrastructure in the remote frozen region, an official panel says.

Vote on Australian Carbon Law Delayed (Reuters)

The future of Australia’s carbon trade laws was thrown into new doubt today when several opposition lawmakers resigned and promised to vote against the plan and parliament postponed a final vote until next week.

NIH, Lancet Address Medical Costs of Climate Change (Innovations)

Researchers from the National Institutes of Health and the Lancet say the cost savings realized from improving health will offset the cost of addressing climate change.

China to Double Environmental Protection Investment (Business Green)

China plans to invest up to $454 billion in environmental protection over the next five years, with about one-third earmarked for pollution control facilities, an official with the Ministry of Environmental Protection says.

EU, China to Ink ‘Clean Coal’ Deal at Summit (EurActiv)

Leaders from China and Europe will sign a new Science and Technology Agreement at next week’s summit in Nanjing, where progress is also likely on a major near-zero emissions coal project.

NASA Satellites Detect Unexpected Ice Loss in East Antarctica (Science Daily)

Using gravity measurement data from the NASA’s GRACE mission, scientists have found that the East Antarctic ice sheet — home to about 90 percent of Earth’s solid fresh water and previously considered stable — may have begun to lose ice.

Study: Land Pressures Turning Quarter of India to Desert (AFP)

Satellite images show that nearly a quarter of India’s land mass is desert or is turning into desert, according to a new study, with deforestation and overgrazing among the main factors spurring the process.

Bioengineers Produce Plastics Without Fossil Fuels (Science Daily)

South Korean scientists have succeeded in producing the polymers used for everyday plastics through bioengineering, rather than through the use of fossil fuel based chemicals.

US Businesses Brace for Emissions Rules (New York Times)

Much of corporate America has already been thinking about how to comply with federal emissions reduction rules. Many businesses concluded years ago that such limits were inevitable, and they have been calling on Congress to define the exact rules.

Small Island States Lobby Canada for Deeper CO2 Cuts (AFP)

"For many in developed countries this is an intellectual exercise," an AOSIS representative from Jamaica told a press conference. "For us in small island states, it’s becoming a matter of life and death."

Nigeria Planning ‘Green Big Brother’ Show Highlighting Climate Change (BBC)

Nigeria’s most celebrated environmental campaigner is about to launch a reality TV show to highlight the dangers of global warming for Africans.