Today’s Climate: May 27, 2009

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Chu: Too Much Emphasis on Emission Targets (Reuters)

Energy Secretary Stephen Chu says setting exact targets for carbon dioxide emissions has led to an "over-obsession" with numbers: "Whether it’s 17 percent or 20 or 25 percent, I think there’s perhaps … an over-obsession on these percentages."

Global CEOs Back Greenhouse Gas Cuts, Carbon Caps (AP)

Global business leaders added momentum to prospects for a new UN climate treaty by agreeing that the world must halve greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century and calling for a price on carbon.

UN’s Ban Calls Climate Change Pace ‘Alarming’ (Reuters)

"This is very serious and alarming," the UN secretary-general said. "We must take action now regardless of where you are coming from. Rich and poor countries, we must address this issue together."

European Business Group Criticizes China in Wind-Power Bidding (Dow Jones)

A European business group is urging Beijing to be more transparent in awarding contracts under its stimulus program, citing a $5 billion wind-power project: "As we understand, European business and all the foreign business are out of the race.”

Warren Buffet’s Big Battery Play Involves China’s BYD (GreenBiz)

MidAmerican Energy, 80% owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, will soon begin testing batteries from China’s BYD that, if all goes well, could store electricity on a large scale at a reasonable cost.

Australia’s Emissions Stand-Off Could Pull Election Trigger (Sydney Morning Herald)

Australia’s emissions trading scheme is headed for defeat as a result of a Senate stand-off, handing Labor a trigger for an early, double dissolution election.

China Flexible on Rich Nations’ Emissions Cuts (Reuters)

Global negotiations later this year in Copenhagen need not specify greenhouse gas cuts for the United States and other rich countries, as long as they set the right note for later talks, a Chinese climate policy official told Reuters.

GE Says It Has Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions (AP)

General Electric says it has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions 13 percent from 2005 numbers and is increasingly making money from its "ecomagination" program.

Biden Announces Money for Green Jobs, Training (AP)

Vice President Joe Biden and two Cabinet secretaries unveiled a national program to train workers for "green jobs" that will make public housing more energy-efficient.

SolarEdge Boosts Solar Panel Productivity (CNet)

Israeli start-up SolarEdge has developed electronics to squeeze enough inefficiencies out of solar panels’ wiring to make an array up to 25 percent more productive.

Chrysler Submits $448M Plan to DOE for Rapid EV Development (RTT)

Chrysler wants the money to develop electric vehicle components and establish a demonstration test-fleet of plug-in hybrid vehicles that could include Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Ram 1500.

Cato and Patrick Michaels: Bankrolling a Denier (DeSmogBlog)

It’s not often the public gets to follow the money trail. This week PR Watch revealed the Cato Institute has been bankrolling a consulting company owned by notorious climate denier Patrick Michaels to the tune of $242,900 since 2006.

LCV Ads Target Climate Bill Opponents (New York Times)

The League of Conservation Voters and its allies this week launched a television campaign attacking two Democrats and one Republican who voted against the climate change bill in committee last week.

Adaptation Emerging as Key Part of Any Climate Plan (Yale Environment 360)

After years of reluctance, scientists and governments are looking to adaptation measures for climate change, with plans being developed to deal with rising seas, water shortages, spreading diseases and other realities of a warming world.

Building ‘Climate Positive’ Communities (New York Times)

It’s one thing to put up a LEED-certified building, but quite another to develop an entire urban community with enough energy-efficient bells and whistles that its on-site emissions are actually less than zero. That’s the goal of a new program aiming to support 16 large-scale urban re-development projects on six continents.