Today’s Climate: August 27, 2009

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African Leaders Consider $67 Billion-a-Year Climate Plan (Bloomberg)

African leaders meeting in Libya next week will consider a plan to ask industrialized nations to pay developing countries $67 billion a year as part of a common negotiating position for climate talks in Copenhagen.

Coal India May Invest $1.5 Billion in Overseas Mines (Bloomberg)

Coal India Ltd. may invest as much as $1.5 billion to acquire mines overseas to help overcome a shortage of the fuel as the country plans to almost double power generation capacity by 2012.

Cash for Clunkers, By the Numbers (Wall Street Journal)

Nearly 700,000 minivans, trucks and sport-utility vehicles were swapped for more fuel-efficient options under the federal government’s $3 billion cash-for-clunkers program, trading a fuel efficiency average of 15.8 mpg for 24.9 mpg, the Department of Transportation says.

Fake Trees, Algae Tubes Among UK Engineers’ Climate Solutions (Guardian)

Artificial trees and tubes of algae on the sides of buildings could absorb most of the UK’s annual carbon dioxide emissions, according to a report from Institute of Mechanical Engineers that calls for £10 million to develop geo-engineering solutions to global warming.

Swiss Cabinet Proposes 20-30 Percent CO2 Cut by 2020 (Reuters)

The Swiss government proposes cutting CO2 emissions 20% by 2020 from 1990 levels, or as much as 30% if a global climate pact is reached in Copenhagen.

Methane Seepage Heightens Pressure for Climate Treaty (EurActiv)

Evidence that methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas, is escaping from the warming Arctic seabed makes securing a new international agreement to slash global-warming gas emissions even more urgent, scientists warn.

Top British Investor Takes Stake in U.S. Wind Power (VentureBeat)

Terra Firma, the private equity firm chaired by British investor Guy Hands, has acquired EverPower Wind Holdings for an estimated $350 million, indicating significant European interest in U.S. wind developments. German and Spanish companies have staked out U.S. solar opportunities.

Utility Wants to Deploy Largest Grid Battery Yet (Reuters)

Southern California Edison is seeking a U.S. grant to store wind power in the largest grid storage battery to be built to date. The battery maker is A123 Systems.

Rev. Lowery Joins Legal Fight Against Georgia Coal Plant (AP)

Civil rights leader Rev. Joseph Lowery joined with a coalition of environmental groups in filing an appeal seeking to block a $2 billion plan to build Georgia’s first new coal-fired power plant in more than two decades.

Consumer groups mixed on EU switch to new light bulbs (EU Observer)

Starting Sept. 1, 100-watt incandescent bulbs will be banned from EU stores in the first phase of a process to replace all bulbs. Consumer groups have hailed the financial and environment benefits of the gradual phase-out but also warn of drawbacks.

Bonner: A Long, Undemocratic History of Astroturfing (Huffington Post)

With a history that could surprise the most jaded Beltway insider, Jack Bonner, head of the D.C. public relations firm Bonner & Associates, might just be the king of corporate astroturf in the nation’s capital.

Climate Bill Exposes Rifts Within Political Families (Wall Street Journal)

The debate over how to curb carbon-dioxide emissions and other gases linked to global climate change is splitting some prominent political families in both parties.

Scottish Island to Be Powered Entirely by Tides (Guardian)

ScottishPower is planning a tidal energy project that will supply all the electricity for one of Scotland’s most famous islands, Islay, and its eight distilleries and maltings that include the makers of Laphroaig and Lagavulin whiskies.