Today’s Climate: September 26-27, 2009

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China Sees Emission Trading Pilot In Next Economic Plan (Reuters)

China plans to include a pilot emissions trading system in its five-year plan for economic development, the Environment Ministry said, but declined to comment on whether it would cover carbon dioxide.

U.S. Says Climate Bill Might Not Pass in Time (AP)

The passage of a U.S. climate bill before the UN conference in December would help America extract concessions from other countries, though time is running out, the chief U.S. negotiator at climate talks in Bangkok said Sunday.

EU Says G20 Leaders May Meet Again Soon on Climate (Reuters)

G20 leaders may meet again in the coming months, possibly by video conference, to help prod negotiations for a climate pact ahead of UN talks in December, the EU said.

Calif. OKs Fee to Pay for Global Warming Program (AP)

Despite threats of lawsuits, California air regulators on Friday approved the nation’s first statewide carbon fee on utilities, oil refineries and other polluting industries.

Chamber of Commerce Departures Continue (Green Inc.)

PNM Resources, New Mexico’s largest utility, is withdrawing from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over disagreements with the group’s climate stance. It comes less than a week after a similar move by California utility PG&E.

EPA Ordered to Reconsider New Mexico Power Plant Permit (AP)

A federal appeals board has ordered the EPA to reconsider an air permit issued for a planned coal-fired power plant on the Navajo Nation.

Judge Averse to Global Warming Trial in Utah Case (AP)

A federal judge said he’s reluctant to put global warming on trial in the case of Tim DeChristopher, the Utah college student charged with disrupting a federal oil and gas lease auction for parcels near several national parks.

Poland Can’t Issue More Polluting Permits Despite Court Win: EU (AFP)

The European Commission hit back last week in a legal battle over heavy industry pollution, saying Poland and Estonia cannot issue extra carbon permits despite a court victory the previous day.

Climate Activists in Copenhagen Protest Use of Fossil Fuels, 100 People Detained (AP)

Hundreds of climate activists protested Saturday against the use of fossil fuels, but were blocked from entering a coal plant they had hoped to shut down by chaining themselves to conveyor belts.

Solar Power, Without All Those Panels (New York Times)

Companies are now offering alternatives to bulky rooftop solar installations, in the less conspicuous form of shingles, tiles and other building materials that have photovoltaic cells sealed within them.

Hydrogen’s Prospects for Autos Refreshed (Detroit News)

GM has announced that its next-gen hydrogen fuel cell system will be half the size and 220 pounds lighter than before, and use half the precious metals. The announcement comes as Congress moves to restore $100 million in fuel cell research.

Unusual Arctic Warmth, Tropical Wetness Likely Cause for Methane Increase (U.S. NOAA)

Unusually high temperatures in the Arctic and heavy rains in the tropics likely drove a global increase in atmospheric methane in 2007 and 2008 after a decade of near-zero growth, according to a new study by NOAA scientists.

Nearly 70% of Argentine Forests Lost in a Century (AFP)

Argentina has lost nearly 70% of its forests in a century, with forest destruction accelerating in the past 10 years due to a boom of soy crops, the Environmental Secretariat said at a UN conference on desertification.