Today’s Climate: January 29, 2010

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U.S. Formally Commits to Copenhagen Accord (Washington Post)

The U.S. pledged Thursday to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 17% by 2020 from 2005 levels under the Copenhagen Accord, though it made its commitment contingent on passing legislation at home.

Obama Said to Seek $54 Billion in Nuclear-Power Loan Guarantees (Bloomberg)

Pres. Obama will propose tripling loan guarantees for new reactors to more than $54 billion in the president’s budget on Feb. 1, people familiar with the plan said.

UN Climate Chief Plays Down Scandals (AP)

UN climate chief Yvo de Boer said recent scandals over climate data are unfortunate but don’t discredit the view that the earth is warming and humans must act.

Davos: U.S. Cap and Trade Must Take Back Seat (Reuters)

Business executives and policy officials said a U.S. cap and trade scheme must give way to a clean energy law, after Pres. Obama favored "green jobs" in his State of the Union Address.

Rep. Rahall Joins New Coal Caucus Opposed to Pelosi Climate Plans (The Hill)

Nick Rahall, a Democrat from W. Virginia who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee, said he has joined the newly formed caucus of coal-state lawmakers who have largely opposed House Speaker Pelosi’s climate bill.

Environmental Group Sues California to Halt Logging (Los Angeles Times)

The Center for Biological Diversity this week filed lawsuits against the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to halt logging plans for 5,000 acres, claiming the agency did not properly analyze climate consequences.

Indonesian Military Behind Illegal Logging: Study (AFP)

The Indonesian military is deeply involved in the trade in illegally felled timber that is destroying vast tracts of pristine forest near the Malaysian border, researchers said Friday.

Oslo Reiterates Pledge of At Least 30% CO2 Cut (Reuters)

Norway has reaffirmed a unilateral pledge to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30% by 2020 as part of international efforts to combat global warming.

Harper Faces Off On Climate Change at Global Forum (CTV News)

Prime Minister Harper told a global audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos that Canada won’t immediately commit to deep carbon emission reduction targets — a comment that drew quick criticism from other world leaders.

Extreme US Winter Signals Climate Change: Report (Reuters)

Extreme winter weather in the northern U.S. shows that climate change can have severe effects, even when it doesn’t warm things up, the National Wildlife Federation said in a new report.

China Sea Levels Reach Record High (China Daily)

The sea level in China late last year hit a record high for the past three decades, threatening the safety of thousands of people in the coastal areas, the State Oceanic Administration showed.

Eroding Alaska Village Appeals Lawsuit’s Dismissal (AP)

One of Alaska’s most eroded villages wants to revive a lawsuit that claims greenhouse gasses from oil, power and coal companies are to blame for the climate change endangering the tiny community.

UK: Wind Turbines on New Carbon Neutral Schools (Telegraph)

Wind turbines and solar panels will be popping up on schools across the UK as part of a government drive to educate children about climate change.

U.S. Solar Startup Teams Up with Battery Maker (Reuters)

U.S. solar start-up Suniva announced it would partner with the U.S. unit of Japanese battery company GS Yuasa Corp to develop solar-powered energy storage systems.

BP Chief Hails American Breakthrough in Gas Supplies from Shale Rocks (Guardian)

A controversial method of extracting gas from shale rocks and coal seams pioneered in the U.S. has been described by the head of BP as a "complete game changer" that would transform the future of energy in that country over the next 100 years.

Energy Secretary Announces Nissan Loan Closing (AP)

The U.S. DOE has closed a $1.4 billion loan agreement with Nissan that means the automaker will be creating some 1,300 jobs in Tennessee to make the all-electric Leaf and lithium-ion battery packs to power them.