News bites: UN climate talks press on, China looks to shale gas, and more

Bloomberg reports on U.S. positioning as United Nations climate talks lurch ahead.

The Associated Press looks at a potential solar boom in the Middle East.

“[T]echnological advances have pushed costs down dramatically, and many oil-gas rich countries are reconsidering renewables amid growing demands for power to fuel their booming economies and rapidly increasing populations,” the news service reports.

AP also reports that mining giant Freeport-McMoRan is spending $9 billion to buy two oil-and-gas producers, “creating a natural resources conglomerate with assets ranging from oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico to a huge copper mine in Indonesia.”

Reuters reports on Chinese plans to develop natural gas from shale formations.