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Current International Update

International developments reported in the current issue of ELR's Weekly Update appear below. For previously reported international news, please use the filter function on the left. For older material reported between 2000 and 2010, visit the Weekly Update Archives.

Volume 47, Issue 23

GERMAN SOCIAL DEMOCRATS FAVOR OF AGGRESSIVE SWITCH TO ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Country: Germany

The German Social Democrats Party (SPD) wants European-wide vehicle quotas to accelerate the shift towards electric cars. The SPD believes that without quotas for electric cars the European Union could miss its carbon dioxide emission targets, and that an obligatory minimum number of electric cars for Germany and Europe would give car makers incentives to develop new technologies.

CANADA ASKS SHIPS TO REDUCE SPEEDS TO PREVENT WHALE DEATHS

Country: Canada

After 10 North Atlantic right whales were killed in Canada's Gulf of St. Lawrence over the past two months, the Canadian government is ordering certain ships to reduce speeds to prevent more deaths. 2017 has been the deadliest year for the endangered mammal since scientists began tracking their numbers in the 1980's. Vessels that are 20 meters or longer are temporarily restricted to a maximum speed of 10 knots in the western portion of the Gulf. For the full story see http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-canada-whales-idUKKBN1AR20O. 

NEW BRAZILIAN POLICY WILL ENCOURAGE PRODUCTION OF BIOFUELS

Country: Brazil

Brazil is expected to announce a new federal program that will give fuel distributors targets to cut emissions and gradually increase biofuels volumes. President Michel Temer is expected to announce the program by way of presidential decree, with the law going into effect next year. The policy, RenovaBio, will assist Brazilian ethanol producers who have struggled to compete with cheap gasoline. The problem was exacerbated as the Brazilian government sought to hold down gasoline prices, forcing mills to produce more sugar instead of biofuels.