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International Update Volume 41, Issue 2

EUROPEAN UNION FIGHTS CARBON OFFSET MARKET THEFT

EU

The EU Commission will re-open carbon offset spot trading step-by-step as each registry proves its security, EU officials said, after a possibly concerted theft of carbon permits worth up to 30 million euros led to a week-long freeze last Wednesday. The theft, focusing on markets in the Czech Republic and Austria, led to an investigation that declared 14 of the EU's 27 registries "not up to scratch," according to the European Commission's climate action spokeswoman Maria Kokkonen.

ALGERIA SETS NEW RENEWABLE ENERGY GOALS

Algeria

Energy and Mines Minister Youcef Yousfi announced last week that Algeria has adopted new goals that six percent of energy will come from renewable sources by 2015 and 40 percent by 2020. Fossil fuels currently account for 96 percent of export revenue, and Yousfi said that the launch of 60 renewable energy projects capable of producing 3,000 megawatts would "prepare the country for the post-petrol era." The country recently joined the Desertec Industrial Initiative, a Sahara group that aims to use wind and solar power to provide 15 percent of Europe's power by 2050.

SOUTH AFRICA FACES WATER POLLUTION CRISIS FROM FLOODING

South Africa

The South African Cabinet is expected to give a directive on action in response to acid mine spillage from Gauteng. Unexpected flooding has raised the levels of the toxic water in the province's mines, overwhelming the pumps designed to remove hazardous water out from underground. Mine foreman Derrick Souden said that the pumping should be four times its current rate, and that gold in mines will shortly be unreachable when the pumps themselves become flooded.