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International Update Volume 42, Issue 2

OFFICIALS AGREE ON TASMANIA FOREST DEAL

Federal and state officials announced an agreement to save 428,000 hectares of public forests, a move that follows more than 18 months of discussions between conservationist and industry groups. Green organizations criticized the deal, which leaves 2,000 hectares of high conservation value forests open to logging. "I would suggest if people are not happy with 99.5% of the original ask, then they are very hard to please," said Tasmania's Forests Minister, Bryan Green, though a map of areas available to loggers goes deep into wilderness forests.

CHINA ORDERS PROVINCES TO SET GREENHOUSE GAS CAPS

China

China's state planning agency ordered seven provinces and cities to set caps on greenhouse gas emissions last Friday as part of a plan to cut carbon intensity by 17% over the 2011-2015 period. China requested the cities of Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Tianjin, and the provinces of Hubei and Guangdong, to set targets and submit proposals for target allocation. Guangdong's plan has already been approved by the country's cabinet and commits the province to increasing non-fossil fuel use to 20% of total energy consumption by 2015.

CLEAN ENERGY INVESTMENT BREAKS RECORDS

World clean energy investment hit $260 billion last year, in spite of a weak global economy, as nations ramped up investment to meet climate and energy targets. The United States, with $56 billion of investment, passed China to become the world's largest clean energy investor, a position it lost to China in 2009. "Despite financial crisis, and even though carbon pricing schemes haven't developed quite the way they were expected to . . . investment keeps growing," said Bloomberg New Energy Finance's lead clean energy analyst in Australia.