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International Update Volume 42, Issue 25

LIBERIA SEES RISE IN LOGGING THROUGH ILLEGAL PERMITS

Liberia

A sharp rise in illegal logging threatens Liberia's forests, a new report by Global Witness warns. The report says that logging companies have been granted more than 60 percent of the country's forests in the past six years, and that private contracts that bypass existing regulations are common. Logging has led to heavy deforestation since timber was used to fund the nation's long civil war. The nation has some of the largest areas of rainforest in the region, but nearly a quarter has been signed to logging companies using secret permits.

CANADA RELEASES OLD COAL-FIRED PLANT CLOSURE PLAN

Canada

Canada's much-anticipated plan for phasing out old coal-fired power plants was announced on Wednesday, but the government was criticized by environmental groups for releasing regulations that would be much less effective than earlier proposals. Under the new rules, units commissioned before 1975 will cease operations after 50 years or by the end of 2019, whichever is earlier. Units commissioned before 1986 will cease after 50 years or 2029, whichever is earlier. Both are softer requirements than the original 45 year limits given under draft rules released last year.

EU MAY IMPOSE TARIFFS ON CHINESE SOLAR MANUFACTURERS

China, EU

The European Union threatened to impose tariffs on Chinese solar panels after launching an investigation into alleged dumping into the European market. The EU probe, which follows accusations by Germany, Italy, and other EU member states, will cover $26 billion worth of photovoltaic cells and panels to determine whether Chinese manufacturers sold units below cost in Europe, which accounts for three quarters of the global market.