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International Update Volume 42, Issue 3

AMAZON BASIN MAY BECOME NET CARBON EMITTER

Brazil

Deforestation may cause the Amazon Basin to become a net emitter of carbon dioxide, according to a study published in the journal Nature. Though the region has traditionally defended against climate change, the basin's large population growth over the last 50 years has caused a massive spike in clearing for logging and agriculture. The study estimates that the Amazon contains 100 billion tons of carbon in its biomass, which is gradually released as the forest is cleared.

GROUPS FIGHT GOVT. POLICY ON NUCLEAR REACTORS IN JAPAN & BRITAIN

Japan

Japanese plans to restart nuclear reactors and cap their lifespan at 60 years has drawn anger, as citizen protestors delayed a nuclear watchdog hearing on its stress test results last week. Local officials, whose approval is needed to relaunch nuclear power plants, said that the stress tests are not enough and demanded additional safety standards.

EU CAN RAISE TARGETS MORE CHEAPLY AND FAIRLY

EU

The European Union could raise its binding 2020 emissions goals from 20 to 30 percent of 1990 levels much more cheaply and with costs divided much more fairly than originally believed, according to a draft EU document. The financial crisis has virtually guaranteed that the EU will achieve its 20 percent target, according to Reuters, and it also means that a 30 percent reduction would be much more affordable.