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International Update Volume 42, Issue 34

CHINA'S WATER SUPPLY THREATENED BY SHALE BOOM

China

As China prepares to employ hydraulic fracturing to tap into its enormous supply of natural gas, critics are raising concerns about China's already stretched water supply. Most of China's 25 trillion cubic meters of gas is in areas already threatened by water shortages, according to China's Caixin newspaper, and industry sources say new gas policies designed to protect groundwater are unlikely to be legally binding.

EU TO INVESTIGATE GERMANY'S ENERGY LAWS

EU, Germany

The European Commission announced last week that it would investigate the possibility that Germany's new renewable energy law is leading to misuse of incentives and exemptions. The Commission is responding to business complaints that the nation's shift from nuclear to subsidized renewables is leading to higher costs and jeopardizing growth.

EARTH HAS LOST HALF ITS WETLANDS AND FOUR TRILLION TONS OF ICE

Denmark

Half of the world's wetlands have been destroyed in the past century, while melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica contributed to an 11 milimeter rise in sea levels, according to new reports. A study by the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity found that just 12.8 million kilometers remains of the 25 million kilometers of wetlands that existed in 1900, as over-exploitation, aquaculture, and storm damage destroy them at a rate of as much as 80 percent per year in some areas.