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International Update Volume 42, Issue 5

EU ENERGY SAVINGS LAW HIT BY AVALANCHE OF AMENDMENTS

EU

In the face of blizzards that have pushed the power grid to its limit and a cold snap that has killed 400, Denmark has made progress on the EU's Energy Efficiency Directive a priority during its presidency. While Denmark argues efficiency would bring jobs and help reduce reliance on imported fuel, the EU is on track to meet only half of its non-binding target to increase efficiency by 20 percent by 2020. Draft energy efficiency legislation, as proposed by the Commission, would impose binding measures, rather than binding targets, on EU governments.

ALBERTA POLITICAN CALLS FOR END TO U.S. FUNDING OF CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT

Canada

On Thursday, a Conservative Alberta legislator called for a bill that would block foreign funding of the Canadian environmental movement. MP Brian Jean hinted that aboriginal chiefs may have received payments to oppose major projects, such as the Northern Gateway pipeline, while asking for details on research showing U.S. trusts had given $300 million to environmental groups in Canada.

UK TO CUT SOLAR SUBSIDIES, MPs CALL FOR WIND CUTS

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom announced plans last week to reduce solar energy subsidies starting July 1 after an installation boom nearly exhausted its budget last year. "Costs are coming down, and we’re determined that the tariff comes down with it," Energy Minister Greg Barker said. "This is a very ambitious scheme and good news for the industry." Installations have increased significantly since the subsidies were announced in April 2010, and last year Britain installed three percent of the world's new solar panels.