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International Update Volume 44, Issue 1

U.K.’S OPPOSITION TO EU GREEN ENERGY TARGETS COULD COST JOBS

United Kingdom

A leaked report from the European Commission revealed that the United Kingdom’s opposition to new EU targets for green energy could mean the loss of over half a million jobs over the next two decades. Along with Czech Republic, the U.K. has opposed setting a renewable energy goal for 2030. Both nations want individual countries to be required to meet greenhouse gas emission levels instead. According to Energy and Climate Secretary Ed Davey, the EU should promote a “technology neutral” approach to cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

BILL INTRODUCED IN CHILE WOULD MAKE MINES USE DESALINATED SEAWATER

Chile

Lower house members in Chile have proposed a bill that would require mining companies to use desalinated water from the Pacific Ocean to run their copper mines in Chile. According to a high-level mining industry executive, communities in Chile's Atacama, the world's driest desert, often feel they must compete with mining companies for freshwater; under the new bill, mines that use more than 40 gallons of water per second would be forced to integrate seawater into their operations.

CHINA INTRODUCES TIERED PRICING TO COMBAT WATER SHORTAGE

China

Last week, China called for all cities to start charging tiered prices for household water by the end of 2015. In a statement released on Friday, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development said cities should institute a three rate structure, whereby homes that use more water would pay more. Eighty percent of the country’s residential population would fall in the first and lowest tier, where prices would remain flat. Second tier prices would go up by at least 50 percent, while third tier prices would double the second tier rate.