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International Update Volume 44, Issue 9

U.K. FREEZES CARBON PRICE FLOOR

United Kingdom

U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne froze a tax on carbon emissions from electricity generation in an effort to cut consumer energy bills. Gas bills in U.K. households rose by 41% from 2007 to 2013, putting pressure on the government to reduce energy costs. According to Osborne, the freeze could save U.K. businesses as much as four billion pounds (US $6.6 billion) by April 2019, while families could save an average of 15 pounds (US $24) per year.

EU LEADERS TO SET OCTOBER DEADLINE TO AGREE TO 2030 CLIMATE GOALS

EU

EU leaders plan to set an October deadline for agreeing to the bloc’s 2030 climate goals. The 28-member bloc has already nearly met its 2020 target of a 20% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 1990 levels, and in January the European Commission outlined a proposal to reduce emissions by 40% of 1990 levels by 2030.

MYANMAR TO BAN RAW LOG EXPORTS AS OF APRIL 1

Myanmar

Starting April 1, Myanmar will ban the export of raw timber logs in an effort to put conservation above profit. The country has some of Asia’s most significant expanses of forests, but these forests have been decimated by the former military junta’s policies; between 1990 and 2010, forest cover shrank from 58% of total land area to 47%. In addition to the ban, the new reformist government, which took over in 2011, plans to reduce the amount of teak it allows to be removed from forests by 80%.