Environmental legislation: A well-worn footprint
You may have noticed that, alongside committing himself to ridding the legal landscape of Guantanamo Bay, President Obama will re-commit his country to the Kyoto Protocol and has offered the development of alternative energy sources as part of his economic recovery package. The environment is suddenly a big thing again Stateside. If you had not noticed that, you may be forgiven because your attention has undoubtedly been drawn to Brussels and Strasbourg, what with the raft of environmental legislation that is currently on the European Union agenda. Brussels does tend to lead the world in this particular area. What gets decided in its corridors for the benefit of Spanish savannahs, Finnish steppes and Scottish Highlands seems invariably to be replicated for Californian forests and Chinese valleys at some point or another. And that Brussels tendency is currently exaggerated by the fact that the European Parliament is up for re-election in June this year and the Commission itself will be changing its guard shortly thereafter. In other words, the mantra in the corridors of European power is "let's get as much cleared off the statute books before we go into limbo from June onwards".
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