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European Union proposes easing of climate rules

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LONDON — For years, Europe has tried to set the global standard for climate-change regulation, creating tough rules on emissions, mandating more use of renewable energy sources, and arguably sacrificing some economic growth in the name of saving the planet.

But now even Europe seems to be hitting its environmentalist limits.

High energy costs, declining industrial competitiveness, and a recognition that the economy is unlikely to rebound strongly anytime soon are leading policymakers to begin easing up in their drive for more aggressive climate regulation.

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