Current International Update
International developments reported in the current issue of ELR's Weekly Update appear below. For previously reported international news, please use the filter function on the left. For older material reported between 2000 and 2010, visit the Weekly Update Archives.
Volume 45, Issue 3
The Australian government has declared it will not list 5 of the 31 species covered by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, which Australia consented to in November. The five species, all sharks, include two species of hammerheads and three species of threshers. Australia’s Environment Minister said the reservation from the Convention is necessary because the country’s domestic laws are stricter than required by the agreement, and the listing would result in unintended consequences and unreasonably harsh penalties for violations.
Norway is offering new leases for fossil fuel exploration within its Arctic waters for the first time in over 20 years. The move infuses momentum into an energy rush poised to break out between the five countries claiming Arctic resource rights. The leases, mostly in the Barents Sea, have been offered to 43 energy companies, and production licenses could be awarded as early as 2016.
Austria has announced its intention to challenge a decision by the European Union to subsidize a nuclear power station in the United Kingdom. The appeal will be filed before April in the European Court of Justice, and it is likely other countries will join Austria in challenging the European Commission’s decision. Appellants will likely argue that the £17.6 ($26.43) billion subsidy is illegal state aid because the project does not meet the necessary criteria, including furthering the common interest of the EU as a whole.