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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 46, Issue 4

BRITISH COLUMBIA COURT EXONERATES WILDERNESS COMMITTEE IN DEFAMATION SUIT

Country: Canada

A British Columbia court ruled that the Wilderness Committee, an environmental group, did not break the law by criticizing a proposed mine project. In 2012, Taseko Mines sued the Wilderness Committee, stating that the group made defamatory statements about Taseko Mines’ New Prosperity mine project during a public comment period. These claims were dismissed, with the court awarding the Wilderness Committee court costs and additional costs incurred during the lawsuit.

HUNGARIAN COURT ACQUITS DEFENDANTS OF CRIMINAL CHARGES IN TOXIC SPILL

Country: Hungary

Fifteen people tried in connection with a 2010 toxic spill that killed 10 people were acquitted by a Hungarian court on February 4, 2016. The spill, one of Hungary’s worst environmental disasters, sent toxic red mud from a reservoir across three towns, destroyed hundreds of homes, and penetrated rivers all the way down to the Danube. The aluminum smelting company responsible for the spill, MAL Corp., was taken over by the government and remains under liquidation. In the ruling, the court determined that MAL Corp.

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT BACKS LIMITED CAR EMISSIONS REDUCTION DEAL

Country: EU

On February 3, 2016, the European Parliament supported a compromise deal that allows vehicles to continue to pollute more than the official limits. This disregards the call for stricter reform that followed the Volkswagen emissions-test cheating scandal. In September, Volkswagen admitted that it cheated on U.S. diesel emissions tests, which caused outrage in Europe where approximately half of the vehicles run on diesel. The Parliament's vote was almost blocked by opponents who viewed it as too lenient, but they narrowly missed the votes needed.