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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 21

PROTESTS PROMPT MOROCCO TO SUSPEND WASTE IMPORT ENERGY PLAN

Country: EU

Morocco has suspended the import of waste products to be burned for energy, mainly arriving from Europe. Mustapha Khalfi, Morocco’s Minister of Communication, stated "We have decided to suspend all imports of trash and to not use the shipment already imported pending the results of an investigation." The protests by environmentalists against the practice arose after it was revealed that the cement firm Lafarge Maroc imported 2,500 tons of Italian garbage to fuel production.

WORLD BANK INVESTMENT PANEL REJECTS POLLUTION LAWSUIT AGAINST PERU

Country: Peru

The World Bank’s International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) unanimously rejected New York-based Renco Group Inc.’s lawsuit against Peru for neglecting environmental cleanup around a smelter in La Oroya. The group filed the lawsuit in 2011 for $800 million, claiming that Peru did not clean the soil around La Oroya as was promised in their original purchasing agreement. The company additionally accused Peru of not taking responsibility for prior pollution claims tied to the smelter site.

EU COURT RULES THAT CARBON TAX ON SWISS FLIGHTS IS LEGAL

Country: EU

Advocate General Henrik Saugmandsgaard Oe upheld the European Union’s right to apply carbon taxes to flights to and from Switzerland. Under the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), all airlines within the European Economic Area (EEA) are subject to certain carbon allowances and purchasing schemes. Lufthansa-owned Swiss Air brought a case to the European Court of Justice claiming unfair and unequal treatment through the application of carbon taxes and permits to its flights. Swiss Air is seeking recovery of over 600,000 carbon permits, worth millions of euros.