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 43, Issue 33
The oil sands industry has found a new place to store the water produced through the process used to turn bitumen into diesel fuel: a man-made lake. Companies such as Syncrude Canada Ltd., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, and Imperial Oil Ltd. currently produce so much of this water that, by 2022, one month’s output could fill an 11-foot-deep reservoir the size of New York’s Central Park. To combat the problem, they are making plans to create the largest man-made lake district on earth in northern Alberta.
Delegates from 190 nations at the Warsaw Climate Change Conference are close to eaching some initial agreements on fighting global warming. Before the talks end, the envoys plan to make progress on a “loss and damage” mechanism that would help countries experiencing storms, floods, and erosion caused by rising seas and higher temperatures. Their primary goal is to reach agreements that will act as stepping stones to a 2015 legally binding treaty to be signed in Paris.
Indonesia has drafted a Memorandum of Understanding to renew collaborations with Singapore in an effort to prevent and reduce forest and land fires in Sumatra. The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) in Singapore reached 401 during the summer of 2013—the highest PSI in the nation’s history and a level that can be life threatening for ill or elderly people. The smog has strained relations between Singapore and Indonesia, as pollution from the fires in Indonesia causes haze in both countries.