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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 44, Issue 31

AUSTRALIA'S ABBOTT GOVERNMENT ORDERS GREEN BANK TO PREPARE FOR DISSOLUTION

Country: Australia

In Australia, the government of Prime Minister Abbott has instructed the nation’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation to prepare to cease investments by the end of 2014 and to cease operations by late June 2015. The bank, which was established by the former Labor government to provide commercial loans to clean energy projects, has stated that it will continue to operate normally until the legislature amends the legislation that establishes the organization. “The fact that we have to prepare our accounts this way makes no difference to what we do.

ETHIOPIA COMMITS TO RESTORATION OF DEGRADED LAND ACROSS ONE SIXTH OF COUNTRY

Country: Africa

In a commitment made at the UN Climate Change Summit in New York last month, the government of Ethiopia has pledged to restore 15 million hectares of degraded land—one sixth of the country. At the climate summit, “governments, companies and civil society groups together agreed to try to restore 350m hectares of deforested landscapes—an area the size of India—by 2030.” The commitment by Ethiopia was the largest of these.

INDIA'S PROTECTED AREAS UNDER THREAT

Country: India

According to data from PADDDtracker.org, an agency that monitors changes to protected areas worldwide, India’s protected areas are rapidly “being downgraded, downsized or even degazetted (relinquished of their protected status entirely) in a phenomenon termed PADDD.” While protected areas in India have faced conservation challenges in the past, the weakening government recognition of protected areas is a new problem.