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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 47, Issue 17

ASIAN COUNTRIES VOW TO KEEP PLASTIC WASTE OUT OF OCEANS

Country: China, Indonesia, Phillipines, Thailand

At a UN oceans summit, delegates from China, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines said they would work to keep plastics out of the seas. It is estimated that 5-13 million tons of plastics flow into the world's oceans annually. The Helmholtz Centre in Leipzig, Germany, estimated that 75% of land-borne marine pollution comes from just 10 rivers, predominantly in Asia.

ABANDONED COAL MINE SERVES AS FLOATING SOLAR FARM IN CHINA

Country: China

Sungrow Power Supply Co. has built the world’s largest floating solar farm, with 166,000 panels on a lake created when a nearby mine collapsed. The scale of the project is another example of how China hopes to be the world's global leader in the environment. The country plans to spend $360 billion on renewable energy by 2020. By the end of September, Sungrow will complete more than 150 megawatts of new floating capacity.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS SURROUNDING MINING POLICY STALLS PHILLIPINE'S ECONOMIC GROWTH

Country: Phillipines

The Phillipines is believed to hold around $1 trillion worth of mineral resources, but activists' opposition has stalled development and economic growth. Activists oppose mining development on the basis of financial fairness and environmental concerns. OceanaGold, a Canadian-Australian mining firm, earned $275 million in copper and gold sales last year, according to the Philippine Mines and Geosciences Bureau. Miners, some residents of the area surronding the mine, work for about a $1 an hour.