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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 34

CHINA SETS 2020 TARGET FOR CLEAN AIR IN BIG CITIES

Country: China

China aims to provide clean air in its largest cities for 80% of each year, or more than 9-1/2 months, by 2020, up from a figure of 76.7% last year, the country's cabinet announced today. Amid concern that pollution was stirring social unrest, China launched a campaign in 2014 to revitalize its tainted air, water and soil, which have been ravaged by more than three decades of breakneck industrial growth.

MAJOR WORLD CITIES COMMIT TO BAN DIESEL-POWERED AUTOMOBILES

Country: France, Greece, Mexico, Spain

Last week at the C40 Mayors Summit, four cities—Athens, Mexico City, Madrid, and Paris—committed to ban diesel-fueled automobiles in their cities by 2025, a move applauded by many environmental supporters. Diesel-fueled vehicles had previously been championed for emitting less carbon dioxide than gasoline-powered vehicles. The ban comes after local governments became attuned to the local pollution effects of diesel vehicles, in particular nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, which manufacturers have been slow to resolve.

NGO REPORTS THAILAND IS FAILING O PREVENT ILLEGAL TRADE IN APES

Country: Thailand

According to TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, the number of non-native great apes and gibbons residing in zoos and other wildlife attractions in Thailand is much higher than those recorded as legally imported. For the great apes, this discrepancy is in part due to the fact that international trade in apes is prohibited (due to listings on Appendix I of CITES), but only four of those apes—those native to Thailand—receive protection under Thailand’s Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act.