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International Update Volume 41, Issue 36

CANADA, OUT OF KYOTO, STILL HAS OBLIGATION TO UN

Canada

Canada is still legally obligated to cut emissions despite its pullout of Kyoto, the United Nations climate chief said Tuesday. "Whether or not Canada is a party to the Kyoto Protocol, it has a legal obligation under the [U.N. framework on climate change] convention to reduce its emissions, and a moral obligation to itself and future generations to lead in the global effort," said chief Christiana Figueres. Emissions in Canada are estimated to have risen over 20 percent between 1990 and 2009, and the country would have been liable for $13.6 billion under the terms of the Kyoto Protocol.

AUSTRALIA TO DROP RULE LIMITING POWER PLANT GHGS

Australia

A long awaited energy policy paper from Martin Ferguson, Australia's Minister for Resources and Energy, said that an emissions standard for new power plants, a campaign promise that Prime Minister Julia Gillard said would end the building of "dirty" power plants, had become redundant in the face of the nation's carbon market. The Labor Party's proposed regulations would have required newly built power plants to emit less than .86 tons of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour and be carbon capture and storage ready.

BRAZIL TO FILE CIVIL SUIT AGAINST OIL COMPANIES

Brazil

Brazilian federal prosecutors have filed a civil suit against Chevron and Transocean seeking $10.6 billion from Chevron and aiming to suspend both companies from operating in the country. The suit is in response to a leak in November at Chevron's Fade site, which, according to a statement from the prosecutor's office, demonstrated a lack of planning and environmental management by the companies. Chevron responded that the spill was halted in four days with minimal damage to the environment.