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International Update Volume 42, Issue 17

INTERPOL AND UN TO FIGHT DEFORESTATION

Interpol and the United Nations launched a joint initiative to fight forest crime. "Project Leaf" will target crimes involving illegal logging and timber trafficking and will provide support in countries with the largest forest problems. Interpol's environmental crimes manager said that illegal logging is an issue that is not restricted by international boundaries and that international action is needed to halt forest crimes.

MEXICO ADOPTS BINDING CLIMATE TARGETS

Mexico

Mexican president Felipe Calderon signed into law a bill adopting binding targets on greenhouse gases last week. Mexico is ranked 12th among the world’s highest carbon emitting countries, although it accounts for only 1.5 percent of global emissions. The measure was passed by the Senate by 78 votes to none in April and commits the nation to a 30 percent greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2020 and a 50 percent reduction by 2050. In addition, the law will require renewable energy to account for 35 percent of Mexico's energy mix by 2024 and will establish a permit trading scheme.

CHINA ORDERS FOREIGN EMBASSIES TO STOP REPORTING AIR DATA

China

A senior official in China demanded last week that foreign embassies stop releasing air pollution data after a U.S.-run Twitter feed directly contradicted official Chinese readings over several months. Many residents of smog-coated cities dismiss official readings of "slight" pollution, and since the state tightened monitoring standards in January, the embassy's measured air pollution level is often at odds with China's own data. Though China did not specifically mention the U.S.