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International Update Volume 42, Issue 29

NIGERIAN VILLAGERS TAKE SHELL TO COURT IN NETHERLANDS

Netherlands, Nigeria

Nigerian villagers took Royal Dutch Shell to court last week in a pollution case that campaigners say will open the door for more compensation claims against international companies. Villagers from the heavily polluted Niger Delta region, along with Friends of the Earth, accused Shell of polluting their land and waterways in three oil spills from 2004 to 2007. The case marks the first time a Dutch company has been sued in the Netherlands for the actions of a foreign subsidiary.

GERMANY MAY LIMIT WIND AND BIOMASS SUPPORT

Germany

Germany's environment minister announced a plan last week to implement a cap on wind and biomass energy generation support, similar to limitations imposed on the photovoltaic sector. While the minister raised the nation's renewables target to 40 percent of total power by 2020, he said that he planned on implementing regulations similar to the 52,000 megawatt cap on solar support; once that limit is reached by wind and biomass, there will be no price guarantees.

INDIGENOUS GROUPS OCCUPY DAM SITE

Brazil

Indigenous groups began an occupation of the work site of the future Belo Monte electric dam in Brazil last week, attempting for the second time to halt construction on a project that they say threatens their way of life. Around 100 Indians, fishermen, and activists formed a group known as Xingu Alive Forever and said that they plan to "definitively dam the Xingu River." Some 40,000 people depend on the river for their livelihoods, and the occupation follows years of legal challenges. Over the summer, around 300 people successfully occupied the dam site for 21 days.