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International Update Volume 42, Issue 30

GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS IN DRC ALLOW ILLEGAL DEFORESTATION

DRC

Government officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are working with foreign logging firms to support illegal deforestation, according to a report by Global Witness. Many of the country's artisanal logging permits, meant for small-scale tree felling by Congolese citizens, are being awarded to foreign firms, in direct violation of Congolese law.

CHINA TO APPROVE NEW NUCLEAR REACTORS

China

China will approve several new nuclear reactors to be built in coastal regions before 2015, the government said on Wednesday. The move ends a moratorium imposed last year after Fukushima and is meant to spur private investment in energy and reduce reliance on oil and coal. The government hopes to generate 30% of China's power from renewable sources as well as from nuclear energy by the end of 2015, up from an earlier target of 15% from renewables plus 5% from nuclear by 2020.

UK DECC: OVER 4,000 SPILLS RESULT IN SEVEN FINES IN NORTH SEA

Russia, United Kingdom

The UK Department for Energy and Climate Change confirmed that oil companies have been fined for spills in the North Sea just seven times since 2000, despite over 4,000 recorded spills in the same period. Total fines from 2000 to 2007 came to around $119,000 dollars, and no company had to pay more than $32,000. The lowest fine came when Venture North Sea Oil and Knutsen OAS Shipping were fined $3,200 each for spilling 20 tons of crude oil into the sea.