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International Update Volume 42, Issue 8

AIR POLLUTION MAY BECOME BIGGEST PREMATURE KILLER

Urban air pollution may become the largest environmental cause of death, overtaking dirty water and poor sanitation, according to a report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The report indicates that, by 2050, exposure to particulate matter may cause up the 3.6 million premature deaths per year. In addition, wealthy countries with aging populations will suffer due to ground-level ozone, as older people are more susceptible.

NEGOTIATORS SET LAND GOVERNANCE GUIDELINES

United Nations negotiators in Rome have agreed to a set of proposed voluntary global guidelines for the governance of land tenure rights and access to land, fisheries, and forest rights. "Once approved, the guidelines will be voluntary, but because they have been drawn up in such a comprehensive and inclusive process, and because there is this shared perception that a framework like this is sorely needed, we all anticipate that they will set the bar for policymakers," said Yaya Olaniran, chairman of the United Nations Committee for World Food Security.

US, EU, & JAPAN FILE RARE EARTHS COMPLAINT AGAINST CHINA

China, EU, Japan

The United States, Japan, and the European Union (EU) have challenged China's export restrictions on rare earth materials, requesting dispute settlement consultations from the World Trade Organization (WTO). In the first WTO case filed jointly by the parties, they argue that China is driving up the prices of rare earth, crucial to the development of renewable energy technologies, by limiting exports.