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International Update Volume 44, Issue 15

METGASCO EXPLORATION LICENSE SUSPENDED

Australia

Resources company Metgasco has had its exploration license suspended in response to complaints that the company did not adequately consult with the local community. Activists near Lismore, Australia, in New South Wales report that the majority of the region’s residents opposed plans for test drilling in the area and were worried about the potential impact on the water supply.

COASTAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN SPARKS UPROAR IN GREECE

Greece

Last week, the Greek government froze plans to allow development of Greece’s coastline. The proposed bill, which would simplify building permits and allow substantial commercial construction on the country’s beaches, was met with strong opposition from the public; on May 13, the Ministry of Environment received a petition signed by over 110,000 people demanding that the legislation be shelved, and thousands have turned to social media to voice their dissent. Faced with such opposition only a few weeks before European elections, the government announced that it would reconsider the bill.

CASE FOR “CLIMATE CHANGE REFUGEE” REJECTED BY NEW ZEALAND APPEALS COURT

New Zealand

The New Zealand Court of Appeal rejected a South Pacific Islander’s request for asylum as a “climate change refugee.” Ioane Teitiota is from Kiribati, a chain of low-lying islands that are seriously threatened by sea-level rise, and had made his appeal on the grounds that he and his family would face serious harm from climate change if forced to return home.