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International Update Volume 45, Issue 1

MARSHALL ISLANDS FILES SUIT IN INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE

Marshall Islands

The Marshall Islands filed a civil suit in the International Court of Justice against the world’s nuclear powers in an attempt to spur nuclear disarmament and bring attention to climate change issues faced by island nations. Countries named in the suit include Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, and the United States. The complaint asks the court to find the countries in violation of disarmament treaties and customary international law, and to establish a disarmament calendar with negotiations beginning one year after the court’s decision.

SHELL AGREES TO $84M SETTLEMENT FOR NIGER DELTA OIL SPILL

Africa

Royal Dutch Shell and residents of the Bodo community in the Niger Delta have reached an $84 million settlement agreement for the harm caused by two oil spills in 2008 and 2009. Both spills came from the Trans Niger Pipeline and together affected thousands of hectares of mangrove in the region. The settlement comes after three years of litigation and also imposes cleanup requirements on Shell.

JAPAN SEEKS TO INCREASE SOLAR ENERGY STORAGE CAPACITY

Japan

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry is asking the cabinet and parliament to approve a budget request of approximately $779 million to be used for energy efficiency programs. The Ministry wants to help factories and small businesses transition to energy-efficient devices, increase solar energy storage capacity at power stations, and bolster the clean energy industry in the region harmed by the 2011 Fukushima earthquake and tsunami. The Ministry’s announcement comes after utilities warned that their solar storage capacity was running out.