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International Update Volume 45, Issue 17

GERMAN NUCLEAR WASTE PLAN UPSETS BAVARIA, EASES TENSION WITH UTILITES

Germany

The German Ministry for the Environment released a plan for interim storage of the country's nuclear waste as the nation mulls over final disposal options after shuttering its nuclear fleet following the Fukushima disaster in 2011. The plan identifies four sites to be used, including one in the Isar region of Bavaria, which prompted outcry from state officials. The plan has its proponents as well, with Germany's four largest utility companies offering to dismiss several pending lawsuits if the plan leads to a lasting agreement.

COALITION CONDUCTS GLOBAL RAID ON WILDLIFE TRAFFICKERS

Thailand

An international law enforcement coalition has released the results of a massive investigation aimed at curbing illegal wildlife trafficking. Sixty-two countries as well as several international organizations conducted a series of operations during May that netted over 300 arrests and the seizure of more than 600 items of contraband from across Asia, Africa, and Europe. Officials claim the arrests included eight kingpins from three countries.

BONN CLIMATE TALKS PRODUCE REDD+ AGREEMENT

Germany

Negotiators settled on a draft agreement of the REDD+ forest conservation plan during United Nations climate talks in Bonn, Germany, in mid-June. Key issues hammered out in Bonn include reporting requirements for forested countries, payments for non-carbon benefits of forest protection, and the use of non-market mechanisms for REDD+ payments. While some critics worry that unresolved financing issues will still prohibit implementation, many observers are now hopeful the unexpected agreement will play an important role at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris later this year.