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International Update Volume 45, Issue 34

BOTSWANA SELLS RIGHTS TO FRACKING IN KGALAGADI PARK

Africa

The government of Botswana quietly sold the rights to frack for shale gas in nearly half of the Kgalagadi Park. Prospecting licenses were granted to a UK-listed company called Nodding Donkey in September 2014, although the sale was not reported. The company recently changed its name to Karoo Energy. The park is located along the border of South Africa and spans more than 36,000 sq. km. It is one of Africa’s largest conservation areas and is home to pygmy falcons, the gemsbok desert antelope, and black-maned Kalahari lions.

FRANCE AND INDIA LAUNCH INTERNATIONAL SOLAR ALLIANCE AT ONSET OF COP21

France, India

French President Francois Hollande and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched an international solar alliance at the onset of the Paris COP21 climate summit. The alliance includes more than 120 countries and was described by Modi as “the sunrise of new hope, not just for clean energy but for villages and homes still in darkness, for mornings and evenings filled with a clear view of the glory of the sun.” The goal is to bring clean and affordable solar energy to everyone. The majority of the countries involved are tropical, solar-rich nations.

INDIA TO BAN 15-YEAR-OLD TRUCKS DUE TO POLLUTION

India

Beginning in April 2016, India will not allow commercial trucks that are more than 15 years old on the road. This is an attempt by the Indian government to limit air pollution, as India is home to 13 of the 20 most polluted cities on the planet. Commercial vehicles, particularly when badly maintained, are one are the largest contributors to air pollution nationally.