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International Update Volume 45, Issue 36

PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT TO CHALLENGE GMO BAN ORDERED BY SUPREME COURT

Phillipines

The government of the Philippines stated that it plans to challenge a ban on GMO imports that was ordered by the country’s top court. The announcement comes after the court’s ban rattled global soybean markets. The Supreme Court struck down a 2002 regulation that permitted GMO imports and instituted a temporary ban until new regulations are formed. The Philippines imports approximately 2.2 million tons of soybeans each year, largely from the United States, the vast majority of which is genetically modified.

DUTCH APPEALS COURT APPROVES SUIT AGAINST SHELL FOR OIL POLLUTION

Netherlands, Nigeria

On December 18, a Dutch appeals court ruled that Royal Dutch Shell can be held liable for oil spills in Nigeria by its subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC). Shell was ordered by judges in The Hague to provide the court with documents that clarify details about the oil spill, particularly its causes and whether those in charge were aware of them. This decision overturned a finding by a lower Dutch court in 2013 that Shell’s parent company could not be held liable for oil pollution by its Nigerian subsidiary.

HISTORIC CLIMATE ACCORD REACHED IN PARIS

France

On December 12, 195 countries reached a historic deal to address the global challenge of climate change. The accord was reached after nearly two weeks of debate and years of preparation. Ahead of the Paris talks, 186 countries submitted plans to cut carbon emissions through either 2025 or 2030. The agreement commits countries to limit greenhouse gas emissions with the aim of not surpassing a 2-degree rise in global temperature, and an aspirational goal of limiting the temperature increase to 1.5C.