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International Update Volume 46, Issue 14

EU COMMISSION SUING POLAND FOR ENVIRONMENTAL LAW BREACH

EU, Poland

The European Commission is taking Poland to the European Court of Justice for breaking European environmental law by illegally exploring for shale gas. EU environmental law requires impact assessments for drilling to a depth of more than 1,000 meters, whereas in Poland, impact assessments are only necessary for drilling deeper than 5,000 meters.

MALAYSIAN PALM OIL COMPANY CHALLENGES CERTIFICATION SUSPENSION

Indonesia, Malaysia

The Malaysian palm oil giant IOI Group has filed a lawsuit against the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. RSPO suspended IOI Group’s sustainability certificate in March for causing suspected environmental harm in Indonesia. IOI can no longer sell the RSPO-brand “Certified Sustainable Palm Oil”—a brand preferred by certain companies. IOI Group says that it has been “unfairly affected” by the suspension of its certificate. Large companies such as Unilever, Kellogg, and Nestlé canceled contracts with IOI.

BRAZILIAN RAINFOREST SOYBEAN PRODUCTION MORATORIUM EXTENDED INDEFINITELY

Brazil

The Brazilian Ministry, the Brazilian Association of Vegetable Oils Industry, Brazil's National Association of Grain Exporters, the Soy Working Group, and Greenpeace signed an indefinite moratorium on rainforest clearing for soybean production. A 2006 agreement, prompted by a Greenpeace campaign, banned rainforest clearing for soybean production but required renewing annually.