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International Update Volume 46, Issue 22

PHILIPPINE RIGHTS PANEL ASKS "CARBON MAJORS" TO ANSWER FOR EMISSIONS

A human rights body from the Philippines set a deadline of 45 days for 47 oil, mining, and cement companies to respond to its complaint that the companies' carbon emissions caused human rights violations. This action stems from a petition that was filed by environmental and human rights groups led by Greenpeace. The petition asked for companies to be held accountable for violating the rights to life, water, food, adequate housing, and sanitation for Filipinos, and cited specific companies including Chevron and BHP Billiton.

CRITICS SAY INDIAN FOREST CONSERVATION BILL WOULD IGNORE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

India

On July 28, India's upper house of parliment passed a bill that, if enacted, would give state governments $895 million per year towards conservation and protecting wildlife and forests. While the Minister of State of Environment Anil Madhav Dave stated that it is a good bill that would help concentrate reforestation efforts, analysts and activists are saying that this law ignores the importance of indigenous people in conserving land and disregards their rights.

INDONESIAN SEAWEED FARMERS SUE THAI PETROLEUM COMPANY

Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, United Kingdom

On August 3, seaweed farmers from Indonesia sued the Thailand company PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) for more than $152 million. The lawsuit was launched in Sydney's Federal Court and would cover damages from the worst Australian oil spill, which occured in 2009 when an explosion at PTTEP's Montara drilling rig spilled approximately 30,000 barrels of oil into the Timor Sea over the course of 74 days. Lawyers arguing the case say that the spill reached as far as Nusa Tenggara Timur in Indonesia, a distance of 124 miles. The case is funded by the UK-based Harbour Litigation Funding.