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International Update Volume 46, Issue 32

COALITION AGREES ON APPROACH TO FIGHT DEFORESTATION IN PALM OIL INDUSTRY

Last week, the HCS Convergence Working Group, a coalition of palm oil companies and environmental non-profits, agreed upon a single set of rules for companies to use when implementing their commitments to address deforestation. HCS, which stands for High Carbon Stock, is a measure of how natural, or robust, forest growth is on a plot of land (it excludes mostly young re-growth forest and recently cleared land).

INDONESIA GIVES GREENLIGHT TO CONTROVERSIAL LAND RECLAMATION PROJECT

Indonesia

On October 20, an Indonesian court overturned a lower court's earlier ruling that developer PT Muara Wisesa Samudra must halt land reclamation activities in Jakarta Bay. In 2014, the development company was granted a permit to construct 17 artificial islands in the North Jakarta coast to reduce pollution and create new lands for housing developments in the densely populated city.

AUSTRALIA RATIFIES PARIS AGREEMENT, DESPITE CONCERNS ABOUT U.S. INVOLVEMENT

Australia

Last week Australia’s government ratified the Paris Agreement, becoming the 105th country to commit to reducing global carbon emissions. Australia, the world’s 13th largest economy representing 1.46% of global emissions, intends to reduce emissions 26-28% from a 2005 baseline by 2030. The Australian Parliament was unable to ratify the Agreement in advance of it going into force as it was unable to start deliberations until after federal elections in July of this year.