Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

International Update Volume 47, Issue 3

ECUADOR COURT DENIES ATTEMPT TO CLOSE LEADING ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP

Ecuador

Copper mining in southern Ecuador has incited numerous confrontations between indigenous communities and a Chinese mining company. The country’s leading environmental organization, Acción Ecológica, has been criticizing the government’s handling of these conflicts. In response to the criticism, the Ecuadorian government has tried to shut down Acción Ecológica, making the environmental NGO one target of what seems to be a larger government campaign against vocal civil society organizations.

BRITISH COURT RULES SHELL PARENT COMPANY NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR SUBSIDIARY

United Kingdom

Last year, thousands of Nigerians brought a case against Shell, accusing them of years of oil pollution that has contaminated the drinking water of thousands. The suit was brought against Royal Dutch Shell, an Anglo-Dutch company, in an attempt to hold multinationals liable for their subsidiaries’ actions. Last week, the British High Court ruled in favor of Shell and said the claimants should pursue the case in Nigerian courts. However, the claimants are skeptical that the Nigerian courts have the expertise to address their case.

CHINESE AND FRENCH GOVERNMENTS ENCOURAGING GREENER CARS

China

In China, the government is relaunching an initiative that provides subsidies for “green cars,” aimed at promoting the growth of the electric and plug-in hybrid car industry, as well as reducing urban air pollution. The initiative is being relaunched with increased oversight and technical standards after widespread cheating. Last week, the Chinese government released its first list of “recommended” vehicles, which makes 185 car models eligible for government subsidies.