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International Update Volume 47, Issue 7

CHINA’S WAR ON POLLUTION MOVES BEYOND COAL-POWERED ELECTRICITY

China

Last week, China announced its intent to limit coal production during the warmer months as part of the country’s efforts to tackle air pollution. Now, in order to cut smog during the colder months, Beijing has ordered steel producers, aluminum producers, and pesticides manufacturers to cut their production partially or completely in the winter.

ALBANIAN VILLAGE TO BE COMPENSATED FOR HYDRAULIC FRACTURING DAMAGES

Australia

The Albanian village of Zharreza has been feeling the impacts of hydraulic fracturing since 2010. Over 80% of the town's homes have been damaged by earthquakes caused by disposing of fracking waste water in injection wells; 10% are no longer habitable. Last week the country’s Deputy Prime Minister announced that all villagers in Albania whose homes have been damaged by fracking will be fully compensated, though the fracking company, Bankers Petroleum, said they would only pay the compensation if their disposal activities are causally linked to the tremors.

EUROPE’S LARGEST BANK WILL NO LONGER FUND DEFORESTATION

HSBC, the world’s sixth-largest bank and one of the biggest financers of the palm oil industry, recently revised its Agricultural Commodities Policy to include a “No Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation” (NDPE) policy for its financing of palm oil projects. The change comes in response to a Greenpeace investigation, which linked HSBC to Indonesian palm oil plantations that engage in deforestation, and subsequent campaign, which included thousands of HSBC customers urging the bank to changes its policies.