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International Update Volume All, Issue All

ISOLATION MEASURES FOR CORONAVIRUS CLEAR AIR POLLUTION IN CHINA, ITALY

China, Italy, South Korea, United States

Recent social isolation and travel restriction measures imposed by countries including China and Italy have led to a significant decline in air pollution. Lockdown measures affecting 35 million people in China began in January.

AUSTRALIAN BUSHFIRE SURVIVORS WAIT FOR RELIEF AS LAST FIRES EXTINGUISH

Australia

On March 2, Australian officials announced that there were no longer any active bushfires in the state of New South Wales for the first time in 240 days.

U.K. COURT BLOCKS HEATHROW AIRPORT EXPANSION OVER CLIMATE IMPACTS

United Kingdom

On February 27, Britain’s Court of Appeal ruled against an $18 billion proposed expansion of Heathrow Airport, stating policymakers had failed to consider the U.K.’s climate change commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement when designing the project (AP News, Reuters,

LOCUST SWARMS SPREAD TO SOUTH SUDAN, THREATEN FOOD SECURITY OF MILLIONS

Africa, Tanzania

Locust swarms across Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Tanzania, and Uganda have now entered South Sudan, threatening crops and livelihoods of 25 million people. The locust outbreak in Kenya is the worst the country has faced in 70 years, while Somalia and Ethiopia are experiencing their worst swarms in 25 years.

CANADIAN COURT DISMISSES INDIGENOUS CHALLENGES TO PIPELINE EXPANSION

Canada

On February 4, Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal ruled against four challenges by First Nations groups against the controversial expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.

PORTUGAL, GERMANY, AUSTRALIA MOVE TO EXIT COAL, CUT EMISSIONS

Germany

Portugal, Germany, and Australia have taken measures this past week to achieve ambitious emissions reduction goals. On January 28, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced that a hydroelectric project under construction in northern Portugal will replace all power lost from the closing of the country’s final coal plants. The project, called the Tamega complex, will generate enough energy to supply 2 million homes.

NEW CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK SPOTLIGHTS DANGERS OF WILD ANIMAL TRADE

China

A recent coronavirus outbreak in Asia has been linked to illegal wildlife trade in a seafood market in Wuhan, China, according to Chinese government officials (The Guardian). The virus has killed at least 25 people and sickened over 800 in Asia, as well as one person in the United States who had recently traveled to Wuhan.

AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER DENIES ROLE OF CLIMATE POLICY IN BUSHFIRES

Australia

Widespread bushfires across New South Wales and Kangaroo Island in Southeast Australia have scorched over 25.5 million acres of land, equal to the size of South Korea (Reuters).The fires have claimed 27 deaths and destroyed over 2,000 homes, with conditions expected to worsen the weekend of January 10 (New York Times).

THAILAND, MEXICO CITY KICK OFF 2020 WITH PLASTIC BAG BANS

Thailand

Effective January 1, Thailand’s plastic bag ban in major stores follows a yearlong campaign against single-use plastics after several incidents in which animals died from plastic blocking their digestive systems (Reuters

YOUTH ACTIVISTS, ISLAND NATIONS CALL FOR URGENT ACTION AT U.N. CLIMATE TALKS

On December 6, over half a million protesters marched outside the U.N. climate summit in Madrid, demanding that world leaders take action (BBC).

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