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International Update Volume All, Issue All

BRAZIL’S LOWER HOUSE PASSES BILL TO LOOSEN PERMITTING REQUIREMENTS

Brazil

On May 12, Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies passed a bill to expedite infrastructure, mining, and agricultural projects by relaxing existing environmental regulations associated with the permitting process.

GERMAN COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF YOUTH CLIMATE ACTIVISTS, CALLS FOR ACTION

Germany

On April 29, Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court ruled in favor of nine young climate activists in their challenge against Germany’s 2019 Federal Climate Change Act. The law aims to meet the country’s carbon emissions reduction targets under the Paris Agreement and calls for the German government to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030 relative to 1990 levels.

COUNTRIES STRENGTHEN CLIMATE COMMITMENTS AT BIDEN-LED EARTH DAY SUMMIT

On April 22, U.S. President Joseph Biden convened a virtual summit to commemorate Earth Day. The summit was attended by the leaders of 40 countries, including many of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters (Reuters). Observers have called the event the return of U.S.

FUKUSHIMA WASTEWATER DISPOSAL PLAN RAISES CONCERNS FOR NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES

Japan

On April 13, the Japanese government announced its decision to release wastewater from its infamous Fukushima nuclear facility into the Pacific Ocean. The plan would authorize the release of over 1.24 million tons of treated but still radioactive water (US News and World Report).

MALAYSIA ACCEPTS U.S. PLASTIC WASTE AFTER FEARS OF BASEL VIOLATION

Malaysia

Reports from a Malaysian environmental group, Sahabat Alam Malaysia, led officials at the country’s Department of Environment to believe an incoming shipment of plastic waste from the United States contained hazardous waste (

CHINESE CITY CRACKS DOWN ON ENFORCEMENT AFTER WEEKS OF HEAVY SMOG

China

Officials in the Chinese city of Tangshan have announced they will be intensifying enforcement efforts to reduce local air pollution after two weeks of especially heavy smog across northern China.

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT FACES CLASS ACTION FROM CLIMATE-CONSCIOUS TEENS

Australia

Eight teenagers from across Australia have jointly filed a class action lawsuit to stop the expansion of Whitehaven’s Coal Vickery coal mine in Gunnedah.

NEW ZEALAND FLOATS PLAN TO SAVE ENDANGERED DOLPHINS WITH AI AND DRONES

New Zealand

On February 25, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the New Zealand government would be collaborating with conservation groups—the World Wild Life Fund and MAUI63—and major fishing companies—Moana New Zealand and Sanford Limited—on a new initiative to protect the critically endangered Maui dolphin.

INDIA ARRESTS 22-YEAR-OLD CLIMATE ACTIVIST FOR ALLEGED SEDITION

India

On February 13, 22-year-old Indian climate activist Disha Ravi was arrested at her home in Bengaluru. Ravi is the co-founder of the Bengaluru chapter of Fridays for Future, an organization created by Greta Thunberg to promote youth climate activism. Delhi authorities have accused Ravi of sedition and criminal conspiracy (Time).

FRENCH COURT RULES FRENCH STATE RESPONSIBLE FOR CLIMATE INACTION

France

Last Wednesday, the Administrative Tribunal of Paris ruled that France’s failure to meet its greenhouse gas reduction commitments have caused “ecological damage.” In order to meet its emissions reduction targets under the Paris Climate Accords, France had passed domestic laws promising to decrease emissions by 1.5% annually and 3% annually beginning in 2025. However, according to France’s High Council on Climate, these goals have yet to be achieved.

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