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International developments reported in the current issue of ELR's Weekly Update appear below. For previously reported international news, please use the filter function on the left. For older material reported between 2000 and 2010, visit the Weekly Update Archives.

Current International Update

Volume 45, Issue 19

CHINA VOWS EVEN RETIRED OFFICIALS WILL ANSWER FOR POLLUTION

Country: China

The Chinese government issued new guidelines clarifying that senior officials, even those who have retired or changed positions, will be held accountable for illegal pollution that occurred on their watch. The guidelines follow a law enacted in January that strengthens monitoring and enforcement of environmental laws and allows for unlimited fines and prison time for repeat offenders.

BRAZIL BECOMES NEXT BIG ECONOMY TO RELEASE CLIMATE PLAN

Country: Brazil

In a joint announcement with the United States, Brazil announced its plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions in preparation for United Nations climate negotiations in Paris later this year. Details of the plan include doubling electrical generation from renewable sources to 20% of the nation's power by 2030 and restoring 30 million acres of Amazonian rainforest. Though the plan has yet to be submitted to the U.N., commentators have praised the announcement for bringing another major economy into the fold.

GREAT BARRIER REEF AVOIDS UNESCO’S “ENDANGERED” LISTING

Country: Australia

Australian government officials welcomed a decision by the United Nations' Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) not to list the Great Barrier Reef among World Heritage Sites considered "in danger." Effects of climate change and coastal development prompted the organization to review the status of the world's largest reef in May. The recent determination affirms the earlier decision that the reef does not warrant endangered status.