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Current International Update

Volume 45, Issue 3

AUSTRALIA DECLINES TO EXTEND INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION TO SHARK SPECIES

Country: Australia

The Australian government has declared it will not list 5 of the 31 species covered by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, which Australia consented to in November. The five species, all sharks, include two species of hammerheads and three species of threshers. Australia’s Environment Minister said the reservation from the Convention is necessary because the country’s domestic laws are stricter than required by the agreement, and the listing would result in unintended consequences and unreasonably harsh penalties for violations.

NORWAY OFFERS ARCTIC ENERGY LEASES, ENERGY RUSH LOOMING

Country: Norway

Norway is offering new leases for fossil fuel exploration within its Arctic waters for the first time in over 20 years. The move infuses momentum into an energy rush poised to break out between the five countries claiming Arctic resource rights. The leases, mostly in the Barents Sea, have been offered to 43 energy companies, and production licenses could be awarded as early as 2016.

TENSION OVER NUCLEAR POWER SUBSIDY LEADS TO EUROPEAN LAWSUIT

Country: Austria

Austria has announced its intention to challenge a decision by the European Union to subsidize a nuclear power station in the United Kingdom. The appeal will be filed before April in the European Court of Justice, and it is likely other countries will join Austria in challenging the European Commission’s decision. Appellants will likely argue that the £17.6 ($26.43) billion subsidy is illegal state aid because the project does not meet the necessary criteria, including furthering the common interest of the EU as a whole.