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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 8

JAPAN TO ISSUE NEW 5-YEAR PLAN TO DECONTAMINATE, DECOMMISSION FUKUSHIMA PLANT

Country: Japan

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced plans to issue a new 5-year rebuilding plan to deal with the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown. The new plan would be unveiled this summer and replace the current one, set to expire next March. Abe said that the government would continue to take the lead on water decontamination and decommissioning of the plant. The Prime Minister also confirmed controversial plans to create permanent storage facilities for irradiated trash in several abandoned towns near the site.

GERMANY EXPANDS RENEWABLE SUBSIDIES TO MEET BUILDING ENERGY GOALS

Country: Germany

The German government has announced changes to its renewable energy subsidy program for buildings in an effort to meet carbon emission reduction goals. Though renewable sources generated nearly 28% of Germany's electrical use in 2014, they only accounted for about 10% of the energy used to heat buildings. The recent reforms are designed to help the country meet its goal of 14% generation from renewables for that category by 2020. Changes to the program include financial support for companies that invest in renewable heating sources and stringent energy efficiency criteria.

AUSTRALIA BANS IMPORT OF AFRICAN LION TROPHIES

Country: Australia

Australia has announced a ban on the importation of African lion trophies in an effort to stop "canned hunting" of the big cats. Environment Minister Greg Hunt announced the ban, which goes into effect immediately, at the Global March for Lions held in Melbourne. Hunt decried the inhumane conditions involved in the practice, which can involve drugging or baiting the animals.