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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 47, Issue 6

VIETNAM PUNISHED GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS RESPONSIBLE FOR STEEL MILL DISASTER

Country: Vietnam

Vietnam’s Communist Party Inspection Commission announced the names of 11 government and industry officials who will be held responsible for the environmental disaster at the Formosa Ha Tinh Steel steel mill last year. It was discovered that the mill had committed more than 50 violations, including using an outdated production process, which led to a “toxic leak” that polluted 200 kilometers of coastline, killed over 100 tons of fish, and left many in the affected area without employment.

BRAZILIAN JUDGE HALTS PLANS FOR COUNTY’S LARGEST MINE

Country: Brazil

Last week a Brazilian judge issued a 180-day suspension to Belo Sun, the mining company that had planned an open-pit gold mine, which would be Brazil’s largest. The judge found that the company had improperly purchased the land from several owners and had yet to obtain an environmental permit. Further, the company is not permitted to develop the mine until pre-existing land rights issues in the area have been solved. The residents of the area are concerned about the environmental impact of the toxic waste impoundment dam that would accompany the mine.

CHINA CONTINUES ITS WAR ON COAL; THAILAND AND SINGAPORE JOIN IN

Country: China

The Chinese government continues to pursue its goal of reducing the country’s coal-power capacity. Last week the government announced considerations for what would be its third “major shift in policy” to move the country toward renewable energy: limiting the amount of coal that can be mined. In April 2016, the government capped the number of days a mine can operate in an attempt to reduce the supply of coal.