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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 32

FIJI SETTING STAGE TO LEAD CLIMATE NEGOTIATIONS

Country: Fiji

At the Bonn Conference of the Parties, Fiji turned a tiny part of Germany into a tropical island as it leads global negotiations on climate change. Average sea levels in Fiji have risen 10 inches since the late 19th century, driven partly by melting ice and endangering life on the island. Fiji is the first small island state to preside at U.N. climate negotiations since they began in the 1990s. Fiji outfitted a conference centre with canoes, dancers, huge photographs of palm-fringed islands, virtual reality shows and flowers.

ITALY TO END COAL POWER PRODUCTION

Country: Italy

Italy has set a goal to phase out coal power plant production by 2025 as it seeks to reduce its carbon footprint. Italy's plan is to have green energy sources account for 28 percent of overall energy consumption by 2030. Italy is also aiming to introduce more electric and hybrid vehicles. However, natural gas will continue to have a key role in the country’s energy future as the government will promote new gas import pipelines to diversify supply.

TOXIC SMOG CLOUDS NEW DELHI

Country: India

Three straight days of smog enveloped New Delhi, forcing schools to shut down and forcing residents to buy air purifiers. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called the capital a "gas chamber" as his government sought meetings with adjoining states to address the issue. Fine particulate matter levels were particularly dangerous, rising to 726 with a level above 300 considered hazardous. A recent report from the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health said air pollution kills roughly 6.5 million people each year and that all forms of pollution cost the global economy $4.6 trillion annually.