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New Zealand: Mandatory Phase Out of Single-Use Plastic Bags to Commence Mid-2019

(Dec. 3, 2018) On November 24, 2018, Associate Minister for the Environment, Eugenie Sage, announced that the New Zealand government had decided that a mandatory phaseout of single-use plastic shopping bags will come into effect in the middle of 2019. (Press Release, Eugenie Sage, Mandatory Phase Out of Single-Use Plastic Bags Confirmed (Nov. 24, 2018).) […]

Togo: Parliament Adopts Bill to Promote Power Generation from Clean Sources

(Oct. 15, 2018) On July 24, 2018, Togo’s Parliament adopted a bill to promote power generation from clean sources. (Ouverture de la deuxième session extraordinaire de l’année 2018 [2018’s Second Extraordinary Assembly], Assemblée Nationale Togolais [Togolese National Assembly] website (all translations by author).) The bill was approved unanimously and includes 59 articles organized in seven […]

Several Pacific Countries Announce Bans on Single-Use Plastic Bags

(July 18, 2018) On July 11, 2018, it was reported that Niue was the latest Pacific Island country to announce a ban on single-use plastic bags, following the implementation of a similar ban in Vanuatu, and related announcements by Samoa and Papua New Guinea. (Niue Joins Growing Pacific Movement to Ban Plastics, RNZ (July 11, […]

Italy: New Consolidated Forestry and Forest Supply-Chain Law Takes Effect

(May 11, 2018) On May 5, 2018, a new law on forestry and forest supply chains came into effect in Italy. (Legislative Decree No. 34 of April 3, 2018, Consolidated Text on Forests and Supply Chains) (L.D. No. 34), GAZZETTA UFFICIALE (G.U.) Apr. 20, 2018 (in Italian), G.U. website.) General Purpose of the New Legislation […]

Germany: Federal Administrative Court Allows Cities to Ban Diesel-Fueled Vehicles to Reduce Air Pollution

(Mar. 28, 2018) On February 27, 2018, Germany’s highest administrative court, the Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht, BVerwG), held in two not-yet-published decisions that older and more-polluting diesel-run vehicles could be banned from predefined zones in the cities and metropolitan areas that are the worst affected by nitrogen dioxide (NO2)-polluted air. The Federal Administrative Court thereby […]

Germany: Unconventional Fracking Prohibited

(Mar. 8, 2017) On February 11, 2017, an act to prohibit unconventional fracking entered into force in Germany. The Act forms part of a package of laws and regulations that regulate various aspects of fracking and related mining, water, and environmental law issues.  (Gesetz zur Änderung wasser- und naturschutzrechtlicher Vorschriften zur Untersagung und zur Risikominimierung […]

Indonesia: Court Finds Company Guilty of Starting Forest Fire

(Feb. 21, 2017) On February 7, 2017, the South Jakarta District Court issued a guilty decision against the company PT Waringin Agro Jaya (WAJ), which markets palm oil.  The company was found to have deliberately lit a fire to clear land in South Sumatra Province, leading to a forest fire.  WAJ was ordered to pay […]

Italy: Comprehensive Legislation on the “Green Economy”

(Feb. 24, 2016) On December 28, 2015, Italy passed historic and wide-ranging legislation for the promotion of the “green economy.” Law No. 221 entered into effect on February 2, 2016.  (Law No. 221 of December 28, 2015, Provisions on the Environment to Promote the Green Economy and to Restrict the Excessive Use of Natural Resources […]

Italy: New Measures to Respond to Environmental Emergencies

(Feb. 14, 2014) Italy’s Senate adopted a decree on “Urgent Measures Designed to Tackle Environmental and Industrial Emergencies and to Facilitate the Development of the Concerned Areas,” on February 5, 2014. (Legislative Decree No. 136 [hereinafter the Decree] (Dec. 10, 2013), NORMATTIVA.) The Decree aims to address the current environmental emergencies in the regions of […]